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People will make you all kinds of promises.

Some follow through…others…not so much.

My beloved and I were very young when we got married and a church member promised to get us a limousine for our reception. We were over the moon excited. Let’s just say that we showed up at the reception in our own car—it’s a shame Uber didn’t exist back then!

We learned two valuable lessons that day. One, don’t ignore that still small voice that says something is a little off and two, people sometimes make promises and have no way to make good on them. Worse yet, they lie and never meant to do it in the first place.

I believe people mean well but I’ve learned to take some promises with a grain of salt. Thanks to the limo incident and others like it, when my discernment or first mind like my grandmother called it, nudges me, I know something is off and to either stop or proceed with great caution.

Part of the learning process even included forgiving myself for bypassing my internal guidance system because I desperately wanted those flowery words to be true.

If there’s no internal red flag, then my expectation is for people to do what they say or at least communicate a change in plans.

So how do you handle broken promises?

  1. Don’t dismiss internal red flags. Sometimes we can get so excited about what people say that we dismiss internal red flags. We want their words to be true so we ignore that inner warning. One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned is that I don’t have to explain red flags…I just need to honor them. They save me every time and they’ll save you too.
  2. Don’t take it personally. Sometimes life happens, people forget or they flat out lie. You can always inquire or you can let it go. Just make sure to harbor no ill will or bitterness as you move forward. Remember you’re not taking it personally. The broken promise has everything to do with them, not you.
  3. If you’re losing sleep and seething, do what you need to do to take care of yourself. That may mean taking a look inwardly and asking yourself a series of why questions. If you can ask and answer five why questions on a matter you can typically get to the truth. Why are you losing sleep? Why are you seething? Why did their words carry so much weight? Confronting the person is another option. You may or may not be satisfied with their response and at that point you’re back to letting it go and exercising forgiveness. And here’s where Maya Angelou’s words of wisdom really kick in…when people show you who they are…believe them!

Again, #thiswomanknows.

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