Agreements are based on our behavior, not our words. Scary thought isn’t it? We can tell somebody we will no longer stay late at the office, pick up after their dirty dishes, or bail them out of debt one more time. Yet, if our behavior does not change, our words will mean nothing. Our credibility is compromised and we inevitably end up getting everything we tolerate.
For some reason we are often reluctant to stand by our words. There is a nagging pull towards the old actions that guilt us into doing exactly what we said we would not do again. It can be crazy making. But guess what? We are the ones making the crazy.
So next time you feel compelled to contradict your words with your behavior, remember we make agreements to set healthy boundaries. We use them to protect ourselves and the people we care about. And if they are based on strong values they will be good for us and good for others. No guilt needed.