The 21st-century 20-something

Monday, July 9, 2012

All I have is my word

I am a strong believer that the one thing will all have in life is our word. You either make a habit of keeping it or you don't -- plain and simple.

Some people always keep their word, others try their best but unintentionally fail at times, and then there are the people who couldn't keep their word if their life depended on it -- and don't care.

I like to think I keep my word as often as I can. I keep secrets with the best of them and don't use the word 'promise' unless I mean it. I try not to say things I don't mean, make plans I can't follow through with or promise to do or not do something that I can't guarantee I will or won't do.

I actually find it to be a major character flaw when someone doesn't care about keeping their word.

Just don't give 'yes' or 'no' answers to things you can't guarantee. I'm also not a fan of wishy-washy people that can't make decisions or commit, but you should never give your word on something with out a disclaimer unless you can follow through.

For example, "Yes I will definitely let you borrow that GPS for your trip tonight!" vs. "I'm not sure if I'll be home before you leave, but if I am you're more than welcome to borrow my GPS."

The first response can lead to a problem when your friend stops by to pick up the GPS, and you decided last minute to go dinner with your brother's wife's cousin's son or whatever else you decided to do while disregarding that someone was depending on you. Then you will most likely receive a nasty text from your friend who didn't have time to find another GPS and ended up driving around lost for three hours because you were MIA.

The second response at least allows your friend to look for someone else to borrow the GPS from, and prepares them for the fact that you may not be home, so they're not depending on it.

See the difference?

Don't make people believe they can depend on you if there's a possibility they can't. It's rude. I've seen this ruin relationships, friendships, job opportunities and relationships with family members.

I mean, I know no one is going to lose a friendship over borrowing a GPS, but when you finally realize that someone in your life never keeps promises or does what they say they're going to do -- and doesn't care -- it usually causes irreparable damage or ends the relationship altogether.

Some people don't realize they don't keep their word have done it a handful of times because of reasons beyond their control. I'm fine with second chances. But when it becomes a habit it's a problem. When you never keep your word, it lets people know they can't depend on you for anything -- which leads to a pretty useless relationship.

It's pretty easily resolved -- just do what you say you're going to do and don't do what you say you won't do. Capisce?


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