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In Relationships: Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Too often, people will tell you what they think you want to hear. But if you look closely, you may see their actions do not match their words. Whenever this happens, pay attention to their behaviors, not the words that are being spoken.


Listen and Learn

Have you ever had a relationship with someone who says all the right things, but when it gets down to the nitty-gritty, they fail to follow through? Unfortunately, most of us have experienced this kind of disappointment. This is why it’s important to pay close attention when someone shows you who they are. Undoubtedly, their behaviors will be repeated during your relationship, so you can watch for the actions to see if they support the words.

For example, if you have a friend who says he or she values your friendship but their treatment of you contradicts this, pay close attention. How someone treats you is indicative of the actual value they place on the relationship with you.

Let’s say you have a friend who calls you in despair. You listen attentively and offer helpful advice. Later, you call this same friend and ask for advice. Instead of listening, your friend quickly ends the conversation or says they will call you later to speak about your problem but fails to do so. What if this happens again and again with this same friend? By taking such actions, the friend is making it clear they do not have the same vested interest in the friendship you do.

With your significant other, actions can speak loudly about how much your partner values you. He or she behaves toward you in ways that show how he or she truly feels about you.

For example, what if he says he will make time for you in his life but he does not do this. He continues to communicate that he would like to spend more time together, but still doesn’t make it happen. He may be very convincing when he says the words you want to hear. His promises may sound genuine. His reasons for delay may seem real. But if he fails to act, this tells you something.

Or what if she tells you she loves you, yet whenever you try to have a conversation around commitment, she becomes defensive and irritated, and she quickly changes the dialogue. She may even blame you for not making the relationship work. Such actions provide a strong message about how she really feels about you.

These are examples of actions that belie the words. They are common signs the other person does not value the relationship the way you do. Instead, the person is distracting you from the core issues and hoping you will not hold them accountable in moving the relationship forward. In other words, their actions toward you are speaking louder than their words.



Listen to Your Intuition

Even if someone is saying all the right things, you may have a nagging intuition that something in the relationship does not add up. To keep the relationship intact, you might pocket your intuition and justify to yourself any lack of follow through.

It is hard to discern untruth in relationships. You can think about it and try to figure out what’s right and what’s wrong in a relationship, but your mind is only one of the tools you have at hand. It’s important to use your intuition too. Your gut feelings, your inner wisdom, are connected with your emotions—and your heart.

Intuition can tell you when something is off, not quite right, or missing in a relationship. But even if your intuition is telling you something is wrong, you may rely on your mind to justify moving forward. You might allow your mind to convince you to continue in a relationship even when your intuition is telling you to head in the other direction. Don’t do that to yourself! Use your mind and your intuition to guide you in managing relationships with others.


Create Space for Healthy Relationships

Keep in mind that old but true axiom: actions speak louder than words. People will show you with their behaviors how they really feel about you and where (or if) you fit into their lives. All you have to do is use your mind and your heart to evaluate their actions toward you.

Don’t waste your precious time with the wrong people. Why allow anyone who doesn’t respect you to fill the space in your life? If you do, you reduce the finite space in your life reserved for better things—and better people. If you listen, really listen, and make decisions based on the truth, you will soon find yourself surrounded by people who respect you. People who demonstrate their love for you with their words, actions, and behaviors.

What’s your story? Have you ever had a relationship with someone who was an excellent communicator but made only empty promises? How did you cope? Did you leave the relationship? How?

Please share your comments. We can learn from you.

***You are capable of receiving love. There is a relationship that will work for you. Sometimes all you need is a nudge in the right direction. If you are struggling with your current relationship, newly divorced and looking to get back in the dating scene, or single and trying to find the right person for you, maybe I can help. Reach out to me at [email protected], or sign up on my website, to receive dating tips and relationship advice. For fast advice, read my book The Relationship Investigator’s Fast Guide to Successful Dating.



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