I bought a lovely shiny new television the other day! I had been saving as I knew my old one had been deteriorating in quality for a while and when the day came when it finally gave up after 12 years of dedicated service, I did my research and made my purchase.
I was really pleased with my new TV, the quality was far superior to my 12 year old set, but I noticed something strange when I told people. Each time I found I didn’t simply share my good news; I backed it up with an explanation. I needed a new TV as mine was broken. It was a really good deal in the sale. I had been saving for it for a while and the other one was really broken. I was really surprised at how uncomfortable I felt telling people and that I needed to give a reason for the purchase without them even asking for an explanation.
The truth of it is I bought this item with my own money that I had worked hard to earn. I am careful with the money I have…but then even if I wasn’t, why do I feel I need to be accountable to others for how I spend my money? I’m even justifying it to you now aren’t I?!
We all want to belong and be accepted by our peer groups and people in our lives that we value. I wondered if for me this justification is part of that. Was I making sure that people knew It was a thought out purchase and that I was not splurging on something I didn’t need or could not afford? I come from a family who save for new things rather than buy them on credit cards – was I making sure people knew that I had adhered to this inherited way of saving and spending, that I value and view as a responsible way of living?
When it comes to your own purchases and even the bigger stuff in life, choices about jobs, relationships, childcare, do you feel a need to justify your decisions? Should you? Do you look for others to justify their choices to you?
I also recognised as I reflected that sometimes justifying other choices in my life could be because I have doubts myself in the decisions that I have made. If you find yourself justifying your own choices, purchases and lifestyle it may be a good time to pause check within yourself as to why. Are you actually unsure and justifying it to yourself as well as them as you speak? Or are you looking for approval?
I am off now to enjoy watching a film on my new TV, and by the way, I don’t feel the need to justify the use of my time doing so!
Take care of yourself and others!