The Importance of Saying only what you mean!
by Susie and Otto Collins
Several years ago we read The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz and we
think it's a great resource for tearing up your past belief systems and starting
over with more empowering ones.
The first agreement is "be impeccable with your word." In other
words, speak with integrity--saying only what you mean. We think this is really
important in relationships of all kinds and especially in intimate ones.
If you aren't impeccable with your word, trust begins to erode within the
relationship--and we're not just talking about the big stuff. Our belief is that
there is no small stuff in relationships.
When Susie bought her new used Buick, the dealership couldn't find the remote
control and an extra key. In fact they said that this model didn't come with
one. A mechanic even looked at it and said that it wasn't wired for a remote. To
Susie, a remote is a nice amenity but not a necessity. But--she'd had one with
her previous car and this new car just didn't feel as nice because there was
something missing. Trying to get to the bottom of the problem, Otto sat in the
dealership and made the dealers look in the specs to see if a remote was
standard equipment for this model or not. To make a long story short, Otto
managed to get a remote for the car.
Because we were told that the car didn't have a remote and it through
persistence found out it did, we have an issue with trust with that dealership.
We'll put a question mark in front of anything they say from now on.
Isn't this the way it is in relationships? It's like Steven Covey's concept of
the emotional bank account in "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective
People." Good deeds, kind words and following through on your
agreements build deposits in your emotional bank account with another person.
False statements, not following through on agreements create withdrawals in an
emotional bank account in a relationship. The idea is that you must make many
more deposits than withdrawals to keep the trust level high between
the two of you.
Being impeccable with your word means following through on what you say you're
going to do. Susie asked Otto to use the weed eater the clear the weeds along
the driveway this weekend and Otto said he would. Although this is a small
matter, if he hadn't followed through and whacked the weeds when he said he
would, some of the trust between
them would be eroded. When we don't follow through on what we say we're going to
do on the small stuff, doubt creeps in about follow through on the "big
Being impeccable also means being conscious of what you say and the intention
behind it. Have you ever said something that you really didn't mean? As soon as
it left your mouth, you wished you could capture it and destroy it before anyone
could hear it?
The challenge of being impeccable is to be aware of how you are feeling, watch
what triggers you, and stay in the present moment without reacting from past
unhealthy patterns and old family tapes.
This week as you go through your day, be very aware of what comes out of your
mouth. Be very conscious of what promises you make and what you say to someone
when your are emotionally triggered. Make a new agreement, as Don Miguel Ruiz
says, to be impeccable with your word.