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Never say the word 'promise'

I never understood people's insatiable need for giving promises. People ask others to promise things. People make promises. Why?

Things become almost ridiculous when people start asking for promises with simple things like going shopping. I overheard a wife asking a husband 'Will you join me shopping at the weekend? You promise?'

Promising has become a symbol of slavery to me, mental and emotional slavery.

Promise to love me?

Do you promise to stay friends forever?

Promise you won't leave me.

Promise you won't cheat on me.

Make a promise you'll stay in this job.

Promise you'll come to dinner with my parents.

Do you promise you'll take the rubbish out tonight?

Come on, we should be better than that. Why put on ourselves and others the chain of promising things that shouldn't be promised in the first place?

The best way to keep one's word is not to give it. - Napoleon Bonaparte

All this 'promise' thing just doesn't make sense to me, it never did. It's so outdated.

Asking for promises is pointless, humiliating and insulting

Please tell me how can someone promise that they'll love forever? That's a lie. We shouldn't be asking for a promise like that, but if we're silly enough to do so, we shouldn't be taking such promises seriously and we certainly shouldn't be taking seriously the person who gives such promises.

Asking other people to promise to change behaviour like stop cheating, or being insincere, or whatever. It's a sign of weakness, fear and victim mentality. Instead of facing the brutal truth of who we're dealing with and making decisions about our relationship, we burden the other person with promising what they probably don't want and can't achieve. We give away the responsibility for our decision to the other person.

On top of all this, asking such a person to promise a behaviour change is unreasonable.

If we trusted the person, we wouldn't be asking for a promise.

If we don't trust the person, how can we trust their promise?

If the other person is also into the 'promise' game, we use promising as a dog collar to keep the person in control. It's manipulative behavior.

The other person is probably an adult with free will, freedom to choose their behaviour and responsible for their actions. If they stay with us, it's probably because they want to. If they join us on a shopping spree, or have sex with us, it's probably because they choose to. If they cheat on us, they make a conscious choice to. We can't force them to change, it doesn't work like this. Asking them to promise to do something they don't want to do, is using psychological force.

Asking others to promise something that we should be getting in a good relationship by default is a sign of our weakness, helplessness and relationship failure.

Asking others to promise things they commit to is silly. When people get into a relationship they commit - formally or informally - to certain things. We don't promise to our employer that we'll come to work tomorrow. Why ask your partner to promise to take the rubbish out?

Giving promises is irresponsible, desperate and silly

It's totally irresponsible and immature to give promises - big and small.

Giving big life changing promises, such as 'I'll stay with you forever' is irresponsible. We don't know what will happen tomorrow, how can we promise something in the long term?

Isn't life about change? Aren't we changing as we mature? Change means our personality changes, our tastes change, our preferences change. Our values and life goals change, too. And they should. Past promises become irrelevant and outdated. Circumstances change. People come and go.

Some commitments shouldn't easily change, but can always be re-negotiated.

Flexible people are more resilient and trustworthy. Flexibility in relationships makes them more stable and viable. Why?

Because people with freedom to choose don't feel forced to do things they don't want to do. People in honest relationships where they can openly negotiate things don't feel chained to the other person.

As soon as one promises not to do something, it becomes the one thing above all others that one most wishes to do. - Georgette Heyer

Giving small promises is silly, because these are just not needed. It's an overkill. Why should I ever promise things like taking the rubbish out or going shopping with someone?

Aren't relationships based on trust, respect and common interests? If my relationship is not, why am I still in this relationship?

When we make big and small promises all the time, we attract big and small manipulators.

By showing that we're open to manipulation we start attracting people who like to manipulate. Honest and open people who value trust-based partnerships will avoid us. Then we complain about having to deal with manipulative people.


I'm a very practical person. I believe that if we really want to show other people that we're serious about something, we should be able to demonstrate this by our actions, not words. Actions that are our conscious choice. This will be truly a reflection of our free will and genuine desire, or the fact that we're mature enough to stick to our commitments.

An ounce of performance is worth pounds of promises. - Mae West

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