We must not promise what we ought not, lest we be called on to perform what we cannot
– Abraham Lincoln
Somebody has said – You are Your Word!
I cannot think of enough ways to establish the truth in that statement. We may not have given this much thought in life. But if you care about being anything in life, you should. A person’s worth is measured in numerous ways but perhaps there is no other standard of measure more reliable than “keeping your word“.
Being continually let down makes you lose trust and respect in a person. It is a reason why we don’t trust or respect our politicians because most of them follow a road of broken promises.
When you value someone, you will find the means to keep your word no matter what.
In a marriage, keeping your word and following through on your promises helps to reinforce the trust that your spouse already has in you or it helps to build lost trust. Not keeping your word tells your spouse that you simply don’t care.
And today I was once again told by a broken promise that he just doesn’t care.
When a spouse wants to stay in a marriage and is trying to build it by making amends for his wrongs, keeping promises takes on a whole lot of significance in the rebuilding process.
From experience, I get a red flag every time he “promises” me something. And yet, I believe whenever he tells me something, always being hopeful that may be THIS TIME he will mean what he says. And I was being hopeful again today when I believed him when he told me that he will take a certain action in our court matter.
Guess what? He didn’t turn up. His lawyer said he got caught up in work.
Keeping my word is very important to me. I used to think that was a universal trait, but I’ve been disappointed so often that I discovered this was not true for everyone. Certainly not for my husband.
My mother always says, “Bole taisa kare, tyachi vandavi pavale” roughly translated it means – Someone who does as he says deserves to get his feet touched (touching the feet is mark of respect in India). Words have meaning, whether or not we mean them. When we tell someone we will do something, we are creating expectations. I know how pleasurable it is to have your expectations met. Keeping our word builds trust. Trust gives us security. Security builds healthy and happy relationships.
I will concede that there can be circumstances that may thwart your intentions, but then it becomes necessary to communicate the change.
And therefore, communication, as trite as it may sound, is also foundational to building good relationships. You need to communicate why you cannot keep your promise. That will help to salvage whatever little trust someone may have in you. Because re-earning trust may not be as easy as maintaining it in the first place.
If there was any little hope that I would have changed my mind about getting back with my husband, now is lost forever. For the past 7 years, he has let me down over and over and over again. I look back and realise all he’s done is lie, hide, run, avoid, make excuses to wiggle his way out of his promises. Most of the time he talked was all hot air or said for an effect. And yet, i trusted him one last time to do what he said he would. And he let me down big time, sounding the death knell for our marriage.
Keeping your word in my world is a given. When you say “I promise” or “you have my word,” it’s a done deal. Period. You do as promised. That’s it, that’s all.
I have listed a few tips from my experience in the matter:
- If you think your memory poses a problem with remembering promises, put a reminder. These days there are alerts / pop-ups on your emails and other computer applications, there are similar alerts on your mobile phone. Use these gadgets to help you with keeping your word.
- If for some reason you decide you are unable to keep the promise or you decide you don’t want to keep the promise, then SPEAK UP. Communicating it is the only way you can save your face and/or the trust you stand to lose.
- If you are promising someone something, do it ONLY IF you mean to follow through and NOT for effect or to get someone off your back or to manipulate someone into agreeing with you.
Keeping your word is therefore, very important and can save your reputation and sometimes even your life. If you are the type of person whose word is truly golden, your reputation will reflect that. People will come to respect and trust you. If your word is respected, you might be allowed to fix whatever mess you’ve gotten yourself into.
So always walk the talk. Do WHAT you say you will do, WHEN you say you will do it.