Say What You Mean

When it comes to relationships, communication is key.  (You probably already know this!)

We’ve found the book The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz, powerful and informative on an individual and relationship level.  The agreements that Ruiz lays out in his book can help people live life more fully, successfully and joyfully.

The first agreement, according to Ruiz,  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 stuff” too.

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.

Scroll to Top