People who are dependable always follow through on these 9 promises

by Brendan Brown | December 20, 2023, 1:02 am

Are you someone people can count on?

Reliability is an important personal trait. People are drawn to those they can depend on.

That’s as true in personal relationships as it is in the workplace. Being dependable can take you to great places, both in your career and in your personal life.

After all, people like those they can depend on.

But being dependable is all about how you behave. If you want people to see you as reliable, you need to be reliable.

That means you need to follow through on your promises.

In particular, there are some promises a dependable person will never break.

Let’s take a look:

1) I’ll be here for you

When people are going through a hard time, they need to know that someone has their back.

This is true in a romantic relationship, but it can also be true in a friendship, family setting, or in the workplace.

After all, that’s what relationships all about.

Being there for someone as they go through a hard time is one of the most important things you can do for somebody you care about. And knowing that someone has their back can provide an enormous amount of help for anyone who is struggling.

Companionship is one of the most important contributors to a happy and psychologically healthy life.

So if you tell someone that you will be there for them, you’d better mean it.

People don’t forget who was there for them during a hard time and who wasn’t. So if you want to be a dependable person, this is a promise you definitely need to keep.

2) I’ll help you

We all need a little help from time to time.

Whether it’s help studying for a big exam, help moving from one apartment to another, or help getting over the loss of a loved one, it makes sense to turn to other people to lighten our load sometimes.

If you promise to help someone, make sure you follow through. After all, the person may be depending on your help more than you realize.

Dependable people know that keeping this promise is an important part of earning trust and respect from other people.

Simply put, a dependable person will never break this promise once they’ve made it.

3) I’ll pay you back

Money has a way of getting between people. In fact, money has been found to be a major contributor to satisfaction in relationships.

No wonder money can be a major cause of failed marriages. But it’s not just romantic relationships. Money can also get between friends and colleagues, too.

If you want to be seen as dependable, being responsible with money is a key part of it.

That’s especially true if someone is good enough to lend you money or treat you to something.

If you promise to pay somebody back, make sure you do. Pay them back as soon as you can, ideally before they have to ask you for the money. 

This shows that you are a dependable and responsible person who treats other people’s resources with the same care and attention they devote to their own.

4) I’ll support you

Promising to support someone financially is not a promise anyone should make lightly. However, it is a promise that people sometimes make, to romantic partners, to friends, and to family.

There are lots of reasons why you might decide to support someone. For example:

  • You plan on starting a family together and they need to take time off work
  • They are sick and can’t work for themselves
  • They are embarking on a new business venture or artistic career that won’t pay them immediately
  • They are going to school or undertaking training to improve their skills

Simply put, there are many good reasons why people become unable to support themselves.

But if you want to be a dependable person, make sure you don’t promise to support someone unless you know you have both the desire and the means to do it.

If you want to be seen as reliable, it’s often best to under-promise and over-deliver. Avoid promising to do things that are outside of your power.

And if you do promise to support someone financially, for whatever reason, make sure you do it unless you want to lose their trust.

5) I won’t tell anyone

Being vulnerable is the key to deep and meaningful relationships.

Think about it: we all have many superficial relationships in our lives, with coworkers and acquaintances. It’s only the people we really care about that get to know the real us. And they get to know that side of us because we share it with them.

If someone tells you something in confidence, you should consider it to be the sacred trust that it is. And if you promise not to tell anyone, you absolutely have to keep that promise.

A study of college students in 2000 found that respondents saw betraying a friend’s confidence as being an even more serious fault than cheating on a partner. That should give you some idea of how seriously people take their secrets.

And that’s why a dependable person will never repeat something they promise they will keep to themselves.

Which leads to our next point…

6) I won’t cheat on you

Dependable people don’t make promises they don’t intend to keep.

None of us can see the future. Mistakes happen, and so does infidelity.

But if you promise to be faithful to someone, you had better make sure you keep that promise. Because if you don’t, chances are good you will lose their trust forever.

And you will have no one to blame but yourself.

Romantic relationships are tricky, and our hearts rarely listen to our heads. But if you are already in a relationship and you fall for someone else, the most honest thing to do is to end the relationship rather than cheat.

As painful as it may be, it’s even more painful to break the promise you made to be faithful to another person.

7) I won’t laugh

A dependable person never repeats something they promised to keep to themselves.

But the same applies to a promise not to laugh at something somebody tells you.

We all have those embarrassing stories that are funny if you don’t have to live them. When we are being truly vulnerable with the people we care about, we open ourselves up to the possibility of being laughed at.

This is a promise you ought to be careful making. After all, you can’t always help your reaction to the story you’re about to hear.

But if you do make this promise, you must do everything you can to keep it. If someone is telling you something sensitive or embarrassing, you owe it to them not to laugh if they aren’t ready to find the humor in the situation.

And being able to control your reaction will make you much more dependable.

8) I won’t drink/do drugs

I’m not here to tell you how to live. We are all adults who make our own choices about what we put into our bodies.

However, when it comes to alcohol and drugs, there are situations where it’s legitimate for a person to ask you to stop. This is especially true when:

  • You have a history of substance abuse
  • Your partner has a history of substance abuse and doesn’t want to be around it
  • You have health conditions that make it dangerous to use alcohol or drugs

If a person asks you to stop a particular behavior, it’s up to you whether you will honor that request. 

But if you promise to give up an activity, that’s a promise you have to keep if you want to be seen as dependable.

9) I’ll remember

Compared to some of the other items on this list, this can seem like a small one. But often, trust is eroded more by many small things than one big transgression.

If you promise to remember something, you have to make sure you do it. Maybe it’s a birthday or an anniversary. Maybe it’s an errand you promised to perform. Maybe it’s a gift you are meant to buy.

But whatever it is, you need to do everything in your power to remember it. Set a reminder in your phone, write a note yourself, and do whatever you have to do to make sure you don’t forget.

It’s these small actions over long periods of time that make people see you as dependable – or not.

Being dependable

Being dependable is a quality that earns the respect and affection of other people. After all, we all need someone to rely on from time to time.

So if you want to be that person for those around you, make sure you never break these promises. Sticking to your word is one of the most powerful ways you can demonstrate how dependable you are.

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