Please Stop Excusing Bad Behaviour With “This Is Just How I Am”

How many times have you heard someone try to justify their behavior by saying “That’s just how I am”? It has become a rationalization for selfish tendencies and arrogant attitudes. With the recent trends of self-love and acceptance, people are even more mistakenly accepting their personality flaws and saying they’re “owning who they are.” The problem with this is that there are some behaviors which we shouldn’t and can’t excuse. 

Of course, we’re not talking about minor flaws or flaws you can’t control like being bad at math, or having a ‘resting bitch face’. This is a conversation about people who only ever want to talk about themselves or those who never treat anyone else with respect. It’s about people who embrace even the worst of themselves, often at the detriment to those around them. 

(Being Religious Doesn’t Make You A Better Person)

The thing is, this doesn’t always manifest in the extreme. It’s easy to spot at its worst: choosing friends based on connections and saying it’s ‘smart business’, or continuously criticizing and bringing friends down to make yourself feel better. But there is a myriad of smaller actions that hint towards this mindset that’s much harder to detect and call out. It’s things like treating service workers poorly, spreading gossip maliciously, or being too busy to listen to a friend rant. 

Small acts like this are often symptomatic of bigger character flaws. They might be representative of disregard for others or an inflated sense of self-worth. And these are just ideas off the top of my head, there is obviously a wide range of other harmful attitudes that exist.

And they become most damaging when ignored and left to fester. So let’s stop throwing around “That’s just how I am, take it or leave it” as if it actually means anything. Waving criticism away is the same as actively doing harm. 

(People can unlearn the toxic things they used to believe)

Bad behavior and beliefs can be changed. We just have to make the first step of figuring out which parts of us need to be developed. It’s our responsibility to recognize our toxic traits, to notice if we are harming others. And it is entirely possible to grow and mature, to change ourselves for the better. 

I believe it is human nature to be flawed. But part of being flawed is the ability to improve. That means our flaws don’t have to define us, as long as we make the effort to be better. 

What’s your take on this? 

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