The Dog and Technology

“The dog ate my homework.” used to be the classic example of frequently used lame excuses. This expression was cited by chil-dren who were unaware of how improbable it was. It was so improbable that no one be-lieved it for a minute. This statement assumes that others are gullible and easily deceived.

Now-a-days, people blame technology either their computers or cell phones for lapses in expected and acceptable behavior. No doubt, you have heard the familiar saying, “To err is human but to really mess up requires a computer.”

Why do humans need excuses? They help to take the pressure off the situation and off the individual.

An excuse is an attempt to lessen the blame attached to your behavior. It is an at-tempt to explain, defend or justify your behavior, usually actions that you are not proud of. It is an attempt to justify actions that are not really justifiable. It is an apology of sorts and a balm to make your lapse less offensive. It is an attempt to obtain a pardon and an exemption from the consequences of your actions.

The excuse does not have to be believed to be accepted. The excuse mollifies the other party involved even if it is doubted by that person. Excuses are an important part of business and social interactions.

People who do not make excuses for certain behaviors are viewed as rude and arrogant. They are considered insensitive and self-absorbed. They are disliked and often avoided by others or even fired. They are labeled as selfish and unreliable.

As a cultural courtesy make you excuses viable and believable and try not to insult the intelligence of the offended individual. Be sincere. Use an appropriate tone of voice. Be genuine. Most importantly, change things in your lifestyle and routine so that you can eliminate the need for ex-cuses. Multiple excuses over time or on a daily basis indicate a failure to cope and an inability to perform in an adult and respon-sible manner.

Patricia Frank is a Licensed Psychotherapist. She can be reached at 305-788-4864,

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