Nothing is more irritating to me than somebody telling me they will do something or that they will not do something and then do the opposite. When somebody promises that they will do one thing and then they break that promise it really crosses my boundaries in a big way. This applies to simple things like saying "I will pick up X on my way home" to "I will not go to X and then go." Words have power and when we break them it creates a sense of flakiness, a sense of broken agreements and lack of trust that is very hard to get rid of as time goes by because you will always see that person and think is she going to do what she says this time or will she break the promise again? Can I trust her or will she hurt me again?
How many times have you experienced this situation with friends or family? It hurts a lot when you have an expectation and then it disintegrates in front of your eyes and you are left with nothing but a broken promise.
The same principle applies to those people that pretend to do something to then turn around and stab you in the back. This week, I was at work and after working really hard reading some paper I decided I needed a break because I reached the level when I couldn't comprehend what I was reading anymore. I went to visit a friend for a minute and talked to her. While I was there, a Senior Leader came by and he started talking to us. It was interesting to see that nobody was really wanting to talk to him but we did because what are you going to say.... This person played it friendly and chatty when in reality, he was just there checking stuff out. After the conversation, he went and talk to my friend's manager and said that people were not working there, people were chatting, and you can imagine the rest. How can you trust this person in the future if he is that way? How can you trust his word or his vision to carry the company to the next level if he can be that fake? In my mind, I thought next time he came around I would say something like "oh I am sorry, please don't talk to me, I need to focus on my work...." This is another way of walking your talk for me. I would have had much more respect if he had said "what's going on here? Why aren't you working?" and I could have said I was taking a break but not instead play like a friend and then get people in trouble when he instigated the conversation felt dirty and shameful.
People may not realize the power of a promise or a word. When broken, it makes us look bad as if we can not walk our talk. We say something to make others like us, be friends of us, accept us, but if you don't mean it, then it creates more issues. It creates trouble. It creates lack of trust and uncertainty. It is better to be honest and come from a place of the heart knowing that we would prefer to do this and have the courage to stand by what we decide even if it means hurting somebody's expectation. In the end, it may create more anger and distrust than if we say what we want from the get go. It will have more power to be able to stand up and say what we really feel or want. Like this guy could have said it as it was and it would have generated more respect. Make sure you walk your talk because you are as worthy as your words and actions are. Make sure your words match your actions to avoid misunderstandings. Don't do things from a place of guilt or to be liked, do thing and promise things from your heart and let the real you shine. People will trust you and accept you more if you do what you say. There is power in promises. There is power in words. There is power in actions. Use it wisely!