Here’s a wonderful brief article on excuse making (Psychology Today, August 2014, p. 22--doesn't seem to be online yet), a topic covered in the Interpersonal Communication Book and Interpersonal Messages by Amy Nordrum. Among the conclusions are these: (1)   Excuses work; they can often deflect/stave off/lessen retaliation. (2)    Too frequent excuses--such as self-handicapping excuses--will lead to a loss of faith. (3)  Effective excuses accomplish two goals: (a) they accept responsibility and offer assurances that this will not happen again and (b) they show empathy for the difficulties they caused.

1 comment:

Anita Clyne said...

Who are we to judge the inner being of one's motive? When in essence, what we may consider as an excuse, one may feel equally justified and valuable. Currently, I am a student at Drury University where I am taking a Communication and Ethics class. In our textbook, "Ethics in Human Communication," Sixth Edition,we are advised on page 268 that "ethical communication is not simply a series of careful and reflective decisions, instance by instance, to communicate in ethically responsible ways. Deliberate application of ethical rules sometimes is not possible. Pressure may be so great or a deadline so near for a decision that there is not adequate time for careful deliberation." Would it be ignorant to suggest that our fast-paced, technologically savvy world has forced more people into making excuses? Technology came to save us from the insanity of meeting deadlines. Yet, to a degree it has come to only enslave us to a new, heavier load of deadlines which in turn leads to more excuses.