Words are merely that... words... and they often lose their power if they're not followed up by action. It's not a new revelation but it's one that I have learned again and again, forgotten the lesson only to relearn it with feelings hurt.
I am one to take people at face value. You tell me one thing about yourself and I will believe it so vehemently that if anyone else disagrees I will take up a bat and beat them into submission for doubting this apparent truth. "It must be true because so-and-so said so. They haven't lied to me before, and I don't care that I've only known them for x-amount of time."
Actions, however, are where it's at. Actions prove intent and words followed up by the action set forth with those words are my new gold. My talisman.
This lesson was actually taught to me years ago by the wonderful parental units. They counted to three and they said when they hit three and I was still doing the act that necessitated the counting then I was in for it. They reached three once. As sure as the skies are blue (at least for today), my father wound up and slapped me across the fanny. Wallop would have been a more appropos word. I got walloped. But they followed through with what they said and they never reached that scary number again.
Now I'm not saying we should revert to the old counting method or hit our children with belts, but a lesson can be gleaned by many from this story. Follow through with promises. Don't say it if you don't mean it. Don't tell half truths and if you don't really want to do something don't say you will. It's okay to say no. Say what you mean, mean what you say and live by it. And, if you agree to the promised action more than once, then you damn better stand by it. Otherwise, you'll force me to count to three and you don't want that.