THE BLOG
01/13/2014 11:59 am ET Updated Mar 15, 2014

It's Not an Excuse, It's a Reason

It's my time of the month...

Guys aren't good listeners...

Women are just emotional...

I have ADD...

I'm tired and stressed from work...

These are all reasons that may explain why you or someone in your life has done something hurtful, neglectful, rude or bad to someone else. I hear people throwing these logical (and stereotypical) reasons around all the time.

Upset with your guy for not listening to you when you talk? Eh, guys just don't listen. Upset with your gal pal for being a total b*tch to you the other day? Eh, it's probably just her time of the month. But I think most of you would agree with me that it doesn't make it okay.

All it does is explain the situation. Being drunk doesn't make drunk driving accidents okay... it just explains why it happened. Being stressed about work doesn't make it okay to lash out on your friends or significant others. Being on your period doesn't give you free reign to be a total nightmare to everyone around you.

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There is no free pass for treating people poorly.

When people tell me that's just the way guys/girls are, I say rise above it. We're not animals. Sure, our biology has instinct built into it. We're wired a certain way based on our heritage and our sex... but we're also not cave people anymore. We have the ability to rise above those wirings and make changes. We're not animals. We're intelligent and capable human beings.

If it's hurtful to others that you don't listen well, either stop talking with them or practice being a better listener. Don't just brush it off that you're wired that way. If you're snappish, mean and highly emotional on your period, don't hang out with people. Find ways to sooth yourself, calm down, manage pain and work through it. Don't just excuse it and expect others to accept it. If you're tired and stressed all the time, find a new job, start mediating or take a yoga class. Do something to reduce your stress.

It's about personal responsibility people.

Maybe you won't realize that you can't go three hours without eating and being cranky until you do, but learn from it. Keep a snack with you or eat accordingly depending on your schedule and who you're meeting. Maybe you won't realize you have terrible ADD until your friends or family complains about how you act. You're not a victim of circumstance, find ways to curb it with diet or exercise.

Blaming your actions on something like alcohol, personality type, sex or another outside circumstance is the easy way out. Because then it's not on you when you treat someone poorly or make a mistake. But wouldn't you rather treat people well, be fully engaged, feel happy and joyful, and not do either of those things?

All you have to do is assess the situation and look for solutions. It's not about being perfect, it's about taking responsibility for your self and actions and working to become the best person you can be. For yourself most importantly, but for those around you as well.

Take Action Now!

Think of a time you or someone you know has excused their behavior because of something else. How is this something else within their control? If they have a condition, is there any research available on how to manage it? If it's hormonal, are there times you or they should probably stay home? And if it's based on sex, you and I both know there are plenty of books out there that address it.

Stephenie Zamora is the founder of www.stepheniezamora.com, a full-service, life-purpose development, design and branding boutique. Here she merges the worlds of personal development and branding to help young women build passion-based businesses. Click here to download her free guide, "The Unexpected Trick to Transforming Your Life With ONE Single Question."

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