When I hear people justifying their actions, my body goes into shock – my stomach turns, my eyes twitch, and I start to pace uncontrollably. Not really, but my blood boils and turns my face beat red. I am not sure of the science of it, but I think it is purely mental. For whatever reason, and I do not think I am alone, I view people justifying their behavior as people more concerned about how they look in a situation, rather than the state of the situation. It makes me question their motives and integrity. I judge them as being selfish and not focused on the betterment of our relationship.
On the other hand, when I can look at what was done, and someone shares why they did what they did in effort to have me understand why, not focused on how they look, my trust in the person grows. I do not need to figure out if there are ulterior motives or other unseen issues for me to deal with. I am able to gain understanding, get back on the same page, and move forward, with less effort.
In business, life, health, most everything, items providing better results with less effort are highly valued.
Justified or justifying is a critical juncture towards building a relationship. Improving our approach to challenges by seeking to be understood rather than trying to prove we are right goes a long way in strengthening relationships.