actions speak louder than words

Actions Speak Louder Than Words – For Who?

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Chiara Mazzucco

CEO, Editor-in-Chief at The Indie Chicks, Inc
Chiara got her start in the blogosphere by dishing out reality slaps on her dating and relationship blog. The brutal honesty that became her signature tone earned her the badass reputation she needed to get The Indie Chicks magazine up and running. She is also a web designer and author of The 9 Mirages of Love. Driven, stubborn, and wildly ambitious, she won’t stop until she is the perfect, self-empowered role model for all of her readers.

I don’t know about you, but when I hear ‘actions speak louder than words’ and other cliches as end all solutions or argument sign-offs, it makes me want to bang my head against the wall. Now – don’t get me wrong – I absolutely, completely, and wholeheartedly believe that actions do speak louder than words. I just feel the phrase is abused, overused, and misunderstood. So the real question is, do actions speak louder than words for you or for those your actions affect?

Don’t talk the talk if you can’t walk the walk. Period.

Before we dive into this article, I want to make something clear: actions speak louder than words. Period. In romance, you can’t say I love you if you don’t find a way to show it; In the workplace, you can’t say you deserve a promotion if you can’t prove it; In friendship, you can’t backstab, lie, read diaries and  sleep with your ‘friend’s’ lovers and still claim to be a loyal friend. When the new year hits, you can’t expect the resolutions you write in your diary to come to life without you actually doing something to make them happen.

The more you talk without the walk, the more you’re the piece of shit who cried wolf. That’s how others see you and that’s how you’ll inevitably see yourself.

Others Rely on your Words, So act.

How easy is it to promise you’ll change if you know you’ll gladly be granted a second chance? How easy is it to tell your boss you’ll get this and that done during the meeting when you know everyone will be envious of your work ethic?

There you are; committing, making promises, and signing up for shit you know deep down you won’t be taking seriously. You reap the instant satisfaction of praise from your peers and your boss and faith and hope from the loved ones you’ve hurt and get to walk away a winner. Feels good, right?

Ever cross your mind that these people may actually believe you and rely on you to follow through with the promises you’ve made? You have the obvious let downs: your peer or boss not getting your work by deadline and having to work late hours to catch up, your friends being one man short of man power they were expecting for a labor intensive project, your parents looking like assholes when you stand them up at a dinner with friends.

Then you have the other, slightly sadder, aspect of letting others down. The emotional let down.  Have you ever let someone back in? Given a second chance? Opened up, completely, becoming so vulnerable that a broken promise has the power to break you? That’s what it feels like when cheaters cheat again and employees let their bosses down, bosses who are actually invested and have defended your work ethic to business partners.

When you commit to things and don’t follow through, you’re doing more damage than you know. If the guilt of letting someone down isn’t enough to get this cliche engrained in your brain, then perhaps you’ll consider the damage you’re inflicting on yourself…

Actions Speak Louder Than Words – For You.

When you think of that phrase, you imagine a girl taking back a boy promising her he won’t treat her like shit again… and her signing off with a snotty, “Actions speak louder than words.” And while there’s nothing wrong with this sign off, I bet you’re not taking into account how much not following through is going to actually affect him.

If you do the same thing over and over again, your mind will make it a habit – and not following through is a shitty habit you don’t want to have.

Part of being an indie chick is becoming the best version of yourself. If you cannot commit, then don’t open your mouth. That way, you’ll give others a chance to plan ahead instead of relying on someone who isn’t going to show; you’ll give your lover a chance to start the healing process early rather than devote another month to someone who is just going to cheat again.

Do something crazy next time: instead of using words, just act. See what happens when you show up to work having gone above and beyond with new ideas, finished projects and other unexpected moves. See what happens when you show up at your best friend’s house with a bottle of wine, a good chick flick and a Ouija board, without needing to claim the ‘best friend’ label.

Just.. try it. See what happens. 

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  • Rene

    Great article. I have struggled with plans falling through from time to time. Some were due to unfortunate circumstances and others were from one of us bailing. I’m guilty of not meeting expectations :-(. However, I’ve learned my lesson, especially since I’m planning my own wedding. When people don’t follow through it creates more work for me. I’ve been a lot better about keeping plans since I’ve finally felt the weight of what it’s like to be left hanging. Thanks for writing this!