We are all busy. There will always be things that need to be done. That does not mean you should neglect your commitments. Commitments are agreements to keep your word and to do what someone is counting on you for. By canceling or failing to go through a commitment, you are letting down—even hurting—the ones who rely on you.
Philippa Perry, psychotherapist and author of How to Stay Sane, states that commitment is at the core of sustaining a strong social network. Having a strong social network is critical because studies demonstrate that people with good social networks enjoy greater longevity.
Perry explains that commitment can be broken down into three areas: Relationships, Place, and Activity. In order to prevent failing on a commitment, you must identify where potential problems may lie for you. Really think about what feeds the urge to back out of your commitments: is it the person to whom you are committed? Is it where you spend your time during commitments? Or could it be the activities that seem to rob you of the motivation to meet your commitments?
Perry further explains that our main dilemma with being able to commit (on any of the three areas) is the notion that there may be better options available that have yet to expose themselves. Western society fosters individualism—sometimes this value becomes exaggerated, so much so that we sometimes forget to think about anyone but ourselves. Yes, sometimes it isn’t enjoyable to sit through a lengthy graduation or boring family event. However, don’t forget that it’s not always about you; you aren’t the only special one in your relationship.
Before you decide to cancel a commitment because it may be inconvenient for you, think about situations where a child spends their birthday alone because no one made it to their party. Is what you had to do instead of attending more important, an emergency, or that much of hassle for you? As human beings, we have a responsibility to each other. Everyone plays a vital role; commitments are bonds that should not be taken for granted.
We are social beings and need each other for support. Virtual support is not enough, even though your busy schedule might seem like a valid excuse. Most importantly, imagine what it would be like if you were all alone on a day that may be special to you.
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