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Do you do what you say you’ll do? Most people will probably answer yes, whether or not it’s true. It’s a bit shameful to say, “No.” And, for those who don’t often stick to their word, it’s possible that nobody ever asked them about it in such a blunt way.

Questions are usually more specific to the situation: “Why didn’t you show up?” “Why didn’t you complete the project in time?” and to that, one could have more specific excuses. “I wasn’t feeling well.” “I had too much on my plate.” When we focus on the excuses that are unique to each incident, it’s easy to let ourselves off the hook. But when someone asks us, point-blank, “Do you always do what you say you’ll do?’” and we’re forced to answer just that question, we might be faced with a reality that we don’t like.

Being reliable is a really great strength, but it’s not one that many have. It means doing what you say you’ll do, unconditionally (barring, say, hospitalization or death of a loved one). Those who do what they say they’ll do tend to think of things from others’ perspectives. Rather than thinking, “Here’s why I should get out of it,” they think, “Here’s how I’ll negatively impact someone else if I bail on this.” It’s not easy to train yourself to think that way, but the rewards are great. Here is how life changes when you do what you say you’ll do.

benefits of being reliable

Source: RichLegg / Getty

You can expect the same from others

When you’re unreliable, you don’t get to demand that others be reliable. When someone texts you, “Can’t make brunch. I’m hungover,” when you’re already sitting at the restaurant waiting for them, you can’t even get mad because you do that sort of thing all of the time. But, it sucks when it happens to you, right? The only way you earn the right to demand that others be reliable is that you also be reliable. And it’s a nice right to have. Remember that people model the way they treat you based on how you treat them.

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