Stop Overexplaining Yourself

The Scoop 

  • Women tend to over explain themselves significantly more than men. Why?
  • Over explaining yourself does the exact opposite of what you think it does. It reduces credibility. It makes you seem unsure and unconfident. You will not be taken as seriously. 
  • Learn how to change your habit of over explaining and speak assertively. It starts with a psychological change. 
  • Feel confident about saying what you need to concisely. 


Links & Currently Reading

You Do You: How to be Who You Are and Use What You’ve Got to Get What You Want by Sarah knight



**This is a direct transcription of the podcast and is not meant to read perfectly. 

Hi everybody and welcome to another episode of Better with Daffnee. I am talking today about over explaining ourselves. It’s very exciting. I know I thought that this one really went hand-in-hand with the most recent episode on accepting compliments, which I also thought was not that exciting but a lot of you really liked it and message me about it. So maybe this one will be the same.


So I want to talk about this because like most of the other topics that we cover I do it. So this is just something that I do regularly. I hate it. I hate that I do it. It doesn’t benefit me. It sucks. And from what I know of my friends and some of the people that I work with this is apparently very common. And so we’re going to talk about on here. So I think that women tend to do this probably


More regularly than men in fact. I read that in a book once I do think men do it too. But I think that women for similar reasons, you know for maybe why we don’t accept compliments as probably it’s probably the same along the same lines to you know, I guess we should just start with like what I actually mean by that which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It’s very self-explanatory. So over explaining ourselves is pretty much providing way more information and way more context


East and trying to almost convince people of our point rather than just stating what we need to State and I think it happens in all settings. It can happen in your work life. It can happen in your relationships. I think you can happen with your families. I think it even can happen with your children when they’re old enough and and ultimately what we’re doing is really just rather than saying what needs to be said, which is almost always enough we over explain and we over offer detail and it’s like we got to give more and more and myself.


A PowerPoint presentation and while you’re while you’re at it and maybe some maybe a maybe some sticky notes. I don’t know. It’s like it’s like rather than just saying what needs to be said would usually will convey your point. It’s like we just offer so much more and in thinking about why I do it at least I realized that it’s very similar to agree to the reasons why I don’t accept compliments very well, which is that I tend to feel like I either have not not deserving of the compliment or because I have to be humble and so for me again, I feel like it’s I don’t necessarily always know or believe that what I’m saying is going to be received the way that I want it to be received. I don’t know if I’m going to be taken seriously enough. I don’t know if I’m going to explain myself. Well, I don’t know if the person on the receiving end is going to like what I have to say. And so I find myself over explaining I find myself providing way more information than I need to and I


In some cases, you know, I think over-explaining never really is a good thing in some situations. Will you have to provide more information sure, but then you’re just providing more information. You’re still you still shouldn’t over explain it like over-explaining is never a good thing. So in some situations when you have to give more detail or maybe give more back story or give more reasons why or whatever it might be like, that’s fine. You’re still just saying what you need to say to make your point and you really should never do more than that. And of course I find myself doing this really regularly in work. So whether it’s in emails or on meetings and you know, I’m speaking with my team or my clients or even the team’s of my clients and instead of just kind of saying the things that I know to be true or you know the plan or whatever it is that we’re talking about. I find myself giving win more information that than anyone needs to hear or know and I just I really want to stop because I realized as well what I think it does that works against me and made me against you if you do it, is that it actually


Dilute the whole point of what I’m trying to say. So it actually makes it less powerful. Like it makes it less important. It makes it feel less valuable. I think that when you over explain yourself, I think that people tend to trust you less because there is a lack of confidence, right? So if you are really confident in what you’re saying and offering you tend to just say what needs to be said, but if you are just over offering then people are probably skeptical if you actually believe what you’re saying.


So in an effort to really get someone to believe what I’m saying, I’m actually probably doing the literal opposite which is stupid. So on that note, I think people I mean your credibility in general I think is different a little bit. And again, I just think that you tend to not be taken quite as seriously if you’re not really succinct and to your point and really confident about what you’re saying. So in an effort to do one thing you’re probably doing the opposite and I just feel like that’s we need to stop doing that as business people as


People as mom’s as wives and husbands and whatever it’s just it doesn’t doesn’t really make sense. And again I this is something that I just I do regularly, so I’m making an effort to do it less because it does I think impact, you know, it impacts my work and impacts my personal life and I feel like when I realize I’ve done it which is pretty much every time I definitely notice after the fact that I’ve done that I feel so bad about it like to have it. Why did I go on for five?


Minutes it could have been said into right and like why did I have to it’s like all these just to fires and all these like supporting arguments like I’m at trial or something and it’s just so silly because the truth is that I mean most of the time at least I try to only say things that I know to be true right or like if I’m making a case for something it’s because I know about it. I it’s my expertise or it’s what I know to be true or whatever that might be. I’m not just speaking out of my ass. And so it’s like why am I why am I doing that? You know, I think that I definitely


Lee think about the receiving end like are they going to take me seriously a lot of times at least in my business I interact with people who are older than me and I want them to take me seriously. Obviously, I don’t want them to consider that like because I’m younger I might not be as credible and I do I tend to work with a lot of men and I don’t necessarily want to be taken less seriously because I’m a woman and so these things definitely obviously are weighing on me, which is partially I think what contributes to over-explaining


I also feel like depending on your personality and I again can say this about myself as like I’m I’m just always offering like I’m always giving I’m always offering I’m always I’m always asking how I can help and what I can do and I think in some regards it’s a good quality. I like that about myself but I think in others in other situations, it definitely works against me. Like I don’t if I know that I need to say point a b and c and that’s it. It doesn’t benefit anybody to also make point x y and z like it just doesn’t


Make any sense and it’s not needed. And so again, it just doesn’t really accomplish what it is that you’re trying to accomplish. So with all of that being said again, maybe you guys experienced some of this in your work life or in your personal life. I think that one instance that I see it regularly at least for myself and this is actually a little exercise that you could do as well is I will find myself saying it like in an email and using a lot of like justifying words or qualifying words. So as an example say well, I just wanted to do this because of this but like


Like I don’t need to use the word just like just take just out. So I want to do this because not I just want to do this because because what the what does that word even doing in there? It’s almost just like but please listen to me, but please listen to what I’m saying. And it’s just no it’s just less powerful or using the word only in this context. So saying something like well, I was only going to do this because of this or I only wanted to do this so that I could do this and it’s like, well, what do you mean like I’m not in


Heard and asking permission for something. I’m doing my job. So take it out. Like delete only another one is also just kind of on the topic of writing emails that I think get your point across better using the word. I think right. So like I’ll start a sentence with something like well, I think it would be a really good idea blah blah blah. Well, that’s great. But they pay me to know not to think so I will actually write out my entire email and then I’ll go back and I’ll relook at the email what I’ve written and delete all of those types of words and


and phrases that diminish my point and sometimes I mean, I’ve made more of a habit of this which is actually something I really enjoy doing now because I feel like I’m bettering myself every time I delete those words, but it’s actually kind of alarming how much of that I use and that I’ve been able to build the business that I have and the clients that I have just kind of lacking a little bit of that confidence and you know, you might find that you use these words to and I think that we also sometimes confuse respecting


A conversation or respecting a person with softening our words and that’s also something that I think Society has taught us to do in generalize women, by the way. I think that we’re not supposed to be like loud or abrasive or outspoken, which is fucking stupid by the way and not real like actually makes no sense. We’re not born more quiet than a male. That’s isn’t that’s not how it works. So, you know, I think at least for me that is totally something that I have like ingrained in.


Me and I have to unlearn which is like make sure you’re not too aggressive and like make sure doesn’t sound like you’re you know being too in someone’s face or too harsh and it’s like I’m not being harsh by being confident and those things shouldn’t be confused with each other. You know, I’m being confident because this is literally my job. I know how to do this. Well, so I’m going to just say what I need to say. So I also would can you know encourage you guys to think about when you’re speaking with somebody or when you’re writing an email or writing a proposal or whatever it is that you’re doing.


Do not get caught up in thinking that you are maybe just being too intense or that you have to use those types of words in order to you know sound like you’re playing nice because those debts not the same thing. I mean literally that’s not the same thing and I can guarantee you that some of your male counterparts or your people in leadership are not thinking about that. They’re not doing that. So I think if we want to elevate how we communicate and really, you know, showcase our confidence in what we know how to do


Do I think it’s necessary to kind of practice some of these things and trying to eliminate some of those things that lesson what we’ve worked really hard to know and I find that that’s really helpful for me. And so yeah, I would you know, I think again I’ve been doing this for like six months now and I feel like I still am constantly deleting stuff for my emails and with my team. I also will read some of their comments and some of the things that they’re writing and I will give them feedback. It’s just like kind of a coaching thing, you know, like I want them to also


Juvenile say like you could have said everything you just said and half the amount of words or sentences, you know, and it’s and I remind them like, you know, what you’re talking about. You literally are so good at what you do, you know better than the client and also I think just as another aside I think sometimes we think that the person on the receiving end is going to judge us like are they gonna judge it? So they’re going to question is are they sure. They not sure about us I would argue that you’re inviting them to do that more if you don’t speak to them with confidence.


So if you are using those qualifying words, if you are over explaining and giving way more information than you need to they probably are more likely to think of you in that way that you don’t want to be thought of then if you were to just be really confident and kind of speak clearly and directly and succinctly so that’s it. That’s the whole jam on over-explaining and I know this is a short one, but I thought it was important to share. So if you guys over-explain don’t do it anymore because it’s so easy to just stop so until next time.


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