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  • Writer's pictureChameleon Academy

Are Your Actions Matching Your Promises? The Importance of Keeping Your Word in Relationships

I'm not sure if its a change in modern society or just perceived as cool, but its seems to have become socially acceptable to not keep your word. Instead of being upfront, using "fluff' as a deterrent to divulging your true intentions is the new way to avoid using the word "no." As small as this word happens to be, it is a Goliath in terms of instilling fear in those who may be faced with its usage. Many simply find it easier to employ empty promises as an alternative to opting out upfront. Sadly these offenders also think this suffices as acceptable in the world of social graces.

I am here to tell you this is not acceptable at all and it can do a number on any future relationship you want to formulate with the unfortunate victims of these tactics.

Why this is rude and very bad manners

  1. It screams immaturity. It is expected that children will make plans and forget them because they are just that - kids. However, as we mature in adulthood, it is also necessary to speak up for yourself and be truthful about your motives. There are many ways to say "no" without actually using the word. If a friend suggests an activity that you don't want to attend such as playing pickleball, simply saying "Thanks for inviting me, but I'm not a fan of pickleball," will suffice. This is much better than doing the opposite by actually making plans with the person, then continuously coming up with reasons why you can't attend.

  2. It is disrespectful. If you make plans with a person you have laid the foundation of expectation. They are expecting your follow through. Even if you didn't set an exact date or time, you have now created an environment of expectation that potentially has this person sitting in limbo depending on the conversation. This isn't fair to them at all. Its much better to be up front so you can release this person from this (hopefully) unintentional purgatory of expectation.

  3. It comes across as unprofessional. It is well known that making plans and not keeping them is unacceptable in the business world. However, unprofessionalism can also affect personal relationships. If the person you keep standing up is a professional, more than likely you will be perceived as unreliable and a person who they no longer care to pursue for any relationship. It's a lack of respect for you and the other person's time. It shows you would rather waste your time telling tall tales vs. respecting your time and being up front.

  4. You can be perceived as a liar. What are lies? Statements that aren't true. If you are making plans that you don't intend to fulfill, these are lies. This definition would characterize you as a liar. There is nothing notable about being perceived as a liar.

  5. It doesn't exude any level of social grace. Social graces are just that - graces we extend to others by exemplifying social consideration of others. By making false plans and promises you are not extending grace. You are creating a facade that you feel conceals your lack of courage, but it is in no way graceful or considerate to the person on the receiving end.

As a summary, avoid this type of behavior. Be up front and learn to communicate your true intentions and desires clearly. You will save yourself time and release others from being victimized by your indecisiveness.

Do you perceive this behavior as bad manners? Any examples to share? Tell us your thoughts and comment below.

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