Friday, 27 February 2015


This will be hopefully be a short blog post as I have an obsessive need to over-explain my reasoning for everything in my life. I write that now, in the hopes that I can curb my obsessive need to explain my need to over-explain for the purpose of this blog post.

Everything I do, think and feel has a reason and explanation. I am sure this is the case for everyone though. I am constantly analysing and over-analysing myself, my thoughts, feelings and behaviours trying to understand myself better, improve ways I do things and improve my character. I am always trying to see myself as I truly am and find my blind spots so I am aware of it. I find constructive criticism (in small doses when I am prepared for it) a welcome and helpful aspect of learning about myself. I am obsessed with understanding myself and seeing myself as I truly am, not how I like to think of myself. My obsession with understanding myself has helped me to work through a lot of issues quickly. In other cases it causes misunderstandings, arguments and upsets as I always feel a need to explain why I do, act or react the way I do. I go over the top with my explaining. I over-explain in minute detail my reasons why.

Any hint of not being heard or misunderstood by another and I will unleash a perversating torrent of reasons explaining my behaviour on the other person. I find it hard to stop doing this until I am satisfied that I am fully understood and heard by the other person. Meanwhile the other person must find it intense, confronting and overwhelming. I get the feeling that my need to explain every aspect and reason why for whatever it is is a turn off and isolates me from people. I find this upsetting as I want to connect with people. It is really difficult for me not to respond and over-explain myself when I am feeling triggered.

My need to over-explain comes from years of being misunderstood, not being able to explain myself due to not having the language, self-awareness or knowledge of what was going on for me, and not feeling heard. It is my biggest trigger.

Being invalidated, not listened to or misunderstood is a major trigger for me. After years of constantly being misunderstood, invalidated and not having the language to express myself as a child and teenager. I am now super sensitive to any hint of feeling this way. I get anxious, upset and feel like my world is being turned upside down. It is really difficult for me not to react when I am triggered by not feeling heard, understood or validated.

Atrus gets the worst of it as I know him best and feel most comfortable around him. It is easiest for me to talk to him about whatever is bothering me. He gets really tired of me over-explaining myself and repeating myself constantly. It can and has become a vicious cycle between us. He tells me he understood it the first time. Once I get started in my perseverating over-explaining torrent it is difficult to stop. We both end up feeling frustrated and angry because my need to over-explain is going nowhere. Thankfully Atrus is very understanding of me. I have over-explained to him my need to over-explain my reasoning so he gets it. I am trying to curb my need to over-explain everything. It is very difficult.

I have over-explained in other situations with people I don't know as well and it hasn't ended well. I end up too worn out, upset and anxious to keep explaining myself. e.g. During my 7 week Facebook break last year  I sought out a psychologist and had a couple of sessions with her. The first one was ok. The second one was horrible and upsetting. My need to over-explain things lead to it not working out with this psychologist. She did not understand me which led to me perseverating verbally, with her analyzing everything I said to mean something I didn't mean. It was frustrating and upsetting. It became a vicious cycle of me repeating myself and her analyzing me. Me trying to correct her and explain myself and her analyzing it to mean something else. I was in shutdown by the end of the appointment and felt she was treating me like a child. I left the appointment and ran to the toilet and cried, sobbed uncontrollably actually. It was awful. I never went back to see her. So unhelpful and unsupportive.

I don't know how to stop once I get going, I go into a reactive, must explain myself mode and the vicious cycle starts. I won't be able to stop until I am satisfied I have been understood and heard or if I am not understood or heard, I will shut-down, too worn out and upset to keep talking.

Atrus said I can share this quote of his about how he feels about my need to over-explain.

'I get tired of it, but I have to put up with it, because if I interrupt her, I get more of it. Otherwise she will say 'I have to explain that I have to explain myself. Then I have to repeat it to make sure you understand.' Then he laughed.

I am really glad that he is understanding and patient with me. I am aware of this aspect of myself now and am trying not to let myself slip into a reactive, perseverating mode. It will take time to stop myself from reacting to being triggered by feeling invalidated, misunderstood or unheard.

I just over-explained my need to over-explain myself. I have to laugh. Ha ha!


  1. Over explaining isn't as "over" as you have been made to think.
    It is a neccessary thing for people to connect.
    What you do is a sign of a pure, extra compassionate heart... and those who don't do it, and/or are not okay with you doing it, are less compassionate than you are. It feels as if being pure, is "simply taboo". Don't try to curb your love. Keep trying to connect with others in every way you see fit. Only time to stop, is if you annoy yourself.

    I got a kick out of your use of the words "unhelpful and unsupportive". It's true. Such an unlovely psycologist! People like them need to be cured!

    1. Thank you. I do understand where you are coming from. I agree. I will keep trying to connect with others in my own way.

      Ha ha! Yes, well this particular psychologist really was unhelpful and unsupportive. I like my strong words. I agree, people like them do need help in some form.

  2. oh wow....this is so me! Even now I am forcing myself to resist explaining exactly how it relates to me....clicking publish before I get started.

    1. Ha ha! I so get it. I am glad you relate.

  3. For me, there is a distinction between explaining, which is rooted in the longing to be accurately understood, and exploring. I'm most likely to get into a perseverative groove of exploration if somebody is empathically present with me, without judgment. I'm amazed that you have so much resilience to keep on attempting to explain yourself, even if the other person isn't indicating that they get it. How would you know if you are understood or fully heard?

    1. That makes sense Bob. The difference between explaining and exploring.
      I don't know how I keep going and going and going and explaining myself over and over. I just do. I seem to have this innate need to be heard, understood and taken seriously and sometimes I won't stop until I am. Depending on my energy levels of course.