Those of us affected by ADHD find ourselves often explaining why we are late or didn’t get something done. We believe if we just explain what happened (sometimes even with a little prevarication) everything will be OK.

But here’s the deal, our excuses are not really to make the person we let down feel better. Instead, the excuses are to make us feel better. What I challenge my clients to do is to let go of the excuses and instead, apologize, suggest what remedial action you plan to take if there is one and then move on.

When we are late, we often spend time explaining why we were late. All we are doing is making ourselves even later to get to whatever task we were late arriving at.

When you don’t get something done on time, apologize then either say what you are going to do about it or ask the other person what they would like you to do about it if you are unsure. Leave the long excuses behind. People get tired of hearing our explanations. Further, they often aren’t hearing our explanations, to them, they are hearing excuses.

Get real with yourself, realize the long excuses are for you to feel better and to avoid repercussions. I believe people start to feel fatigued interacting with us if all they feel they are receiving are explanations/excuses. The more real you get with yourself about what and why your are excusing yourself, the easier it will be to quit. But, I must warn you that it will always be a work in progress.

I was the explainer/excuser queen until I really began to understand how I was being perceived. I try now to be real, apologize when I blow it and then try to do what I can to limit the fallout. I still catch myself starting to over-explain. We are all works in progress regarding this.

One way to begin minimizing our use of excuses is to catch ourselves when we are trying to think of good explanations as we approach a situation. Instead, approach the situation with clarity and reality. What happened and how you are going to fix it. Then move on.