The Hard Part

Promises are easy to keep.  The hard part is not promising anything you're gonna have to break.

I'm not going to promise twelve batches of brownies for your bake sale when I know that I'm working 40 hours in the next four days...and your bake sale is on the fifth day.  I probably won't even commit to working the sale!

Harder are personal, emotional promises.

"Promise me you'll keep this just between us, Plaid?"  "She'd be so hurt if she knew I said this, promise you won't tell her?"  "Promise you won't get mad?"

No, no, and no.

Chances are, I'll be able to keep your confidence confidential.  But there are some times I can't keep a secret.  Same goes for a secret about a mutual friend.  But if either of those secrets have to do with someone getting hurt or hurting someone else, I'm gonna seriously look at telling someone.  I'm not equipped to handle a harming-self-or-others situation. 

And "promise you won't get mad" is just plain unfair.  You're asking me to deny a natural emotional response.  I can promise to not explode, I can promise to listen to all you have to say.  But I may still get mad.  I will not promise otherwise.

There are other examples, but that's what I thought of offhand.  After getting burned by all three of those situations, I'm really good at telling when I'd be better off not making a promise.

Those promises I do make, I keep. 

And it's not that hard.
Plaid Plaid
31-35, F
May 16, 2012