Why & How to stop over-explaining

Following on from my post Are you a chronic over-explainer? , I now want to address why & how to actually stop over-explaining.


As I mentioned in my previous post, many individuals who suffer from low self-esteem or people-pleasing, have an almost compulsive need to over-explain. Others do it, because they have been misunderstood many times in the past when talking.

Using more words should not be a go-to for clarity. It is better to try and use the right words the first time instead of all the words in a stream-of-consciousness style.

Being nervous of what others think of you, will make it hard for you to make simple statements about things you like or don’t like. For example, a new friend of yours who has cats may ask you if you like cats. Instead of your response being ”I don’t really like them” you end up saying ” I am not too fond of cats because I don’t like that they are selfish, although I am not saying that your cats are selfish, I just mean that I prefer dogs to cats because they are more communicative” etc……

It is important to remember that when you over-explain to others, you may at times make them feel stupid. They might think that you are over-explaining things because you are sure they just ‘dont get it’! Over-explaining also makes you look stressed, because you aren’t able to get to your point simply. This will then end up stressing your listener out. It may also make others think you are confused, which will then create confusion in them and eventually lead to even more over-explaining.

The key to stop over-explaining is to just tell yourself ”It is not that important”. If others think of you in a negative way after you state ‘a dislike’ or a particular way of doing things, then that reflects on them, not you.

Another good way to stop it is to try and be precise in the way you communicate. Try and limit your use of words by practicing beforehand (if for example you need to explain things to an intern at work or to someone you have assigned work to).

Thirdly, try and be mindful about whether you are over-thinking. If you are a worrier or an over-thinker, it will come naturally to you to want to over-explain. If you are thinking ”I hope they get what I am saying. I hope they don’t think I am selfish, cruel, stupid etc”. Try and let go of the worries by telling yourself ”So what if they think I am selfish? or ”so what if they get it wrong?”.

By taking time to try and listen more to what the other person is saying, this also helps you to avoid over-explaining, especially if you see that the other person completely ‘gets’ where you are coming from.

Lastly, ask yourself this when explaining ”Am I explaining or am I talking for my own benefit?” If it is the latter, then you are over-explaining!

Thanks for reading

If you like this post, then please like, comment or share.

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.


Author: Courage Coaching

I provide empowerment, empathy & support. I specialise in dealing with dysfunctional relationships, particularly narcissistic abuse & encouraging self-compassion.

12 thoughts on “Why & How to stop over-explaining”

  1. OMG I love your blog. You speak to me – I know you speak to all who experiences the issues you bring up, but it’s so relevant to me and my life that I take a lot from it.
    I over-explain EVERYTHING..almost to the point it annoys people. So, I loved reading this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My manager has told me that I do this. He says I over-explain after he’s corrected me on something. He says there are only two reasons you would do this: 1. you are making excuses for your mistake, or 2. you want the other person to know you’re not stupid. I’m not making excuses. I am really trying hard to show everyone I can do this job (I’ve only been here 10 months). Why does he keep criticizing me for this? I’m having a conversation. Am I not supposed to ever explain my thought process?


    1. Sounds like you really want your manager to know you can do the job and that you will improve with time..Why don’t you ask him directly if he is maybe not happy with your progress so far? It might give you some answers. xx


  3. Thank you for this! I have a pretty good friend at work and I was just saying to another employee how things used to be at my other company policy-wise and he started laughing and saying how I “spin a good yarn” and “embellish to tell a good story”. I got defensive, explained that it was all accurate. Now I’m red faced from the interaction and really don’t want to go to lunch with him like I normally do. He realizes I got bristly, keeps trying to lighten the mood and I’m left pissed off/embarrassed and don’t want to be this person. It makes me never want to speak again, lol. TGIF!

    Liked by 1 person

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