“Who you are speaks so loudly, I can’t hear what you’re saying.” Ralph Waldo Emmerson, 1803 – 1882
Actions and words matching matter, but should they?
I had an experience today that really set me off. I have a person in my life who tells me all the time how important I am to them. Funny how when I hear it, in the back of my head a little voice goes, “ya ya” I have heard it before. This is my response because this person’s actions don’t match their words. I have always been big on actions and words matching but today I’m wondering if that is my thing as opposed to a real thing and why is it so important to me. What is your reaction to this statement?
For me, I have always thought that if the two matched, then it carries more weight and it is more authentic. But what if that is my integrity compass but it isn’t most other peoples. Should I just dismiss them? Should I just accept that and move on? Should I give them a pass and disregard the voice inside? These are really difficult questions and I think, like most things, it is not black and white but multiple shades of grey, maybe even with a bit of pink tossed in for affect.
At what level should we hold people accountable? Maybe the only person we should hold accountable to any type of integrity compass is ourselves and to our own compass. Maybe we should just let all others go off and do their own thing. That is doable for sure, but then how do we interact with people if there is no integrity compass guiding. Is it okay for people not to treat you with respect? Because really, if you give people a pass because your integrity compass doesn’t involve them, then doesn’t it follow that people should be able to treat you however they feel.
As I’m writing this, I’m realizing that is exactly what goes on all the time. Isn’t this a form of judgement? Isn’t this being held to someone else’s standards regardless of your own? It really is a somewhat of a slippery slope type of conversation. I guess it goes back to, you cannot control or really influence another person, all you can do is choose how you want to behave, think, and react. A few beautiful friends would say now you are onto something. It really does boil down to this basic premise even though sometimes when it is going on it feels so wrong. I know when it happens to me, sometimes I want to lash out. Sometimes I want to cry. Sometimes I want to remove the person from my life as it has happened to many times. All of these responses might be appropriate depending on the circumstances, but it is your choice and it is your choice based on your integrity compass.
We all have our own guidance that we listen to. Some is more finely tuned than others and we all have our own unique instincts. Those are what you need to follow and if things feel off because your Spidey senses are telling you it’s off, listen to it. Make a choice on how to react by your own compass. No one else’s compass will be exactly the same as yours, so I come back to the original question … should actions and words match or does it matter?