Don’t Tell Me You Love Me, Show Me! Ways to Determine If a Person is Backing Up Their Words with Action

Written by Alan D. Benson

I used to have a District Manager who used to say, “Don’t tell me you love me; show me!” He meant that we would all say things, but following through on what we told shows its worth. We all have been around people who speak eloquently and persuasively in relationships or at work. Their words can be colorful and attention-grabbing, but sometimes, those words are just words. Here’s the thing: actions speak volumes, and that’s where we can crack the code and see if what they’re saying matches what they’re doing.

First, consistency is key. You must ask yourself if what this person says is reliable and if they will be there for you. Great! But reliability isn’t a one-time thing. It’s showing up, following through, and being someone you can count on, rain or shine. Notice if their actions match their words over time. Do they flake out frequently? Do their commitments seem more like suggestions? If so, that “reliable” label might need a rewrite.

Second, let’s talk about priorities. We all have things that matter to us, things we make time for. This person says you’re important. Should their actions echo that sentiment? Do they constantly reschedule you for less important things? Are you the one constantly bending over backward to make things work? If you consistently feel like an afterthought, it might be time to reevaluate your priorities and if you are a priority to them.

Third, we say words are easy. Anyone can say they care, are interested, and will put in the effort. But what about their actions? Those require commitment, energy, and a willingness to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. Here’s a tip: listen for what they don’t say. They haven’t explicitly promised anything but keep hinting at grand gestures or plans. Hold off on getting swept away – vague promises are a dime a dozen. Watch for concrete steps for them to take the initiative to make things happen.

Let’s get real, though. Sometimes, life throws curveballs, and even the best intentions get sidelined. So, give some grace! If something falls through once, it doesn’t mean they’re a total dud. But here’s the difference between a genuine hiccup and a chronic case of the “maybes.” Does this person apologize sincerely and try to make it right? Do they learn from the experience and avoid repeating the same mistake? Owning up to missteps and taking corrective action are signs they’re invested in making things work. Remember, we’re all human, and understanding is vital.

Now, this isn’t about keeping a scorecard or holding petty grudges. It’s about recognizing patterns. Do their actions consistently reflect what they say? Are they generally dependable and thoughtful? Do they make an effort to show you they care? If yes, you’ve got someone putting their money where their mouth is.

But it might be time for a reality check if the actions tell a different story, filled with inconsistency, flakiness, and empty promises. Remember, you deserve someone who respects your time and energy and shows you, through their actions, that you truly matter. Don’t settle for smoke and mirrors – hold out for the real deal! Your self-worth is not negotiable.

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