Monday, August 13, 2012

Mean what you say and say what you mean

  No comments    

Written By: Sophia Reed MSHS

In this blog we will discuss meaning what you say and saying what you mean.  It is self-explanatory, and is something that sounds so easy, but often times as women, or people period, we do not follow this policy.  Before we turn to self-reflection, I would like us to think about others that we know in our lives.  We all know that unreliable person that always tells us that they are going to be somewhere at a certain time, but never shows up.  We all know that person that makes plans with us, but never follows through.  We all know that person that we will never trust with important stuff because although they say that they are going do it, they always manage to forget, say that they are busy, or come up with some excuse as to why they did not follow through on what they said.

Think for a minute of that person and your opinion of them.  Do we think that person is a bad person, not necessarily; we just think that person is unreliable, untrustworthy, and many times we may laugh at them for being this way.  Sometimes we may even lose out on friendships, romantic relationships, or professional relationships because a person is that way, because we feel we cannot trust them with the important stuff in our lives, and will never stick or neck out for them because doing so may turn out to be a bad reflection on us. 

Now let’s turn to self-reflection, what person are you?  Do you make a habit of giving your word and not following through on it? Saying that you are going to do something but don’t?  And then make excuses as to why you didn’t do it, and make excuses and feel like this is sufficient.  I would like you to reflect on the importance of your word.  When you think about it, your word means a lot.  It’s your credibility as a person.  It determines if people think you are a liar or think that you are a truthful person.  It determines whether people feel they can trust you are not.

A common term that people say is that actions speak louder than words.  But I would beg a differ; I would like to think that they go hand and hand.  Because if your words were followed by actions, that is a way that we become a more trustworthy person.  Let’s examine each aspect of the relationships so you can see in detail what I am talking about.

First I would like to begin on how our words can affect romantic relationships. In a relationship, let start in the beginning. Think how do you begin to really trust someone?  It all goes back to their word.  If you meet a man and he says that he will call you the following day, and does, then that begins to build trust.  On the flip side, if it doesn’t then that begins to build distrust.  If while in a relationship a man says that he loves you and goes out and cheats on you, then that builds distrust.  Although he did not directly say that he would not cheat on you, it is implied that if someone loves you, then they would not want to hurt you, and that cheating on you would hurt you, therefore you feel like they don’t love you and they broke their word.  In essence although it may not seem like it, a broken word always seems like a lie to us.

 I think that this is especially true for women, and that is why men and women often have a misunderstanding to trusting one another in a relationship.  Women value words and what a man says, and when they don’t live up to that word for whatever reason, then women feel betrayed…… and then they feel like  the man is a liar.  Often time, when doing couples counseling, men will say “She keeps calling me a liar, and I didn’t lie to her.”  It’s not that he directly lied to her but that he did not keep his word and therefore she feels betrayed and lied to as a consequence.

Let’s take it to another aspect in a friendship. We all know that unreliable person that we cannot count on for anything because they never follow through on what they set out to do or follow through on their word.  Often time this causes conflict in friendships if we are counting on someone for something and them not doing it.  Examples of this are, them always being late, always being unreliable, always putting a man over a friendship.  All that goes back to someone’s word.  If your friend says “Yeah we are going to have to go out sometimes” and is always going out with her boyfriend or making other plans and never seems to make time for your friendship then yes their word begins to mean nothing to you because you can never count on what they say, and you began to feel like they don’t understand the importance of your friendship.

The same can be said in a professional relationship.  It determines if you can be a trustworthy employee versus and untrustworthy employee.  Examples of this include, if your boss is going to give you a second chance when you mess up versus no second chance.  Weather a boss if going to consider you for a promotion versus no promotion.  That is because if a boss gives you a deadline and you commit to doing it, that is the same as your word.  If you miss deadline after deadline, then you are making yourself as an untrustworthy person. If you  have a job, then call in sick a lot of time, then that goes back to your word.  When you take a job, you made a commitment to do the job to the fullest of your ability, therefore not following through on your commitment is like breaking your word, by calling out sick excessively you are deeming yourself untrustworthy.

A person that can’t keep up on their work, a person that cannot handle additional responsibilities on the workplace, because you are known around the office as being the slacker, goes back to not following through on what you committed yourself to, on what you gave your word to, and that is not something that you want to be known as.   
I bring up all the above to say this.  Your word is your bond, it is what you are known by, it determines if people will trust you are not.  Even if you look at the issues of credit, anytime you sign a receipt using a credit card, it says I agree to pay this amount.  That is another form of your word.  Having bad credit, speaks about your word.  It speaks about whether you agree to pay your debts off or not.  There are unforeseen circumstances that happen that may affect your credit, but when you do get money or another job, then pay off the amount because you have agreed previously to do so.  Filing for bankruptcy is a cope out, and another example of how your agreement (even if it was not verbal but written) was broken and how you are not a trustworthy person.

At the end of the day, what I want you to see is that it is not okay to go around saying you are not going to do something but don’t do it.  It is not okay to tell your children something, and then not follow through on it.  It is not okay, to tell people that you will do something, be somewhere, or not follow through.  It may sound like something so minor, but it affects the way others see you.  It affects weather someone is willing to enter into a romantic relationship with you, weather someone is willing to put their neck on the line for you, weather someone is going to give you a promotion, weather someone will co-sign for you.  For myself, I am a good person on my word.  If I say that I am going to do something then I do it, if for some reason I can’t do something, then I offer an explanation as to why, and it is often a very good explanation.  In previous chapters, I speak about building yourself up and making yourself a better person.

Doing what you say and saying what you mean is a large part of that.  If you as a person do not have your word, then no one will trust you, no one will even care what you half to say, no will have any positive things to say about you or your character.  Do not be that person.  Make a practice every day to follow through on your word.  If there is something that you can’t do and you know in your mind that you have no intentions of doing it, then don’t say you will.  Because the only person that it is a bad reflection on is yourself, and as you read thus far, a positive perception of yourself inside and out, is what you want to have… and preserve.