Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dealing with Disappointment

One of the things they teach you in Quixtar is when you make an appointment with someone, always restate the details of the appointment and make sure that they wrote it down in order to confirm. Apparently, most people are not good with keeping appointments.

This was always, and still remains, a foreign concept to me. I strive to be as truthful as I can, which actually seems harder to do when making commitments to myself rather than to other people. But for some reason this is not the case for other people, which surprises me because of my perspective towards it. I remember in the Rich Dad Poor Dad Coaching tapes this one interview with a guy who studied wealthy people. He said they all seemed to share two things, real estate and their word was their honor. Apparently for a lot of people, making a verbal or written commitment is more of a guideline than a commitment or a maybe than a yes.

Again I say how this seems strange to me because I firmly believe that in any relationship the most important things are trust and communication. If you cannot keep your word, how can a person believe anything you say or come to count on you if they need your help? What is the good of having an unreliable friend other than if you feel like there is value in "being friends" with a large quantity of people? If you are missing the trust, how can you have good communication? I personally would not share anything personal or important to me with someone I don't trust because it would be like giving money to a known thief and expecting some positive return on investment. It just seems so contradictory.

The final thought I have about this is a question about why people make the commitment if they don't intend to keep it. I'm more disappointed when I'm expecting someone to do something and they don't than I am upset if they just say no outright. Usually these happen in situations that don't contain any sense of urgency, like if someone says "Oh, I'll call you tomorrow". If they expect to be busy tomorrow or they know that calling me back is not a high priority so they'll probably end up pushing off, then don't commit to tomorrow. Just be honest, because then at least I know the truth. If I'm not happy with the truth, then it is my responsibility to make the truth more inline with what expectation I have or what I want, but if you just lead the person on then how can you validly say that it's the other person's problem rather than your own? If you just have a bad memory and you forget, at least you can be honest and offer the other person the opportunity to remedy the situation by taking over responsibility to remember contacting you.

I guess you could make the argument that you try to say what you are saying without actually saying it, by giving clues that are "obvious". I would argue though, that nothing is more obvious than just saying what you really want to say directly rather than trying to spare the person's feelings.

Buy maybe I should just change my base assumption of trustworthiness and instead only trust through validation. They say when approaching a business deal you should always trust by verify, so maybe all encounters should be treated this way.

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