Rationalize It

Last January, I was going to go on a diet/exercise regime.  By the time April rolled around, I realized something. I had actually and successfully poorly rationalized three full months away.

Yeah, these cupcakes do contain calories.

Yeah, these cupcakes do contain calories.

What completely cracks me up about my behavior is that I act as if I am a person who does not rationalize poor choices.  There was a guest speaker at a previous Etech conference (a big technology conference for educators) and he spoke all about how humans rationalize things.  Feeling sick?  It will probably be OK tomorrow.  Eat the cupcake?  Sure, I can work it off.  Another glass of wine?  Heck yes, I deserve a fun night.  And so on.

Sitting there, I thought to myself, “I am not this person.  I don’t rationalize like that at all.”  Then, I looked around at all the suckers who, I thought, probably do over rationalize.  Poor souls, I thought, they are rationalizing their lives away.

Even Jim from The Office rationalizes.

Even Jim from The Office rationalizes.

Hello pot, meet kettle.  Crap.  I was one of those suckers.

I never realized until hearing this speaker and really pondering about it how much I actually rationalize things.  Here are some examples:

If I don’t write on my blog for a few weeks (hello blog, nice to see you again), I rationalize this by saying I have a lot on my plate right now, or I want the blog post to be good, or I am too tired/sick/cranky/silly to write.  Sadly, my last post was before Christmas.  I have rationalized almost a full month of blogging away. Bad, bad girl.

I also rationalize people’s sometimes poor behavior.  Someone was rude to me earlier this week and instead of just sucking it up and being OK that they don’t like me, I rationalized it by thinking maybe they were having a bad day.  When I saw them in the hallway at the end of the day and they were laughing really hard, I realized they weren’t having a bad day.  Oh well, it happens, right?

Work out? In the cold? Sure! (Not!)

Work out in the cold? Sure! (Not!)

I rationalize other things, too.  My checkbook is one.  Oh, sure, I think to myself, I have money in there, and I really, really need it so it is OK if I go ahead and buy the flenderfloozle.  Not a good plan. And exercising, need I say more?  I am Scarlett O’hara sometimes with this.  I rationalize that the next day is a better day to exercise.  Then I think the next day and the next day until it becomes a vicious cycle with absolutely no exercising.

So, for my one and only New Year’s resolution, I am going to stop rationalizing things.  I am going be honest with myself and know that I am not going to walk outside in 28 degree weather and, instead, opt and read the latest YA novel on my Kindle.  I am going to pass on the gurligeezles and flenderfloozles because I really don’t need them and, if I eat the cupcake, I may not work it off later.

Glad to be back, and I will do my best to try and not rationalize another month away!

29 thoughts on “Rationalize It

  1. haha! I do this, too! It’s just an elaborate way to make ourselves feel better about being losers! LOL! Seriously, total acceptance is the only way out. The truth shall set you free and all that jazz.
    Glad to have you back. Love your observations! 🙂

  2. It’s human nature to rationalize. For example, I’m about to leave to take my son to a magic conference, and I have plenty of things to do, but I rationalized that I should just stop in on a few blog posts before I leave. And then I was excited to see yours because it’s been a while since you posted, which, of course, was my rationalization for stopping by. But see? All this rationalization led to a good thing, because I got to read your post before I left. 🙂

  3. Isn’t it good to rationalize sometimes? Like thinking that somebody’s bad day has nothing to do with you — I think that’s a healthy attitude. How could they not like you???

    • Thanks, Michelle! When I was at the conference and the speaker was talking about rationalizing, all I could do is look and see myself. I had rationalized a second latte that morning already!

  4. I rationalize all the time. However, I give myself much more slack than others. This can lead me feeling dissappointed and taken advantage of. So, I try to rationalize their behavior as well.
    Also, if I don’t rationalize my behavior, I tend to be angry at myself for not accomplishing what I would like to accomplish. So in that respect rationalizing is good. I need to come up with an in between.
    By the way, my blog moved. Here is the new address:memyselfandkids.com

    • I have felt the same way you describe. I sometimes feel that I am taken advantage of because I am too forgiving or I rationalize too much. It is hard to find a middle ground. We will try and find it together! I am coming by your site – thanks for the new address! 🙂

  5. I always rationalize! So like, a creepy degree. If I murdered someone I would turn it around into something okay and then not feel bad about it. How am I even alive?

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