While I don’t believe any one action defines who someone is, I think there’s something to this. Whether it is an employee, coworker, a friend or someone you are in a relationship with- Actions speak louder than words. And repeated actions are what shape our character and reputation.
If someone says they want to spend time together but repeatedly fails to show up, they are communicating that they aren’t willing to follow through on their promises.
If someone says they’re trustworthy but repeatedly lies, they are communicating that their word can’t be trusted.
If someone says they value your friendship but then ignore you or avoid you when you are together you need to really question their intentions.
If someone says they want to change but repeatedly fails to make an effort, they are communicating that aren’t willing to do things differently.
Acknowledging this isn’t forming judgments. It’s recognizing the facts so that we can make a wise choice based on how things are—not how we want them to be.
We may recognize we’re being mistreated and choose to set and enforce a boundary. We all deserve second chances, and sometimes a third or fourth.
But other times we need to open our eyes so that we know when enough is enough.
It’s never our fault when someone else hurts us, but it’s within our power to stop allowing it.
A psychologist friend of mine reminds me from time to time about the “pervasive characteristics” present in human beings. These are “recurring patterns of thought and behavior” that defines a person – that tells us who they are. And recurring patterns of thought and behavior for the most part do not change when a person is an adult. In reality, these pervasive characteristics define who you are. Oh, sure, some people can cover up their real personality characteristics from time to time, but if you are around them long enough you will learn who they really are.
When someone you are with over time repeatedly and consistently demonstrates through their actions and deeds the pervasive characteristics present in them you must pay attention! If they are truly a good person or friend or employee you can trust you will see it in their actions. Don’t be fooled by words that are contrary to their actions.
All too often in life, people “fall in love” blindly. They hire a person, become friends with a person or even start a relationship with a person based on their words. They refuse to make note of how of the actions of another person define them. They pay too much attention to words and way too little to actions.