Canceling Commitment Phobia

By: Michell Stanley, LICSW, ACC, RYT

What is a Complete Commitment?

A complete commitment includes 3 parts:

  1. Intention — A personal priority that is essential for the person making the commitment
  2. Communication — A verbal agreement to act on the intended commitment
  3. Action- Behavior towards a result that fulfills the commitment

1. Define Your Relationship

Friendships, family relationships and intimate partners all have different roles, responsibilities and expectations. Make sure that you are clear and in agreement of what type of relationship you have and the expectations you each have for these relationship roles.

2. Consider Your Own Level of Commitment

Some people are afraid of or uncomfortable with commitments. If you think this might be you: Reflect on the things you are reluctant to commit to or be responsible for. Next acknowledge all the things you do commit to even if it’s mundane (i.e. brushing your teeth). If you don’t see yourself committing to anything of significance, look at how you spend your time, money and attention. What you choose to focus on will reveal your intentional (or unintentional) commitments.

3. Don’t Keep Talking to Deaf Ears

No one wants to nag (hopefully ;). If you find that you repeat yourself when you don’t get the response you want, try something else. Stop trying to persuade, convince or complain. Try to understand the other person’s motivation, emotions and intentions underlying their actions. Then try to find the middle ground that is a win-win for you both.

4. Define & Align with Your Intention

The most frustrating part of being in a relationship with someone who doesn’t follow-through is a feeling of resentment. When you find alternative healthy ways to meet your needs without demanding or requiring it from someone, you alleviate a lot of stress, pressure and resentment in your relationship.

5. Take Initiative towards Integrity

Integrity doesn’t just mean doing what you say you will do. Integrity also means refraining from saying “yes” when you aren’t sure you can fulfill a request. It is simple, but definitely not easy. Even if you realize you can’t fulfill something you’ve already agreed to, it’s better to communicate as soon as possible. Making an authentic and visible effort to do what you said you would can also go a long way.

Michell Stanley Founder & Executive Director



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