nah. ya don’t.
I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m sure there are people who follow me that don’t know: I don’t drink.
Not a big deal — to me, anyway — because it’s for health reasons. I was at a doctor’s appointment recently and she asked me what my migraine triggers were, so I listed a few and then said, “Oh, and alcohol. Which is why I don’t drink.”
“Oh no! Well that stinks!” she responded.
Know what else “stinks?” Migraines! So I’d rather not have one of those.
The thing is, I have drank in the past, and you MIGHT catch me with a beer or cocktail in my hand on an occasion where I feel OK and will take the risk. But honestly? That’s what it is: it’s a risk for me. I might feel great and then have a margarita and feel like shit afterwards with a pounding headache. So it’s not worth it, and I DEFINITELY don’t feel like explaining that to anyone.
So I stopped.
Now when I go out and someone offers me a drink (it’s amazing to me how many people know I don’t drink and yet still ask me) I just simply say, “no thanks.” I’m done with giving a whole explanation and background on it. No. The answer’s no. And if you pressure me, call me lame or get annoying about it? You’re a dick. I’m happy to tell anyone who asks why I’m not having a mimosa at brunch or why I’m not doing that wine tasting at the vineyard, but I’m not offering up all these reasons proactively like I feel like I need to justify something.
That’s the thing: we need to stop explaining ourselves.
Have you seen or heard your friends do this?
- You get to the restaurant for dinner with your friend and she gets into a whole thing about what she’s going to order and why.
“So I didn’t eat lunch today and had half an apple for breakfast, so I’m gonna like, EAT. I’m seriously gonna order something legit. I might even get fries; just saying. Don’t judge.”
(Um, fine? Do whatever the f*ck you want–I don’t need an explanation for the food you’re gonna consume at dinner. Get 6 entrees if you want. As long as you’re paying your half of the bill.)
- A person you follow on social media posts an Instagram story for the first time in a week.
“Hi guys! Ugh, I’m so sorry I haven’t really been on here lately. I’ve been MIA because there’s some stuff going on at home and I’ve just been processing all that and taking a break from the Internet.”
(Cool! You’re allowed to post, or not post, whenever you please! You don’t owe us an explanation for “going MIA!” You’re not our mom! We don’t need to know where you are at all times!)
- A friend is asked if she thinks she’ll ever have kids.
“I don’t think so. I mean, I love kids! They’re so great. Yours are so cute! I just never really wanted them. I don’t know, maybe down the road? I just think it’s a huge commitment and a lot of work and sacrifice and I’m not sure that’s what I want. But, yeah, I mean, maybe!”
(If your answer is “no” — just a straight up, flat-out NO — say it. Don’t feel pressured to have some acceptable reasoning queued up because you think this response is going to make someone uncomfortable. They will live.)
Stop feeling like you always need to explain yourself: you don’t.
Next time you’re put in a position where you feel like you’re about to start rattling off reasons to justify, defend or explain your behavior or choices, make a concerted effort to cut it off. It’s not easy, but it’s so important that we aim to be humans who stand by our actions and don’t feel the need to “make a case” for anything. Instead, next time you make a statement and are met with another person who looks like they’re waiting for a follow-up, hit em with the Nene Leakes: