“We judge others by actions. We judge ourselves by intentions.”
Intentions vs. Actions
It’s easy to confuse intentions with actions, particularly when either of you is still learning about an important aspect of your relationship. You might intend to not critique, but still be doing it. You might intend to finish a project, but it remains unfinished.
Intentions are an important first step to making progress, for if you don’t intend to do something then you won’t purposefully be able to ‘do’ or create change. But intentions are only the first step. The rubber hits the road when you DO rather than just THINK or PLAN.
Imagine your partner says “I didn’t intend to get angry” or “I intended to stop work at 6.” Remember to acknowledge and commend the intention because that’s still that useful first step. “I know you didn’t mean to get angry at me and appreciate that.” But more needs to be said to help change intention to action. “Though you didn’t intend to get mad, my experience was still that you were mad at me. So nothing has changed in my experience, despite your intentions. I’m asking you to take it a step further and do whatever it takes to change intent into actions.”
This is particularly tricky if there are things you, yourself, are doing where intention and action don’t match up. Make sure to hold yourself to the same standards when it comes to taking action on your intentions.
Where could you do a better job of taking those important intentions and acting on them more consistently?
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