Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Other Side of 'Actions Speak Louder Than Words'

I was walking through the streets of Venice (California, not Italy) with a girlfriend recently, listening to the tangled complications of one of her relationships, when I found myself repeating one of my most favorite lesson lines to her: Actions speak louder than words. 

"But doesn't saying, 'I love you' count as an action?" she asked.


Well...sort of nope. Saying I love you is obviously a huge action for anyone to take, but it means nothing if it's not backed up by consistent, trustworthy, love-declaring behavior. Without that, it's just sound coming out the hole in someone's face.

After I left my friend, I started thinking less about the actions and words related to outward relationships and more about the ones we use in our relationships with ourselves.

Are you saying one thing and showing something else with your actions? 

For a time when I was single, I would talk about how I was totally open to dating! and ready! to meet the right guy!, but in reality, I wasn't putting myself out there to be open to ANY guys. I have friends who utter the phrase, "I know I deserve a great man," but then they settle for people who treat them subpar again and again. Whatever the scenario—professing to care about your career path but being too afraid to make a change to something you're truly passionate about or calling yourself a health nut then routinely depriving yourself of a good night's sleep or saying "I absolutely have my own best interest at heart" then putting everyone else's needs before your own—it can tell you a lot about how you're really treating yourself.

It's not just other people's actions that inform us of their true feelings for us. The actions we take to steer our own lives speak enormous truths about our own commitment to loving ourselves and finding real happiness. 

Want to change something in your life? Stop talking about it and take action!


  1. Well said. Like saying you're going to empty the dishwasher means nothing if you don't at least get off the couch first and go into the kitchen.

  2. Given that emptying the dishwasher isn't usually directly tied to happiness or life path, I think it's probably okay to talk about that one more than act on it. Although your wife may nag you if you don't get off the couch...