Wednesday, January 29, 2014


What compels us to make promises we can't keep?  

Most of us have had at least an episode or two of over committing, knowing as we say 'yes' that we are promising something that we will not be able to do.

There are many possible reasons to explain this behavior that in some of us is more than occasional. 

Often we over commit when we are angry - saying yes in these situations is a passive aggressive way of responding, since we are setting up the recipient for disappointment.

Sometimes we act this way because we are afraid of the judgment of others if we say no. 

And sometimes it is our own judgment that compels us - the internal voice that tells us that we are inadequate.  By over committing we can feel larger than life - powerful and dominant. 

And in some of us, there is also that gambler's rush that comes with 'putting one over' on the other guy, along with the excitement of hoping that the deck of cards we construct might not actually topple…


An opportunity to experiment with some fun

Ever find yourself promising things you know you can't possibly do?

What do you think motivates you?
          If I say no I'll look bad.
          They'll be angry at me.
          I'll look poor - like a loser

          If I say yes I'll feel powerful.
          People will be impressed.
          I'm in charge, running the show.
          No one can criticize me.
          I get a rush out of doing this.

Who do you think you learned this behavior from?
          A parent?
          A teacher?
          A friend?
          A boss?

How do you feel when you are on the receiving end?
          I feel hurt.
          I feel angry.
          I feel betrayed.

What usually happens when you 'get caught'?
          I get angry.
          I feel depressed.
          I spend a lot of time figuring out how to recover and cover up.
          I lie.

Now as an experiment imagine the last time you 'over-committed'.  Run the story of what actually happened through your mind - the promise and the results.  Pay particular attention to the consequences.  Was the clean up worth the deed?   

What do ya say?
We'd love to hear your experiences on either side of this one.

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