“Your reputation and integrity are everything. Follow through on what you say you’re going to do. Your credibility can only be built over time, and it is built from the history of your words and actions.”— Maria Razumich-Zec
Simply put…If you don’t have your word, then what the heck do you have? That’s what I told a friend of mine the other day. I am a woman of my word. My word defines who I am and my character. If there is anything you would ever want to know, just ask. I’m honest. I’m grown and I’m authentic. I would rather be known for my ability to tell the truth than to be a known liar.
In navigating my friendships and relationships with people, I realized that the only thing that I can do is be honorable. Keep my word because it matters. Not one of my friends can ever say that I’m not reliable, disingenuous or flaky. If I don’t want to do something…I just won’t do it. I don’t let people bully me into doing something I don’t want to do and I don’t feel guilty if I can’t make everything. No matter how hard I try, I learned that I will miss some things and that’s okay.
So, what does it look like to me when you keep your word? That you’re a person that I can trust. That you care about me and my feelings. That you are special enough where I can let this guard down around my heart and try to get to know you. Why? Because you can keep your word. Your word is your bond. The bond that strengthens our friendship.
It’s not hard. There’s no magical formula to keeping your word. There will always be situations where that can’t be possible. It’s okay. Let the other person know what’s going on as soon as you can. Many communication problems can be resolved when people actually take the time and communicate with one another. Honoring your word will always get you the two most important things from me: trust and respect.
I don’t trust people easily. Never have. Probably never will. But, I can learn to trust people. God has blessed me with so many phenomenal men and women in my life that I can’t imagine how I ever survived not knowing them. We take time out to call, text, eat, visit and catch up with each other. I value that quality time and I trust them to always be there for me should I ever need them and I promise to do the same. We trust each other and that trust is solidified each time we act upon something that we said that we would do. Whether it be call back, get together or write a letter of recommendation for graduate school, we trust that what we say we are going to do will be done.
I respect people who keep their word and vice versa. My friends respect that I will do everything that I said I will do. So does my family. That respect is an integral part of my character and integrity. I don’t tell you that I’m going to do something and then not do it. I will follow through. Things that irk me and help me lose respect for people: people that say that they are going to call and don’t; people that say that they are going to do something and don’t and people who say that they will be there and don’t. You see how a little “slip of your mind” can cause me to lose respect for you? Just be about your word. Technological advances allow for people to send a text and say “Got busy, can’t make it. Call you later okay?” See, now how hard is that? Remember to be respectful to people and their time. Time is something that we can’t get back if it is wasted.
Remember, to keep your word once it is given. Honor your friendships and relationships with people. Be authentic. If you can’t do something, it’s okay to send a text or call to say that you can’t make it. If you get distracted or busy, call the person immediately and explain your oversight. If you forget and need to cancel on someone, be honest and let them know. It takes a minute to gain someone’s trust, but an eternity to earn it back after you lose it.
Trust me on this one.