When Is It OK To Renege On A Commitment?

Lynne Taetzsch Health Guide
  • A so-so friend calls and asks you to be in her wedding. Caught off guard, you immediately say “Of course!” And then later you find out it’s going to cost big bucks for the dress and shoes, the hotel and air travel. Plus, you’ll miss three days of work. Ouch.

    At this point you’re thinking, “Gee, Annette has never really been there for me when I needed her. We’re not all that close. Why did she even ask me?”

    Hey, you said “yes” without thinking, and as soon as you realize that, it’s time to immediately call and say you’re sorry, but you can’t be in the wedding. If you have to make up a white lie in order to be able to do this diplomatically, that’s OK.
    Add This Infographic to Your Website or Blog With This Code:

    When you make a commitment that’s obviously going to be too stressful financially or emotionally, the best thing to do is to cancel as soon as you figure that out. But it’s best not to overdo that option. Since we are moody by definition, being bipolar, it’s usually best to give ourselves a nudge and keep our commitments to people. If you’re always breaking tennis and lunch dates at the last minute, no one will want to make any with you. Get yourself out there even if you are depressed.

    We each have to assess our own capacity to follow through on commitments. Sometimes it’s best to force ourselves even when we don’t feel like it. But it’s also important to recognize those times when we need to put our own self-interest and mental health first. On those occasions, it is OK to change your mind.
Published On: August 08, 2006