Promises outweigh possibilities, hands-down

I will admit that I have spent considerable time imagining my life as I would like it to be, considering all the delicious possible alternatives to my NOW and safely enjoying my feats of imagination.

For instance, I could enjoy being thinner with a more vital and fit body in my mind – and live in the hope that my objective reality would follow, somehow, someday. It is kind of like living my life on television.

However, after some decades had passed in this manner I noticed I was living in a possibility dream-driven la-la land in which nothing really changed, or if a circumstance altered it did so very slowly or by sheer happenstance.

I noticed that I was going around in imaginative circles going nowhere without even a Ground Hog Day movie-like plot to permit me a “happily ever after” ending.

The key for me, and for us, is four-fold:

  1. MAKE a PROMISE: in place of imagining and enjoying illusory possibility. Our promises give us access to the NOW in away that purely cognitive-based processes cannot.
  2. GET into DIALOG: reach out and touch somebody who can listen to us outside of the power-sucking monolog we are in with ourselves.
  3. Hold a CONVERSATION for INTEGRITY: identify any “gaps” between who we are today and who we desire ourselves to be.
  4. Give people around us our WORD and then honor it in our and their eyes.

Rinse and repeat as necessary.

I understand that the above can be a little bit easier said than done, maybe even very challenging and confronting.

So this is my promise to you: if you wish to work on something important to you “out loud” with me please contact me at:

Paul@relationshipliteracy.com

 

Earning Trust (part one)

“Do I trust people”?  Others may ask many questions about you, but this is a key one.  Trust lies at the root of building good interpersonal relations.  Research into human relations proves that if trust is present, weaknesses tend to be overlooked and mistakes tolerated.  Some people are trusted, and some are not, it depends on how they behave.  Trust is grounded in four very concrete and specific behaviors: Acceptance, Integrity, Openness, Reliability.  The presence of these four behaviors lead others to say: “I trust you”.  If you put these four behaviors into practice, you’ll be trusted.  If you don’t, you won’t.  Simple as that.  Let’s look at each of the four in turn, to get the whole picture.  Each Behavior will be a separate post.

Trust requires acceptance.  If I sense you accept me as a person, I’ll trust you.  That means I must sense that you feel it’s OK for me to be me, you don’t pass judgment on me, you don’t put me down and you don’t treat me as an “it” by trying to manipulate me, treat me as an inferior or by just criticizing me.  You accept me as an individual with my thoughts, feelings, interests, differences and my imperfections.  You don’t have to agree with me, but you do have to accept me.  If I sense you don’t accept me, I won’t trust you, because I’ll wonder if you are trying to use me, or deal with me only as a means to your ends.  If you behave in an accepting manner by taking me as I am, treating me as a worthwhile person, showing respect for my personhood and not judging me, then your behavior will lead me toward trusting you.  Acceptance is necessary to earn trust.

Continue to Part 2

Earning Trust (part two)

If you have not read the whole series, this link will take you to the start of the series.

Trust is grounded in four very concrete and specific behaviors: Acceptance, Integrity, Openness, Reliability.  The presence of these four behaviors lead others to say: “I trust you”.  If you put these four behaviors into practice, you’ll be trusted.  If you don’t, you won’t.  Simple as that.  Let’s look at the second of the four behaviors.

Trust requires integrity.  If I sense you are being straight forward with me, I’ll trust you.  That means I must see you as being honest with me.  I must perceive that you mean what you say and say what you mean; that’s having integrity.  If I sense that you are telling me one thing and feeling the opposite, trust goes down.  If I don’t see and feel your integrity, I won’t trust you, because I’ll be in doubt about what you really mean.  Feeling that I can’t count on you to tell me the truth.  If you behave in a honest way, saying what you mean and meaning what you say, then your behavior will lead me toward trusting you.  Integrity is necessary to earn trust.

 
Continue to Part 3

Earning Trust (part three)

If you have not read the whole series, this link will take you to the start of the series.

Trust is grounded in four very concrete and specific behaviors: Acceptance, Integrity, Openness, Reliability.  The presence of these four behaviors lead others to say: “I trust you”.  If you put these four behaviors into practice, you’ll be trusted.  If you don’t, you won’t.  Simple as that.  Let’s look at the third of the four behaviors.

Trust requires openness.  If I sense you are being open with me, I’ll trust you.  That means I must feel that you are letting me in on what you know about the matter at hand, at least the essentials.  I must perceive that you are willing to let me know what affects me; that’s being open.  If I sense you are keeping important things to yourself or that you have a hidden agenda, trust goes down and you become less believable to me.  If you behave in an open way, share information with me and tell me what you have in mind, then your behavior will lead me toward trusting you.  Openness is necessary to earn trust.

 

Continue to Part 4

Earning Trust (part four)

If you have not read the whole series, this link will take you to the start of the series.

Trust is grounded in four very concrete and specific behaviors: Acceptance, Integrity, Openness, Reliability.  The presence of these four behaviors lead others to say: “I trust you”.  If you put these four behaviors into practice, you’ll be trusted.  If you don’t, you won’t.  Simple as that.  Let’s look at the fourth of the four behaviors.

Trust requires reliability.  If I sense you are dependable, I’ll trust you.  That means you do what you say you’ll do.  If you make a promise, you’ll keep it.  If you say you’ll take care of something, you’ll take care of it.  If you say you’ll be somewhere, you’ll be there.  I must have the experience that you take your agreements seriously, you are a person of your word; that’s being reliable.  If I see you making promises you don’t keep and if you say you won’t do a certain thing, then you do it, trust goes down.  If you behave in a reliable way and if I can bank on your dependability, then your behavior will lead me toward trusting you.  Reliability is necessary to earn trust.

Trust is the cornerstone for building ongoing, lasting relationships.  Trust is earned, it’s not a gift.  Others don’t trust you just because you tell them you can be trusted.  You earn trust by your behavior, and that takes time.  You earn it if you behave with acceptance, integrity, openness and reliability.