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Why do people make excuses?

Updated on June 19, 2013
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Making excuses is noe afad
Making excuses is noe afad
Making excuses is noe afad


Why do people make excuses ?

Excuse or reality?

People are quick to give excuses

You could have noticed that unsuccessful people are afflicted with a mind-freezing ailment. Let us call this illness – excusisties that is a love towards giving excuses. Virtually every person has had it at moderate doses. As with any illness if not dealt with at its early stage, gets a whole lot worse.

The person who has been repeating his grade the last five years carries a bucketful of reasons to reveal why he has to be in that situation. The excuse goes something like this. “What can I do? Lecturers are not much of a help when it comes to assignments?”

The moment the individual turns into a sorry victim of this specific excuse he sticks with it in order to convince others that his lack of good results, isn't really his own fault. With constant repetition even he actually starts believing that it is real and not an excuse. It has now turned into a chronic disease.

Knowing that excuses from a person can backfire and the people they have to deal with losing respect in them, why do people still insist in giving those excuses?

A simple logical reason is they do not want to be seen as incapable, without integrity or incapable of keeping a promise. They twist a bit of the authentic reason, somewhat camouflaging the authentic reason with a one that sounds better. This way the people offered the excuse would still look up to him.

To put it in another word it is a lie. Not a blatant lie but as they put ‘a white lie’, which to them would not hurt anybody. They hold on to the principle of: What you do not know (the truth) won’t hurt you.

According to some researches done on this subject, it was found this ‘habit’ of giving excuses can be traced back to the early childhood. Every time a child wants something it will begin by asking it normally. However if it doesn’t get what it wants the normal way it will indulge in diabolical techniques ,”Like…….my teacher always scolds me for wearing this old shoes!”

Parents in wanting their child to have the best and not being scolded by the teacher would invariably succumb to the child’s demand. When the child gets his way, a habit is formed….the habit of giving excuses (in this case a white lie).

Subsequent successes in getting what he wants by giving excuses reinforce this habit. As he grows he gives more excuses, sometime being questioned and most times he is gets off the hook. This habit of giving excuses or lying comes to a critical point where giving excuses and lying becomes a norm in his life. Sometimes to the extent of lying where there is no reason to lie.

Sometimes our excuses pile up and get in the way of doing something good and significant for us. I was told a humorous story about a student who did not turn up for class one day, that I think illustrates this.

There was once a student who was on my counseling session. I asked him why he enjoys giving excuses and lying.

“Its cool sir…everyone does it!” his answer was short and concise. This was the same, student, who had given the excuse below to his class teacher,

“Sir, I couldn’t come to school yesterday morning.”

“Why?” asked the teacher.

You see sir. As I was about to leave the house, the house phone rang, my grandma wanted me to pass a message to the whole family,” he continued.

“What did she say?” questioned a bit annoyed.

“She said she just passed away!” The whole class roared with laughter and the student felt great that he had given a humorous excuse.

I ran sort of a research to find out if there are any materials on excuses. To my surprise I found lists after lists of excuses people make in every life. Let us make a quick run through of the excuses.

  • Every time I went to church they asked for donations. That’s the reason why I seldom go to church!
  • I despise going for the Parents Teachers Association meetings because I hate the people whom I had to sit with…..they didn’t seem to be too friendly!
  • How could I carry on being in the team, the coach never came to see me!
  • I hate going to her get-togethers because there is bound to be some hypocrites – they only came to see what others were wearing
  • I usually stay away from the local parades. The band always played numbers that I had never heard before.
  • How could I…… The games were always scheduled when I had to do some chores!

Excuses are aplenty and cheap. Some people will rebuff your excuse while others might take it without commenting but you know and I know that excuses are still excuses, no matter how well you phrase it.

I never thought that to succeed has become an excuse, that as many as ninety percent of men and women use that in varying degrees. Common excuses that people give on not being successful in life sometimes hold them back from accomplishing anything worthwhile and significant in life.

Let us take a look at some of the excuses given by people for not wanting to succeed in life, (though they consistently complaining of their present situation ---living just enough to make ends meet, month after month)

  • If you suggest to them maybe they should try their hands at a home based business…….

“No way……I’m not good at the IT thing”

  • Maybe do some simple sales in something like Amway or Avon where the layout capital is small and affordable and you can generate some income immediately……

“No……no…that’s not my cup of tea!” (I wonder whose cup 0f tea that we have been talking about all along?)

  • Maybe you can try doing some writings like me……

“Come on man…..I can’t even write my name properly…let alone asking me to write those mambo-jumbo articles, like yours? No way man!

The only thing that he can do well is to sit on his sofa with a 6 pack…and watch television to the wee hours of the morning. It does not matter if it is soap opera or horror movie….as long as he can peep into other peoples’ life and their troubles…as if he does not have any.

Have you ever wondered why some brilliant folks are flops in life? I used to be close for quite some time with an individual who qualified as a genius. His IQ was above 135 but he was among the list of least effective people that I've known.

He had a mediocre career, was married and divorced three times, smoked 40 cigarettes every day and ultimately drank himself to death. This man utilized his fantastic brainpower to prove why he cannot succeed in life instead of directing his mental energy to searching for ways and means to succeed.

Pitiful though to say that so many people go through life like this, using excuses as their weapon to guard themselves against getting out of their comfort zone. To need to think and alter, having to do things they despise most.

Isn’t it comfortable to just lay back on that fluffy sitting chair in front of the television box with his 6 pack and munchies. The can spend without having anybody bother him throughout the night. This was the life that he was looking for and now that he has got it, why changes?

Related topics: THE BIG DREAM

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    • PontiusPilate profile image


      4 years ago

      Very Impressive Write Up . Appreciated .

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I think I most definitely suffer from this "excuse syndrome" , thank you for helping me realise that.

      Knowing and executing a plan to rid this disease is a very different thing tho? Or maybe that's just an excuse from me? lol..! It's that far gone I don't even know if I trust my judgement fully any more. What would you're advise be with moving forward or getting better Abdul? Thanks again for shining the light, this has been a break through, I believe.

      p.s I think I may have had this type of thinking/disease a long long time.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Brilliant.Thank you


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