10 things you don’t owe anyone an explanation for, according to psychology

There’s a huge misconception that we owe everyone an explanation for our choices.

The reality, according to psychology, is a bit different.

We’re often made to believe that justifying our actions or decisions is necessary. But truthfully, it’s not. Some things are simply our business and no one else’s.

In this article, I’ll share with you the 10 things you don’t owe anyone an explanation for. Because at the end of the day, your life is yours to live. Not someone else’s to dictate.

Let’s dive in. 

1) Your life goals

Psychology tells us that our personal aspirations and dreams are just that – personal.

Sometimes, we find ourselves in a position where we feel like we have to explain our life goals to others. Whether it’s our career path, our academic pursuits, or personal hobbies, we often feel the need to justify why we want what we want.

But here’s the thing. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for your ambitions.

Your life goals are a reflection of who you are and what you value. They’re about your passions, your dreams, and your vision for your future. And these aren’t things you should have to justify to anyone.

When someone asks you why you’re pursuing a certain goal, remember that you don’t owe them an explanation. Your aspirations are yours alone, and they’re valid simply because they matter to you.

2) Your relationship status

Ah, the relationship question. As a single person, I’m often asked why I’m not in a relationship or when I plan to “settle down”.

It’s as if being single is something that needs to be explained or justified. But guess what? It doesn’t.

Whether you’re single, dating, married, or somewhere in between, your relationship status is your own business. According to psychology, it’s completely normal and healthy to choose the relationship status that suits you best at any given time.

For instance, I choose to be single because I enjoy the freedom and independence it gives me right now. It allows me to focus on my career and personal growth, and that’s what works for me.

But the thing is, I don’t owe anyone an explanation for that. My relationship status is my choice and mine alone. And the same goes for you.

You don’t need to explain or justify your relationship status to anyone. It’s your life, live it how you want.

3) Your dietary choices

Let’s talk about food. We all have different food preferences, allergies, and dietary restrictions. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, or a meat-lover, your dietary choices are personal.

Did you know that in the United States, 3.3% of adults are vegetarian and 0.5% are vegan? Yet, they often face scrutiny and questions about their diet that can feel intrusive or judgmental.

Your dietary choices can be based on health reasons, ethical beliefs, or simply personal preference. But whatever the reason, it’s your choice and you don’t owe anyone an explanation for what you put on your plate.

When someone questions your food choices, remember that your diet is a personal matter. You have the right to eat what makes you feel good without having to justify it to anyone else.

4) Your appearance

We all have a unique style and way of presenting ourselves to the world. For some, it’s a form of self-expression. For others, it’s just about feeling comfortable.

Whether you like to dress up or prefer a more casual look, whether you choose to wear makeup or go natural, your appearance is a personal choice.

Unfortunately, society often puts pressure on us to look a certain way. But remember this: you don’t owe anyone an explanation for your appearance.

Your style, your body, your look – they’re yours to own and control. As long as you’re happy and comfortable with how you look, that’s all that matters. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for your appearance. So keep rocking your style, your way!

5) Your past

We all have a history. Some memories might be beautiful, others might be painful. But each experience, good or bad, contributes to who we are today.

There’s a common belief that we should openly share our past with others. But the truth is, your past is personal and you don’t owe anyone an explanation for it.

Whether it’s a past relationship, a previous job, or an old habit, you have the right to keep your history to yourself if you choose to do so.

Your past has helped shape you into the person you are today. But it doesn’t define you. You’re not obligated to share or explain it unless you’re comfortable doing so. Your past is yours, and yours alone.

6) Your emotions

Emotions are a powerful part of our human experience. They make us laugh, cry, get angry, feel joy, and experience a whole range of feelings. They’re what make us human.

However, there’s often a misconception that we should always be in control of our emotions or that we need to justify why we feel a certain way. But the truth is, you don’t owe anyone an explanation for your emotions.

Feeling sad? That’s okay. Feeling elated for no apparent reason? That’s okay too. Our emotions can be complex and sometimes unpredictable. And that’s perfectly normal.

It’s okay to feel your feelings without having to explain them to others. Your emotions are your own personal experience and you don’t have to justify them to anyone else.

7) Your need for alone time

I’m an introvert by nature. I love spending time with my friends and family, but there are times when I just need to be alone.

Sometimes, people misinterpret this. They think I’m upset or antisocial. But the truth is, I simply value my solitude. It’s a time for me to recharge, to reflect, and to simply be with my thoughts.

If you’re like me and you value your alone time, you don’t owe anyone an explanation for it. Everyone has different needs when it comes to socializing and solitude, and it’s important to respect that.

Whether you’re an introvert who needs regular alone time, or an extrovert who thrives on social interaction, it’s your choice. Your need for solitude or socializing is personal and you don’t have to justify it to anyone else.

8) Your decision to say no

Saying ‘no’ can sometimes feel like you’re letting someone down. But it’s important to remember that setting boundaries is a healthy part of maintaining relationships and taking care of your own needs.

Whether it’s turning down an invitation, opting out of a task, or simply declining something you’re not comfortable with, saying ‘no’ is a personal decision.

In fact, psychology suggests that people who can comfortably say ‘no’ when needed, tend to have healthier relationships and higher self-esteem.

It’s your right to set boundaries and protect your own time and energy. Saying ‘no’ is not a negative thing, it’s a sign of self-respect.

9) Your spiritual beliefs

Spirituality is a deeply personal matter. For some, it provides a sense of purpose and understanding. For others, it’s a source of comfort and peace.

Whether you follow a certain religion, are agnostic, atheist, or have your own set of spiritual beliefs, these are personal choices that you don’t owe an explanation for.

In a world where spiritual beliefs can vary greatly, it’s important to respect everyone’s individual choices. Your spiritual journey is unique to you and it’s not something you should have to justify to anyone else.

Your spiritual beliefs are yours alone. They’re a part of who you are and you don’t owe anyone an explanation for them.

10) Your self-love and self-worth

Perhaps the most significant thing you don’t owe an explanation for is your self-love and self-worth.

We all have a different journey to self-acceptance and self-love. For some, it’s a lifelong journey. For others, it’s a constant work in progress. But no matter where you are on your journey, your self-love and self-worth are yours alone.

You don’t owe anyone an explanation for why you love yourself, why you’re proud of who you are, or why you value yourself. These feelings are personal and sacred.

You are enough, just as you are. You deserve love, respect, and acceptance, both from others and yourself. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for that.

Final thoughts: The power of personal autonomy

At the heart of these ten aspects of life that you don’t owe anyone an explanation for lies one powerful psychological concept: personal autonomy.

Personal autonomy, the capacity to make an informed, uncoerced decision for oneself, is a fundamental human right. It’s a cornerstone for self-esteem and a crucial element in maintaining mental health.

When we embrace our personal autonomy, we empower ourselves. We learn to make decisions based on our own values and principles, rather than feeling swayed or pressured by external influences.

Remember this: You are the author of your own story. Your decisions, your emotions, your beliefs, and your values are yours alone. They’re a part of who you are and you don’t owe anyone an explanation for them.

As you navigate through the complexities of life, may you always remember and uphold your personal autonomy. Because at the end of the day, the only person who needs to understand your choices is you.

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Picture of Lachlan Brown

Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the editor of Ideapod and founder of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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