Everyone has a mix of reliable and unreliable people in their lives. Reliable people are the ones that come through time and time again when they promise something. Unreliable people might come through sometimes, but you can't depend on their word.
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This post originally appeared on The Simple Dollar.
Most people tend to want to collect reliable people in their lives. Sure, we all have unreliable friends and family, but we tend, over the long haul, to be drawn more toward reliable people for obvious reasons. Think about your own life for a moment. When the chips are down and you need some help, who are you going to call first? The reliable people or the unreliable ones? Are you going to call the guy who often fails to show up for dinner parties and other events, or are you going to call the punctual guy who showed up last week to help you jump your car?
When you're struggling at work, are you going to ask for some help from the guy who seems to constantly miss deadlines? Or are you going to look for the person who gets things done on time and comes up with solutions regularly?
In each of those cases, you're going to contact the reliable person first. In a broader sense, you're going to want to make sure those reliable people stick around in your life and in your workplace.
These seem like common sense principles, but if you stretch them out, you can see how they end up affecting your money and your life. Reliable people in general tend to build stronger relationships and find more secure employment (there are always exceptions, of course). When you actually look around your community and see which people have built a strong and sustainable life for themselves, you're generally seeing reliable people.
One of the biggest factors (for me) in building a long-term friendship or professional connection with someone is their reliability. When I ask for their help, do they tell me honestly whether or not they can help and come through when they do offer help? When they accept an invitation, do they actually show up? Do they treat others with respect and dignity? Do the ups and downs of life drastically affect their behaviour?
Naturally, no one is perfect in all of those areas, but some people are obviously more reliable than others in those regards. I'm not alone in feeling this way. Look at your life and the relationships that have sustained over a long period of time. Most of those people are inherently reliable people. Again, not all, of course, but I'd be willing to bet that a strong majority of those friends and professional connections are pretty reliable people.
To put it simply as possible, I view reliability as one of the biggest keys to personal, social, financial, and professional success. You don't have to say you'll do something every time someone asks, but when you say you'll be there or you say you'll help, you come through. How can you be more reliable?
Be Honest When you Say "Yes" and "No" to Others
Don't say "sure" to something just to get people to go away and stop bothering you, particularly when you have no intention of following through. If you can't follow through, say "no" and explain why if they ask. Most people respect you when you say that you already have a commitment or a set of commitments that keep you from adding more to your plate.
Don't Always Say "No," Either
When friends or professional associates ask for help, you need to be able to provide that help a significant amount of the time. You don't have to always come through, but part of being reliable is that you do provide help on a regular basis.
Don't Demand Credit All The Time
People who demand credit for the things they've done often lose the goodwill that comes from the help they provided. People recognise when you help out, but when you demand credit for all that you do, it ends up leaving a negative taste behind.
Use Reliability As A Basis
When you associate with people that are reliable, it becomes more natural for you to be more reliable. People take on the traits of those they associate with the most.
Simple steps like these lead to stronger personal and professional relationships, and those lead directly to greater personal, social, professional, and financial success.
The Reliable People [The Simple Dollar]
Trent Hamm is a personal finance writer at TheSimpleDollar.com. After pulling himself out of his own financial crisis, he founded the site in late 2006 to help others through financially difficult situations; today the site has become a finance, insurance, and retirement resource. Contact Trent at trent AT the simple dollar DOT com; please send site inquiries to inquiries AT the simple dollar DOT com.