Too Many Chances

How many times have you given someone a chance and each time they have let you down, but they come up with excuse after excuse so you let them off ‘this time’. Then vow the next time they do, you will say something and that will be the last chance they get from you.

I had a situation this week where for the last year I have given someone chance upon chance, I then delegated it to a colleague to oversee and she was happy to take it on. This week after she had been let been let down for the umpteenth time again and was met with excuse after excuse, enough was enough. I called the contractor and told them we were moving on and no longer needed their services and gave them a final date of work. I emailed a follow up and did expect them to come back as they have done previously. They did, but this time, their excuses and pleading didn’t work. They had pushed me to my limit. Letting me down is one thing but to continually do the same to a colleague when promises were made, was enough. It felt good. I had taken a stand and no more chances were to be had. It took several emails but they have now got the message.

When you give people endless chances, they never really take it seriously. They assume, wrongly, that it doesn’t matter if they let you down again as you will always give them another chance. But when does enough become enough? How far do you have to be pushed in order to say that’s it.

First of all think about how it is affecting you. Perhaps it’s your time, money or emotions so what do you do or how do you approach it. Here are some things to think about.

Time – Are you spending too much time, dealing with it, perhaps you have someone at work who is meant to be doing a job for you, but in reality you are constantly asking them to re-do or just do the job you’ve asked them to. You are finding that things will improve for a while once you speak to them and they apologise, but then the period of time between doing a great job and you speaking to them gets shorter and shorter. Before you know it, your time is getting sucked up by them as you have to chat to them again and again.

At what point do you decide your time is worth more than this. If it is a work thing, then put a structure in place, performance manage them, get them to realise how serious this is. If you are their manager then you should be able to trust them to do the work you are asking them to do. Your time is precious.

Money – ok, so if this is costing you money, then why are you putting up with it. No-one wants to waste money on things that aren’t right. Maybe they are doing work on your house or garden and you keep asking them to do something or they keep delaying it. Don’t put up with it. You are paying for a service, if they aren’t willing to give you the service you desire, then find another company who is. There will always be another company that will happily take on your work and do a spectacular job. Plus do you really want to give money to a business who is that unprofessional.

Emotions – if someone is playing with your emotions, promising you something, but never acting on it or promising things will be different but never changing. Then what would it take for you to realise you are worth so much more? They may be your partner or a family member or a friend but regardless, your emotions are precious, they shouldn’t be at the mercy of others. If they truly care for you then they wouldn’t be consistently letting you down emotionally. It can be draining, you believe they will follow through and don’t doubt they will. When they don’t, it is easy to forgive them and accept what they did or didn’t do.

But think about you, if you wouldn’t do it to someone, then why are you letting them get away with it. You deserve the best, you really do. No one is better than you and should make you feel this way.

We are all guilty of letting people away with things because we love them, we accept them and will happily go along with the excuses they give. But we are helping them to get away with it. We need to take a stand. If someone lets you down once, then yes, why wouldn’t we give them a second chance? But whilst you are accepting this mistake, explain to them that if they let you down again and you have to waste your time, money or your emotions on it. Then that’s it. There are no third, fourth or fifth chances.

One thing I would say is to be fair. Some of us have higher expectations than others, so make sure what you have asked them to do or what they have promised to do is actually achievable. Otherwise they will always let you down.

It can be awkward and horrible to have these difficult conversations, but be clear to the other person that your time, money and/or emotions are not there for them to abuse. So ask them to make that decision, say if they want to let you down again, it will likely be the last time they do.

Thanks for reading. Have a great week. Love Emma xxx

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