As human beings, we’re so acutely attuned to whether someone is behaving congruently – which in plain English means whether someone’s behaviour is in line with the words they say.
We’ve all seen disgraced minister who publicly preaches family values but secretly has a mistress and a second family. Or the politician who says ‘we’re all in it together’ whilst cutting programmes for the poor and giving tax breaks for the super rich. You may be able to think of examples that are closer to home – The people who say they care about the environment but drive gas guzzling cars, or the shop assistant who tells you to ‘have a nice day’ but doesn’t act as if they could care less about it.
We’ve all got a well tuned sensor for when people mean what they say and it jars with us when their words and actions don’t match up.
Have you heard the expression ‘talk is cheap?’ It’s a shortened version of the original saying which was ‘talk is cheap but it takes money to buy a farm.’ It basically means that it’s easy to talk, say nice things or make big promises but it takes much more to actually make things happen, to stay true to your word and actually achieve things.
Overall, we’re judged by our actions rather than our words. They are what people remember. You may not be the most eloquent speaker in the world or be able to craft beautiful verses and love poems for your sweetheart, but it’s more important to show your love, your care and your dedication in your actions. This can be in the kindnesses (big and small), the thoughtful gestures, standing up for those weaker than ourselves and following through on our promises and plans.