14 May 2013

That's What She Said

That's What She Said

Dear Angry villagers,

Please put down your pitchforks and step away from the noose. This is not an article of blind political vilification or attack on redheaded clowns. (I love McDonalds!) It is simply a study in broken promises and how profoundly this behaviour can damage a trust based relationship.

I've been confronted over the past week with an alarming number of people left confused, angry, horrified, murderous… let's just say there were a lot of strong emotions floating around. They had all experienced a breach in trust due to a broken promise and displaying reactions just normal enough to save them from a 72 hour psychiatric hold.

Such passionate responses have driven me to think pretty long and hard about just how important it is to be a person of your word and here's what I've come up with.

Who do you accept promises from?

Being a fairly independent sort of person I find that my list isn't extraordinarily long. While I do accept promises from my inner circle, I don't concern myself with the promises of my mailman or butcher to be able to meet my needs. But I understand that some people do. Who makes promises to you and more importantly, who amongst this group do you rely to follow through?

What do you risk?

If you're accepting a promise from your butcher to have your favourite cut of meat available you may be risking a lousy dinner. If you're accepting a promise from your recruiter to put your CV forward to a career opportunity, you're likely risking your reputation in the work force as well as a missed opportunity if the representation is not up to scratch. If you're accepting the promises of your political leader then you may very likely be risking spending the next decade in a deficit that sends you scrounging for money like Uni students on the 4th day of a pub crawl.

Is repeated behaviour a disposition?

Now here's where we start to get a little political so if you're sensitive, close your eyes and scroll back up to the top.

Go to google and type in Julia Gillard. I guarantee you at least one of the pages you come up with will be not one broken promise, but a website dedicated to promises that she has made, hand on heart with all of the feigned sincerity she could muster. If a politician breaks a promise once, it's a mistake or a necessary change. If they continually break promises does it reflect on their disposition or character? Does their name or indeed their profession become synonymous with broken promises?

When does a broken promise lead to the end of trust?

 If the person representing you, be it your nation's leader, your family member or the person assisting you in your hunt for work continues to break promises to you, when does the trust in the relationship die?

The last question is probably the one I have lost the most sleep over. When does trust in a relationship die and when do you acknowledge that a relationship no longer serves you? Guarantee that if you were to trace back over my phone records like an episode of CSI and interview the victims of these broken promises, each and every one of them would say that they continued the relationship, professional, personal or column C, and that the person broke a subsequent promise.

Do these people believe that they deserve to have their trust abused or do they believe that they have no options to choose from? In my life I've always been proactive. I vote with my voice and with my feet. I do not allow people to continually break their promises to me, be it my political leader, my butcher, my postman or my recruitment professional (Yes, I have used the services of recruiters myself in the past). You have a voice, a choice and the right to be treated with honesty and respect.

Do you exercise your rights? Or do you continue to blindly believe 'what she said' and hope rather than expect the best?