Is justifying bad?

Is justifying bad?

Self-justification has both advantages and disadvantages. It's not always a terrible thing in and of itself. But, like quicksand, unthinking self-justification may drag us deeper into calamity. It prevents us from even seeing our mistakes, let alone correcting them. Over time, this can have devastating effects on our character.

Sometimes we need to be able to justify our actions or avoid punishment for them. This is where self-justification can be useful. If you know you'll be punished for something, then it isn't self-justification, it's self-protection. The only time self-protection becomes a problem is when it leads us to ignore some truth about ourselves or our situation.

For example, if I know I'll get in trouble at work tomorrow, then it's better for me to steal money from the company than to spend it on drugs. Self-protection here has led me to do something wrong (stealing) but has also kept me from doing something much worse (taking drugs).

The opposite of self-protection is self-justification. Self-justification is when you try to convince yourself that you're okay with something you've done. It may not be your intention but this kind of thinking will almost always lead to further wrongdoing.

Why do we try to justify our actions?

Cognitive dissonance is a psychology idea that drives us to explain our behaviors regardless of their truth. Cognitive dissonance, as proposed by psychologist Leon Festinger, is based on our need for internal consistency. Psychologists would never be involved in harmful policies. Therefore, they must be doing something wrong! According to this logic, everyone else is misbehaving except for the scientists -- so why should they be punished for behaving according to their nature? The solution is easy: Just change how people perceive events so that reality fits with your behavior.

People tend to rationalize their actions to make themselves feel better about them. This is normal and even necessary to some extent. We need to understand why we did what we did so that we can avoid it next time. However, if you use this method for too long, it becomes a problem. When this happens, we are left with an explanation but no longer a solution. Worse yet, deep down we know that what we're doing is wrong but we just can't bring ourselves to stop.

There are two ways out of this dilemma. First, you can admit that you were wrong and fix the situation. For example, if you realize that you're using cognitive dissonance to explain away bad behavior, then you should stop doing this. The other option is to deny that you were ever wrong. It's possible to keep on rationalizing even after you've admitted that you have a problem.

Is it bad to rationalize?

Individuals who rationalize an occurrence may be able to retain their self-esteem or escape shame for what they have done wrong. In many circumstances, rationalization is harmless; nonetheless, continual self-deception, in which a person constantly finds explanations for bad conduct, may be hazardous. Rationalization can also be used by therapists to explain undesirable behaviors as necessary functions for treatment.

People who rationalize make excuses for their actions or failures to act. They do this by thinking up reasons why what they did was okay. For example, a person who hits another person with his/her fist might say something like this: "He/she provoked me first." The rationalizer believes this excuse will prevent him/her from being punished. However, it is still assault and violates social norms.

Rationalization is a common mental process that we all use to make sense of the world. We do it when things happen that are unexpected or difficult to understand. We need to be able to do this so we don't feel crazy or stupid when something unusual happens. It is normal to wonder what really happened in a situation where someone was acting strangely or aggressively. It is also normal to come up with explanations for why someone did what they did.

However, if you are using too many different stories to explain what happened, this shows that you are hiding something.

What does the habit of moral justification do?

Moral justification leads individuals to tell themselves, "I truly did it for her own benefit," which justifies my lie. "People do not generally engage in damaging behaviour until they have justified to themselves the morality of their activities," Bandura argues. "Without such self-justification, we would have no reason to act."

Moral justification also gives us an excuse to repeat harmful actions. If I know that what I'm doing is wrong, but I do it anyway, then I have found a way around the negative consequences of my action. This means that I can keep on doing what is bad for me without suffering any serious consequences.

In addition to this, moral justification allows me to feel better about myself. If I do something good, I want to get credit for it, and telling myself that what I did was right makes me feel good about myself. This goes hand in hand with feeling proud of yourself, which has been shown to make you more successful at keeping unhealthy habits alive.

Last, but not least, moral justification gives us a reason to blame others for our mistakes. If you want to avoid punishment, you need to find someone else to blame for your actions. And if you believe that what you do is correct, then telling yourself that someone made you do it prevents you from taking responsibility for your actions.

Do you have to justify your actions to people?

There will always be those who have something to say about our attitude and behavior. This may eat away at our emotions and the way we love ourselves over time. David William, a psychologist and blogger, believes that we should not be required to provide answers after performing several sociological research. We don't need to justify ourselves. However, he says that if we are asked by others why we acted as we did, it is acceptable to give an explanation.

He also mentions that there are two ways of looking at things: one is called "justifying" and the other "explaining". Justifying means giving reasons for our actions; explaining them means finding out how they came about. Some people only know how to explain their actions rather than justify them. This does not mean that they are guilty; it is just that they want to know more about what happened before acting on it.

People use explanations to make sense of what happens around them. If someone asks you why you acted as you did, simply tell them what happened and leave it at that. Do not worry about explaining further unless others ask you to do so. Otherwise, stay silent.

Have you ever heard the saying "don't bite off more than you can chew"? It means that you should not try to do too much in one go. Take one step at a time and you will be able to achieve more.

We all like to know why things happen the way they do.

About Article Author

Jean Crockett

Jean Crockett is a licensed psychologist who has been working in the field for over 15 years. She has experience working with all types of people in all types of environments. She specializes in both individual therapy as well as group therapy settings. She has helped clients with issues such as anxiety, depression, relationship issues, and addictions of all kinds.

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