This has to be a very important lesson I have learnt in the last couple of years. I am naturally trusting and also keep promises- this means that I expect others to mirror this. Alas, many are not like me and one has to accept this. Sometimes I wished I had been less trusting as I have been cheated and sometimes I wished I had not kept my promises because they turned out to be meaningless or insignificant to the other person. However, there is an important thing I have learnt and want to share with you. This is that one should rely on what people do, rather than what they say they will do.
Some years ago, I worked with an unpleasant colleague who was forever skiving off on various excuses and bullying me. After a year of this, I complained to my line manager about him. The line manager listened to me very gravely and agreed that this colleague should be disciplined, even calling him an ‘idiot’. So I went off, feeling reassured. But in the years that followed, not only was this colleague not disciplined but actually promoted. Even though he was earning far more than me, any expenses he incurred were reimbursed [while the same expenses from me were disputed]; he was given visiting cards and customised brochures when the department was in financial trouble and no one else was; and he was given a fair bit of the limelight when there were visitors about even though what he had to say was nothing special. I realised that nothing would be done and left a couple of years later when a suitable job arrived. I realised that I should have left years ago when I could see that nothing was being done.
So now I am a bit wiser. I don’t get all excited when someone says they will do something for me but wait until that actually happens. If it doesn’t happen, then okay, i get on with my life and find the best way to cope. That way I am not frustrated or angry. If it does happen, yippee, that is great- it is great when people keep their promises! They are my friends for life.