Excuses Are Just Going to Hurt You

One thing I love about my job is that I get to talk and interact with people all day. Though it’s a part of my job, I never like discussing things like coming up with a plan to quit smoking. When I had a young lady in my chair the other day, who was an obvious smoker, I opened my ”why are you smoking and how can I help you quit” conversation.

I hear a lot of excuses in my job. Why people don’t floss. Why people haven’t been to the dentist in ‘x’ amount of years. Why someone doesn’t want fluoride. I’m used to excuses and for the most part, accept my patients choices but this lady gave me a mother of an excuse that made me think in a much broader sense.

The Conversation

Me: How much are you currently smoking?

Her: Almost a pack per day.

Me: That’s a lot of smoking. Have you considered quitting?

Her (and I quote): No. I can’t afford to quit smoking. It’s too expensive.

Me: What? I mean please explain…

Her: I’m on a fixed income and can’t afford to buy the patch or prescription to help me quite. That stuff isn’t cheap!

Me, staring dumbfounded and silent, say nothing.

This was hands down the most far fetched excuse I’ve ever heard. What’s worse is that this woman tells herself this every day. Maybe she has not heard about vaping where you can get big savings – everybody is doing the switch now (Check out http://www.davincivaporizer.com/)

”Good Debt”

The mind is powerful. If you start telling yourself something often enough, you will start believing it. I used to live in a big excuse. I had convinced myself that everyone had debt and that school debt was ”good debt” so I shouldn’t worry about it. I used to tell myself that I was already so far in debt, that it was ok to spend that $100…

As you know, it wasn’t until last year that I finally faced our debts and became pro-active about paying them off. There was no more ”good debt” in our vocabulary and we wanted it gone. All gone! We couldn’t live lying to ourselves and making excuses for our laziness anymore. We needed to get off our butts and come up with a plan to get out of debt.

I deal with other people’s excuses everyday. It reminds me to keep myself accountable to not make excuses for myself for it will only harm me in the long run.

What excuses are/were you bad for making?


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  1. Eeek. I don’t floss, and definitely don’t go to the dentist often enough.

    That smoker’s excuse had me gobsmacked. Seriously??

  2. First, gobsmacked is an awesome word. Second, I made a lot of excuses in school to not try and find extra money. I didn’t work a part time job, because I told myself I had no time (I really don’t think I did, but I could’ve made it work), I didn’t apply for scholarships, because it was too much work, etc. As a result I accumulated more debt than I should’ve. Luckily, I had a second chance, and got a chunk of my loans forgiven down to $26k (I ended uni with $40k+ owing)

  3. she really said that? how stupid can you be if you believe that smoking is cheaper than non-smoking? it must be exhausting sometimes, being in your position and listening to all the silly excuses! I can´t think of any excuses I´m bad of using right now, but I´m sure there are plenty of them.. though nothing like that smokin´lady! ;-P

  4. I honestly can’t believe that people smoke in this day and age. I once had a pregnant coworker tell me that she had to keep smoking because stopping abruptly might hurt the baby.

  5. Wow that’s possibly the craziest excuse that I have ever heard!

  6. Really it cost too much to quit! Thats really dumb but I bet they really believe that and we wonder why people have a hard time with money and getting ahead. I need to stop eating so much desserts and not working out.

  7. Debt definitely changes how you look at different situations, but smoking is no joke. I hope you’ve helped her see that she’s doing herself real health damage and quits.

  8. I’ve been making excuses for so long, that it’s led to me needing to take a leave from work. My health has been deteriorating for over a year now, and it’s my own fault – sort of. Instead of taking the time off I needed to see doctors, or get over a cold, I always had excuses not to. (Most of them are related to working in a toxic work environment, where I was scared to call in sick.) And guess what? These excuses have definitely hurt me – physically, mentally, emotionally, and now even career-wise. Time to change that.

    As for the woman smoker – Yikes! My boyfriend smokes (gross), but he’s been using an e-cigarette lately, and it’s helping him quit. It’s still not healthy by any means, but it’s healthier at least, and it smells so much nicer.

    • Catherine says:

      I hope everything works out for you and you’re on the path to recovery. Im also bad for not taking care of myself as much as I should but learning to get better.

  9. If that’s the excuse they use then they don’t have the internal motivation to quit smoking. I think you truly have to want to make a change before change can happen. Otherwise you’re destined for failure.

  10. Wow, now that is an excuse! I would think the cost of a pack a day habit would be strong enough to get me to quit. But, then again, I was never really a smoker. I always used to make excuses for my debt and told myself that everyone had it. Thankfully we have moved past that and live for ourselves with that now.

    • Catherine says:

      I asked and a pack of cigarettes is over $10!!! She could quit and help me pay my debt off lol.

  11. Oh good post!! You should have told her how “expensive” all those health treatments and side effects of smoking are going to be eventually. Ugh! (Sorry, I feel SOOO strongly about smoking!). I had a friend who was the same way with debt, “oh it’s just this much $$, i’m going to have it paid off in xx amount of time anyways”… uh huh… suuure. lol! When it comes down to it, if you’re going to make excuses for everything, you’re only screwing yourself over in the end. 😉

    • Catherine says:

      Honesty I normally do discuss that stuff but there was no reasoning with this lady lol. Im also very anti-smoking.

  12. Great post! On a sort of unrelated note I always laugh when smokers deny that they smoke (like my mom and brother) when they reek. My mom even puts loads of perfume on after which is nauseating and she still smells like smoke. Basically it’s such a disgusting habit. I digress. My biggest excuse or lie I told myself was that work will pick up and it will get better, so keep on spending like you had a full time job. ooops.

    • Catherine says:

      Any non smoker can sniff out a smoker so easily! They have no idea how potent it is untill the quit.

  13. I’ve guilty of putting things off til the last minute, unfortunately–now, I try to remind myself of the last time that happened and came back to bite me.

  14. Wow! What a doozy of an excuse! It’s amazing how we can rationalize the things we do. I really don’t have any money excuses but I have rationalized that work situations were better than they were or overlooked continual mistakes by people instead of addressing the issues. Live and learn.

  15. Great excuse. “Oh, so you think the stuff that helps you quit costs MORE than $70/week?” Genius!

  16. Wow, that’s one ridiculous excuse, but it’s true, if you keep telling yourself something you’ll eventually believe it to be true.

  17. That is an excuse. The pharmacy gave us a boat load of free Nicorette samples and so did our doctor. Most cities have support groups that offer people who want to quit the patch for free. We went through it all and documented it on the blog. Some people need the aides and we had them but only used a few pieces of the gum. The rest was in our head… we are smoke free coming up 2 years Jan 2014. You can’t win if you don’t make an effort. There are many support systems out there. I understand when you say you’ve heard it all, same here in my career.

    • Catherine says:

      I completely respect that nicotine is an addiction and requires serious effort to quit…but if you’re not ready to quit, say so, don’t feed me some BS like that! Also you’re right, most major cities I know of will give the patch for free through local addiction services or mental health authority.

  18. That is a crazy excuse. People can always come up with some reason to justify their behavior.

  19. For us it was definitely student loan debt. We took it on, not really thinking twice about it. Ever. Until recently. Now we are thinking a ton about it!

    And our expensive coffee/tea drink habit. We lie to ourselves and would come up with silly excuses why it is okay to go buy some. We’re pretty good at telling ourselves what we want to hear.

    • Catherine says:

      us too…well me too. I just kept borrowing and borrowing not thinking about it until recently.

  20. Wow!! That’s one I have never heard before! I totally hate excuses too. Just ask my hubs! 😉

  21. That’s the funniest story I’ve heard…really, that pack a day isn’t costing you a fortune already?

  22. I still make excuses for why I am not saving more for retirement. Some of them are legitimate reasons, and some…not so much. Really enjoyed the article! Thanks!

  23. Those kinds of stories really make me wonder if I have similar excuses that I just don’t see. Excuses make my skin crawl and I automatically think less of people who use them, but I wonder what types of excuses I make that I don’t even realize!

  24. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at that excuse. It is by far the most original one I’ve ever heard.

  25. Indeed, the mind is a very powerful thing. Thoughts are things and in our mind if we start believing these things even their false they will start coming true. A lot times we rationalize our failures due to our insecurities and it can very difficult to overcome.

  26. Wow, dumb-founded. I think we crate excuses as our defense mechanism. And maybe, deep down, they know that they are wrong.

  27. Wow, that one almost seems made up!!! Cigarettes are so expensive, too!
    Ahem, I’ll be reciting some of those excuses this week at the dentist, though 😉


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