Posted in self-improvement

Defending Your Heart through Rationalization


Rationalization – dealing with disappointment, fury, or hurt feelings over an unbearable situation by covering them with convoluted, self-serving, and often seemingly logical excuses.

We rationalize in 3 main scenarios:

  1. When something has been done to us that we cannot bring ourselves to confront.
  2. When we have done something to ourselves that is too embarrassing or tough to accept.
  3. When we have done something to others that we can’t face taking responsibility for.

Exercise: For one week keep a list of all the excuses we make in a day. Then review the list and look to see what areas of we don’t want to confront. What are the consequences if we don’t confront them, and what are the consequences if we do confront them?

LIE – Listen, Interrupt, and Experience

Listen – Pay attention to any common rationalization phrases we use such as

  •  I don’t care.
  •  It’s no big deal.
  •  I didn’t want it anyway.
  •  It’s not my fault.
  •  It has nothing to do with me.

Interrupt – When we hear ourselves saying these statements, interrupt them in mid-think and change them.

  •  I do care.
  •  It is a big deal.
  •  I did want it.
  •  I screwed up.
  •  It has everything to do with me.

Experience – Face reactions when we feel loss or embarrassment.

Using rationalization is unsatisfying and is a strategy for knocking down our hopes and dreams. Rationalization is a way of moving on without realizing what we are moving on from without considering what we are losing. Theses rationalizations shield our heart from our real desires.

Cite: Kagan, M. and Einbund, N. Defenders of the Heart. (2008). Carlsbad, Ca. Hay House, Inc.



Dr. Sheila Embry is a govie, author, pracademician, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend who loves to read, write, think, and laugh. Many of her blog postings are summaries or excerpts of books that she read and wants to share to encourage others. An author with more than 25 years experience within the legislative and executive branches of the U. S. federal government holding 3 accredited degrees: Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership, Master of Arts in Human Resources Development, and Baccalaureate of Business Administration, she believes in continuing learning both on and off the job. She has been recognized with multiple professional and writing awards for her peer-reviewed, publications. Click the bibliography page above for a listing of all the publications.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s