Why Is Show Better Than Tell?
In the twenty-first century, words are as cheap as the breath used to create them. While your social status may range from retail worker to leader of the free world, your follow-through will make or break your personal relationships. Empty promises reveal a deep lack of congruity between intentions and character. For a black and white example: it is easy to say “I have no ulterior motives” when taking a romantic interest out to dinner; however whether you are using this event to coerce them into repaying with sexual favors, or are genuinely interested in spending time with them and enjoy their company will be dictated by your actions. In other words show is better than tell.
What Is Congruity About?
To borrow from the title, congruity embodies the concept of “to show is better than to tell”. Congruity is crucial in a relationship. It suggests an inner integrity and signals an honest, genuine, well-adjusted personality that rises above petty drama. It communicates to the other person you are confident and comfortable in your own skin with no need to erect a facade. Further, congruity is saying “I love you” and sacrificing time, effort, energy or all of the above to adequately express the meaning of your words. It is saying “your opinion is valuable to me” and listening intently while considering their point of view. Congruity suggests an inner harmony that who you profess to be, aligns with who you actually are.
Acknowledge Your Partner
Taking this toward a more personal angle: Imagine yourself sitting at home one night after work; your spouse walks in tired from a mentally taxing day on the job and equally nerve-fraying commute home. As they stagger by you, you give them a platonic head-nod and continue watching Netflix. The person you have committed your life to, who you have professed your love for many times, is listing from fatigue. All the while you sit idly by, minding your own business.
Do your words and actions match up? No! Conversely, imagine the same scene, instead you have a hot cup of coffee along with some refreshing words. If you and your partner are less wordy, perhaps an embrace of offering to cook dinner. Maybe some other demonstration of support could be used in place of words of affirmation. In any case, you acknowledge your partner, and respond to their needs accordingly.
What Defines You?
This article is by no means a how-to guide to the reader, but a reminder that relationships should always be an active voice. To borrow a familiar phrase: “It is not what you say, but what you do that defines you.” However, you can easily extrapolate this to “It is what you say and then don’t follow through on” that will equally define you. Whether in personal relationships or working relationships always be the person you say you are because show is better than tell.