Why you might be overexplaining yourself and why you should stop?

When you overexplain, it’s you trying to accommodate other people by justifying yourself and your choices to them. It signals that you’re seeking some level of external approval or permission that you’re not able to give yourself.

You might be over-explaining because you have people pleaser tendencies and you’re worried that the other person might not like what you have to say. You hope that your over-explaining will be enough to nullify any potential negative reaction. And so, you over-explain.

Or perhaps you’re trying to avoid conflict. You think that by saying everything at once, every possible rebuttal to what you think they might say, that they’ll have to accept what you say and you can avoid any possible back and forth.

Whilst other people might not know the reason you’re doing it, they’ll probably be able to notice that you’re over-explaining.

I recently found myself needing to set a boundary. I spent ages planning out what I would say whilst also trying to control the outcome. It got to the point where what should have been a short clear statement was instead a lengthy monologue.

I noticed that I was making something simple become long-winded. But, my awareness of what I was doing made me realise that I could do something different.

And so, I asked myself what is the least that I can say to get the message across?

Sometimes instead of just speaking up for ourselves and what we do or don’t need, we focus too much on other people. We ask ourselves, how will they feel and how can I mitigate that? However, the problem with this is that you don’t learn to fully be yourself. Instead you learn to be a fragmented version of yourself that aims to please or appease and all your needs go unmet.

You can work to overcome this by focusing on keeping things simple. Ask yourself, ‘What is the least that I can say to get the message across?’ and just say that. Remember that a back and forth doesn’t mean conflict, it can simply be the other person trying to understand.

It might feel weird at first, it might not even go smoothly at first, perhaps you’ll even feel like you’re being inconsiderate. But when you value yourself you’ll realise that it’s worth it.

No instructions, no outcome, just play

Sometimes there is this child-like sense of curiosity or this feeling that you probably had as a child when you just wanted to play.

It’s things like reading a story, having paper and pens to create whatever you like or even a bunch of building blocks. There’s no instructions or a specified outcome that you need to meet and you have nothing to prove.

Once you’re done you can just move on to something else, the outcome doesn’t even really matter. At that age you’re just creating, using your mind and being free. In hindsight you might notice certain things you were good at or enjoyed more but in the moment that wasn’t a priority.

As an adult we’re often focused on the outcome, how good we are (often in comparison to others) and how much money we can make. At times, so much emphasis is put on making money that we’re made to feel like what we do is pointless, worthless and a waste of time if it generates no income.

Playing catch up

When you’ve fallen behind, it can be difficult to catch up. You find yourself having to work double or triple time to get back to where you want (or need) to be. You might even find yourself questioning whether it’s even worth it.

Maybe instead of potentially over-working yourself, you should simply go at your own pace. Slow down if you want to, stop if you need to.

If you’re catching up to something that you have to do, that you’re obligated to with consequences if you don’t get back on track, find a way to make it work. But if it’s something you’re doing for yourself, with no consequences, it’s probably not worth working yourself into the ground for.

Nobody wants to feel like they’ve been duped

When we think about getting someone to buy something the first is probably that it’s a bad thing. Perhaps what comes to mind is a greasy car salesmen or some sort of trickster who will tell lies to convince you to spend money.

But what about the other times we buy things based on being influenced and we’re happy with the choice. I don’t consider that to be a bad thing.

It could be a £1,100 pair of Valentino Garavani boots that you feel great in, you get you compliments every time you wear them and they were purchased in a store where you received excellent service. It could also be £10 water bottle that doesn’t leak.

The issue arises when we buy something and it doesn’t work as it should, it doesn’t feel worth it, it feels like a waste of money, we regret the purchase or it stops working and you can’t get a refund.

Nobody wants to feel like they’ve been duped, we want to feel like we’re making good choices and spending our money well.

5 ways to convince people to spend money

I recently got thinking about some of the ways we’re persuaded to spend money. Sometimes it’s things we planned to buy anyway but other times it’s things we actually had no intention of getting or stuff we just don’t need.

Tell them it’s limited edition

If something won’t be around for long they’re more likely to buy it because they don’t want to miss out. In many cases we’d actually rather take the risk and buy it, than not buy it and potentially regret it.

Make then feel like it’s something exclusive

Exclusivity makes people feel special. Similarly to when something is limited edition, when something is or feels exclusive people want it more. It could be as simple as having a special link to a product that you provide to those who sign up to your newsletter. Or it could also be something incredibly expensive that only the wealthy can afford it.

Let them know that it’s worth the cost

When you highlight that something is great value people want to buy it because it seems like it’s worth it. Maybe you highlight where a particular fabric was grown, the treatment of the workers, the minimal environmental impact or how long the product could last. The value that is focused on and highlighted will depend on the type of customer you’re trying to attract.

Let them know that it’s more than worth the cost

This method works well when you’re providing a service but can also apply to certain physical products. There are many things that we purchase that come with secondary value. It could be a cooking class that is worth it because you’re learning a new skill. It becomes more than worth the cost when now you’re more confident to host your friends and family because you now you know your way around the kitchen. It could also be a digital course where what you teach will allow small business owners to attract more repeat customers which will improve their profits.

Make them think it will improve their life

If you play into ideas of what people think is good for them then they’re more likely to buy from you. This is very rampant in the wellness industry but also in fashion. Many people buy items like bags because of signals they want to send and the way they want to be perceived. Going back to wellness, if you can sell someone something that is supposed to be good for them in some way, they’ll feel good even before they’ve used or consumed it. People are often aware if this which is what drives them to buy the thing in the first place.

The benefits of creating free content

Many of us regularly post free content and some people also use that to lead people to their paid services.

Sometimes the easiest way to get someone to value what you want them to pay for is by offering them something amazing for free. They’ll either be so enticed that they want what you have for sale because they think it’ll be even better or they’ll be willing to buy something that you offer just as a means of compensating you for all your great work that they’ve consumed for free.

Some types of free content are: Podcasts, Youtube videos, Blog posts, Instagram posts and Newsletters.

90s baby show is a free podcast that also share the podcast visuals on YouTube. They have a patreon where they upload new content each month.

Stacey June is a former podcaster who has had various free podcasts and regularly shares does content on Instagram. She also runs an online self-care club that has a monthly fee.

Both have been able get people to buy from them based on what they offer for free. If someone doesn’t know who you are, as in what you do and the services you offer with some visible examples of your work then it can be hard to get them to buy from you.

Value in the workplace

When you go to work, you want to feel like you’re of value. Perhaps not to the point where the whole place would fall apart without you but at least like what you contribute each day matters.

When a person wakes up, gets ready and goes to work, if they feel like they don’t need to be there or as though everything would seamlessly continue if they walked out, the person won’t take much care in the work they do.

And deep down or perhaps just beneath the surface we all know that often the care comes before the feeling of significance. It tends to start with taking pride in what you do and then the feeling of value or making a worthy contribution comes after.

But what if you’re doing your best and that feeling still never comes?

I think a big part of feeling of value in your job can come from external validation. This isn’t about knowing that you’re working hard and doing a great job but your manager or boss is undervaluing you. This is about how you feel about yourself and the role you play.

I think when a person doesn’t feel like they make a valuable contribution at work, they also start to feel a loss of interest in their work. When it seems like what you do doesn’t matter, what’s the point in caring?

If you don’t see the value in what you do and you’re not interested in it anymore then chances are you’re not happy either. And so the next step is to think about whether or not it’s time to move on to something new or to find a way to make things work.

Free cocktails

There’s a cocktail bar that offers you a free cocktail in exchange for a few personal details when you sign up to the mailing list.

Your name, email and date of birth.

I think it’s interesting that we’re willing to trade this information for a drink.

That drink might cost around $13 which is of course much more than it’s actually worth and if the glass is full of ice, it’s worth even less.

But for the bar it’s clear that giving out a free drink is worth it in exchange for your name, email and date of birth. Once you give them your information, whilst you get a free drink in return they now have permission to send you stuff and it might be stuff you don’t actually want.

More importantly, the free drink can only be redeemed by visiting the bar. So now you have to visit and when you do it’s more likely than not that you’ll also end up paying for drinks once you get you’re free one.

When to change your customer

In a podcast episode from a while back the host answered a question about what to do if your customer, the people you’re selling to, aren’t allowing you to make enough money. The answer was something along the lines of ‘change your customer’.

If you know how much you want to make a month as a minimum and you know how many clients you can comfortably take on at once, it’ll give you an indication of how much to charge. It’ll also offer a good idea of who your customer is and who your customer isn’t.

So, often people get caught up in keeping prices low to try and attract more people. Or the tell themselves that helping others requires them to sacrifice their own wants and needs. In this case it means providing affordable services but barely scraping by financially. The reality is that low prices means you need to make a lot more sales.

Instead it is worth thinking about who you can provide services to so that you won’t need 101 sales each month or 101 clients. That might mean increasing your prices and changing your customer. Helping people shouldn’t be at your own expense. You have to Many people want to help others but that shouldn’t be at your own expense. You have to find a way to do it in a way that works for you.

That could mean providing services to a select few customers/clients that enable you to make enough money to live comfortably. Then use your spare time to provide something for free that will he helpful for those that can’t afford to pay for what you offer.

Open to exploring

Who you are does not have to be so rigid that you force yourself to be defined by ticking several boxes and sticking to them. You can be one thing today and another thing next week.

So often we go through life trying to find ourselves and figure out who we are so that we can settle into ourselves. Yet in doing so we end up limiting ourselves because maybe who you thought you were or wanted to be at 20 will be very different to who you evolve into in your 30s.

We focus on things like having a career that we work towards from our teen or even pre-teen years. We assume that the plans we made 10+ years ago won’t change. And even when they have changed we struggle to let go because it opens us up to changing and exploring ourselves once more. We aren’t always ready for that because there is societal pressure to figure yourself out and settle down.

You’re told that you need to have your life together by a certain age which sometimes leads to you making choices to do things that you don’t even really want to do. And if you get to 30 or 40 and you’re still exploring you’re considered somewhat fringe, unconventional and even looked down on.

But maybe you don’t value the things that other people value. Perhaps you’re very aware of the life that you could or could have lived but you’ve chosen another path that has lead to a deeper exploration of life and self. Something you’d have never had the option to do if you had chosen to give in to expectations of the way that life should be.