You have visited my blog site to find out how to reduce stress in your life. But have you ever considered how you may be causing stress in the lives of others? If your commitments aren’t followed up with appropriate actions, you may be creating stressful relationships. If you are sometimes guilty of doing this, please read on….
To illustrate the lack of commitment to relationships, I’ve created two episodes in which you are the central character. Then I’ve listed the errors and possible ramifications, including stress—to those who were counting on you to honor your commitments.
Episode 1: A co-worker is having a party at 7:00 Friday evening to show off her new home and has invited everyone at the office. You tell her to expect you a little early to help set up the party. As you’re about to leave your home, you notice the weather has turned a bit colder and you decide to stay in for the evening.
Episode 2: Your cousin is moving to a new apartment. He could really use your help with his move early Saturday morning and you promise to be there. However, when you awaken on moving day, you figure your cousin has enough people to help him move and you go back to sleep.
In both scenarios:
- You promised to participate but you didn’t.
- You had poor reasons for not participating and now you’re at a loss to explain your absences.
- You decided that your absences would not affect the outcomes.
- You did affect the outcomes. The party wasn’t set up in time and the move was tougher with one less helper.
- You caused stress for two people and created stressful relationships.
Now, you’re left wondering what your co-worker’s attitude and your cousin’s attitude will be towards you and how long it will take them to rebuild their confidence in you—if it ever happens at all. Conversely, your participation would have strengthened your relationships with your co-worker and your cousin, especially if others had backed out at the last minute.
If your co-worker and your cousin share their feelings of disappointment or resentment about your absence to others, you may get a reputation as someone who can’t be counted on. Those people may hesitate to enter into a relationship with you—one they believe may prove stressful to them. I’ll leave it to you to determine if there are additional repercussions.
: In order to avoid stressful relationships, keep your promises. Be dependable. Make your words and actions golden! The best people are those who can be depended on to honor their commitments. Whenever you are unable to fulfill a commitment, you are obligated to provide a valid explanation to those who are depending on you.