Patch of sweet compliments on broken promises

How many broken promises are necessary to turn a believer into a skeptic?

For some: just a few, for others: hundreds and even more.

“I am going to check it out for sure,” the wide eyes look at me with such a genuine honesty. She seems to be really excited. However, I know that’s just her being polite. I also know that most people do not do what they say. By now I have learned that.

“I really love this work; it’s so beautiful and vibrant. I will certainly come back to pick it up some time later today,” once again a genuine interest in face and very promising nodding of head. To emphasize how sure she is that I can rely on her readiness to purchase the art. People who are serious usually do not stop at promise. They take some steps right away. I have learned to distinct that by now, as well.

“We will definitely come to your event. We love this type of activity”. And they never do. I believe, since I relocated in 2004, I have been misled with polite, but empty promises for at least a few thousand times. That has resulted in doubting everything until I really have a proof of that particular thing being true. Terrible, right?

When I just arrived in Canada, I took all promises for true. I was used that people would only say something like that if they meant it. I learned after some 5-7 years here, that this practically means nothing in Canada. There are occasions when somebody really does what they told they would, but most often these are just pleasing phrases to get out of situation. Why do we need that? Polite, kind, hearty, misleading promises?

I am usually asking at the end of each session: please, let me know if you are or are not going to continue. There is usually a huge excitement: that was so much fun, I learned so much (even those who did not that well), I am definitely going to be back. I am more adapted to the pleasing kindness of this country now, so I don’t expect much of this to come true. Most often it does only at a rate of 10%.

That makes things complicated. What would happen if they told: well, I enjoyed it this far, but I cannot make it back because I think my progress is too slow or because it takes much more time and efforts than I expected. Or even: I don’t like it, or I feel it isn’t what I thought it would be. I have rarely heard people saying: this is terrible, this is not for me, I am not interested at all, I don’t really care, etc. Instead, it always is how pleasant, beautiful, wonderful and amazing whatever is, and how much they love it.

If I had done my medical writing promising clients that I would meet any abnormally tight and impossible deadlines, I don’t think I would have kept these clients. I have learned over many years while being self-employed that one should only promise what they are sure they are capable of doing. Period. I haven’t missed any single deadline within more than 35 years of doing medical translations, writing and editing not because I am a super-diligent and obsessive writer, but because I take the worst scenario and calculate time required for whatever task. I can still get myself into troubles and it’s possible I would need to work very late at night into the next morning, but that excludes major disasters. Life is life. Power can go out, we can get colds, etc., but the most important aspect is that my promise includes my ability to deliver whatever I have promised on time.

Trust is a big deal. A normal human would at first trust if there are no big bells ringing that there is something wrong with this person. It is almost like our predefined settings dictate to at first trust somebody and only doubt their actions and words when there appears to be a heavy reason for that.

I read that somebody wrote in their blog post: we all make promises we don’t keep.

Well, that is wrong. It is wrong at least from my perspective. Not all of us make such promises.

There are people who won’t compliment when there is nothing to compliment for and there are people who will honestly refuse, decline and turn down invitations, requests, calls for helping out and similar things. I look at it this way: nobody pressures me to apply for everything, to be present everywhere and to carry out every possible task there is. Why would I agree to do something which doesn’t fit in my schedule or goes against my principles? I don’t think that saying “no” is impolite.

From a very early age, I was taught to keep my promises realistic and tell the truth in cases when I expect delays. That included also telling why I don’t want or cannot do some particular task. That includes telling people some things do not fit in your schedule and priorities are priorities.

Telling truth does not mean necessarily offending somebody. It is much better that putting a patch of sweet compliment on big lies.

What do I gain by taking everything with a grain of salt? A lot. I save a lot of disappointment; I don’t have false expectation and unrealistic hopes. That allows being happy when things unexpectedly turn out better and when everything goes smoother than anticipated.

I personally appreciate honesty and truth. That means there are people who I trust completely. For instance, if my daughter or my sister say I look terrible in some outfit, my make-up is bad or my hairdo is wrong, I do not get upset or angry. I go and change my outfit; I correct my make-up or hairdo because these people would tell me TRUTH. I am lucky to have a husband who is very honest and whose opinion I can value and trust.

I wish business relationships were as honest. I don’t think one can ever get over the small lies which happen again and again. Broken promises hurt. It doesn’t matter if that is a promise to show up at a certain time or a promise to lend million bucks. Be honest and stay real: that’s not much to ask, or is it?

23 thoughts on “Patch of sweet compliments on broken promises

  1. Pingback: Welcome spring with bright and vibrant flowers | inesepogagallery

  2. Yes, I so hear from where you are coming from Inese.. its not rocket science is it to speak the truth in a none offensive way..
    I know how that feels by sitting on a craft stall.. and smile as the body language kicks in.. 🙂

    Sending you love my friend ❤ xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Inese Poga Art plus Life

      Thanks Sue! Well, I simply do not get this. I cannot understand why to feel pressure saying sand promising something which one does not ever believe they would. I think it’s an American, actually North American phenomenon because I’ve never faced this back in Europe. While people are nice and kind, pleasing everybody most likely isn’t the way to be.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No we can not please every one all the time…. And I know when we had a builder, we wanted it finished at a certain time.. He could have easily promised us that.. Instead he was truthful and said sorry it would not happen until much later.. and we accepted that.. Its not hard..

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Inese Poga Art plus Life

        I know, it isn’t hard. I hope this pleasing habit gets weeded out because it’s very painful when you suddenly realize there was not even a small bit of truth in something which you took for real. Oh, well, I’m still learning, but I prefer the European way of being direct and straight. Latvians do that all the time, it probably comes from the rough times we’ve been through. I don’t think that makes anybody look bad, it’s just easier because we know right away what’s what.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Inese Poga Art plus Life

        I was, too, so that is a big riddle for me. I am quite old already, so that’s even tougher because I never wanted to find myself misled like that. Initially, it happened again and again. I’m getting used to that. I really appreciate your comments. It’s tough, I don’t seem to be ever able to get this secondary blog ever going. You told, you tried, too, but that’s time-consuming to try different tricks in order to make people aware it even exists. However, they charge in full for domain name and for the use of theme. I cannot understand why it cannot then be as a completely separate blog.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I know, My own two blogs are free, I never converted to a premium one.. But the space is fast drying up on Dreamwalkers Sanctuary. Which is why I set up the garden blog as I usually take lots of photos of the garden. 🙂 But I am having probs with WordPress comments etc.. But I keep going..

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Inese Poga Art plus Life

        Yes, it can be challenging. I simply thought it was awkward that they invite you to create more blogs, but at the same time nobody ever can see or find them. I am having no problems with space, but the cost can add up. However, what would I do without space in art blog? This one, too, will have more pictures as the garden gets going. My problem is that I have sooooo many ideas and plans and soooo little time to get this all done.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Inese Poga Art plus Life

        I have pretty much the same order, but I still need to do my medical writing jobs and also much of time is wasted in doctors’ waiting rooms and simply not feeling well enough to do something.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Inese Poga Art plus Life

        That’s good. It’s also good that rainy weather doesn’t caused additional pains and stiffness. I know how it feels when you have spent too much time on one thing when you know the other is going to suffer.


  3. Speaking solely from personal experience, I have found some people prefer a direct interaction, others are intimidated by directness, and prefer indirect interaction. Both can be difficult to decipher and open to misinterpretation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Inese Poga Art plus Life

      That should be fine as long they are not misleading somebody with promises which they never meant to keep.
      I know that people are also very sensitive here (not all, but many) and they might prefer indirect interaction, but I think it’s terrible when somebody clearly says they are going to do whatever and they don’t.
      I had a good example right tonight: one lady who told she and her friend would be for sure in the next class. It’s the last night before the class and she tells she cannot make it. Well, there was quite a long time to decide that, more than 3 weeks.It’s very difficult to arrange small events (for 5-7 participants) because once 3 or 4 fall out it’s as good as not to have it.
      I understand we are here in Canada (also in the USA) from very different backgrounds but this is an issue which I never encountered back in Latvia. I love that yes means yes and no is no. Quite honestly, I don’t think I will ever get over this.
      When I get a chance to speak with a person, I can follow the facial expressions and gestures and so I do; I listen less to what one says now, but pay more attention to how it is said.
      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Inese Poga Art plus Life

      It certainly is. However, my biggest problem is with people who promise everything. I wish there was more honesty. It literally makes me so angry because preparation for some events takes really long time, work, efforts, etc. and there I am: nobody shows up. I actually had a party, too, when I just had arrived here and 60% of invited people didn’t come. I had prepared so much of delicious food, just like any Latvian would, but I had to throw it out since nobody told they couldn’t make it. That way. That is something that does not work with me.


  4. How many broken promises are necessary to turn a believer into a skeptic?… For some: just a few, for others: hundreds and even more.
    For me, it depend on the situation in particular… I am a believer in my inner core. But one act of mistrust could easily let me down. But I try to remain hopeful. Most times, new things, people and “feelings” could grow from broken promises. Let´s keep ourselves open to new things, right?… Excellent post, dear Inese. Sending love & best wishes. ⭐

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Inese Poga Art plus Life

      Thanks so much Aquileana! The things that get me are small lies. When somebody makes plans and covers up things because of something really important and huge, I’d still get that. What people don’t do for love, power and money?
      I do not understand the small lies, which are absolutely unnecessary. The promises in small things, daily interaction which isn’t based on reality and truth.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I so understand your disappointment. I was also raised to not say things that I don’t mean. I have also been letdown by so many empty promises. Nowadays people have to earn my trust.

    I want to mention that some of it is cultural. You are from Northern Europe, and people are much more direct over here. They say what they mean. I have experienced the cultural differences also, because I’ve lived in Central/Eastern Europe for 10 years, but I grew up in America. In North America, the instinct is to stay “positive” by making people feel as good as possible in the present moment. This could mean accepting invitations, promising to do something, complimenting whatever, etc. Once the moment had passed, these words are often forgotten. I find it really annoying and superficial.

    North Americans who move to this part of Europe have a difficult time with the honesty. Why don’t people consider you a friend right away? Why don’t they smile more often? Oh my god, they actually expect you to show up when you make plans! Those who stick around for a few years learn to appreciate the value of one’s word.

    It’s tough to deal with, and you have my sympathy, Inese. 💐

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Inese Poga Art plus Life

      Thanks Julie!
      I came to conclusion that the pleasing behavior is cultural. You got it so accurately, probably because you have lived in Europe. I mean, for quite many years.
      The other thing is that I was already 46 when I relocated. When somebody is very young and changes everything so dramatically, that is much less of a problem.
      Was Canada what I expected?
      Yes, and no. While the nature is breathtaking for the most part, I very soon discovered that I simply do not fit in here. Not that somebody would point out that, but I have very different personal settings.
      This came as a shock. So many people told they would be, really promised and took invitations, cards and whatever, but here I was: prepared everything, spent time and quite a lot of money, and nobody shows up. Initially that happened again and again until I realized: here you have to charge in advance for whatever you are organizing or otherwise there are million reasons why one couldn’t make it.
      It still doesn’t work with me because I would never promise to do anything which I do not intend to, not even a very small favor.
      That has other side, too: maybe I might seem somewhat negative or denying just because I tell truth and I am direct without pretending and pleasing the other in order to just give them false hopes. I am positive, but a realist. Therefore, I do not expect from other people to flow out in compliments. Well, that is the absolutely toughest part. This hasn’t changed either during almost 15 years I am here.


    1. Inese Poga Art plus Life

      Thanks so much Ellie! Such a nice message, the first one this morning.
      I suppose integrity is in the DNA for some of us. I am happy to know that there are people who read my posts and face the same problems here and there.
      Blessing to you, as well.

      Liked by 1 person

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