Social Question

Shippy's avatar

Which do you value, the words people say, or the actions they do?

Asked by Shippy (9857 points ) September 24th, 2012

I have found that due to lots of cyber travel, and subsequent conversations, both on a simple level and on a deeper level words are basically cheap. Some sales people as we know are trained to use certain words, in order to gain a sale. We converse daily, sometimes within very important contexts. Like legal contexts, love contexts and friendship. The question then is, what if someone said a lot of words, that really did not require any action. Could you trust those words? Words like I love you? Or I care? Those I find can be quite abstract since really what action do they require? So in a way this relates to both daily life, and Internet life. A lot of people I know, say “I love you” when hanging up on the phone or saying goodbye. So words can also be bad habits?

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15 Answers

Sunny2's avatar

I value both, but trust actions more than words. Being able to trust the words people say builds over time.

marinelife's avatar

Actions probably tell more, but I am a word person. I love to hear the words.

CWOTUS's avatar

A lot depends on context again. In the context of a superficial meeting with a sales person trying to close a sale within a single meeting, for example, I wouldn’t put much stock in her praise of my taste, my knowledge of the product or the field, or how nice my outfit looked today. Right? If she’s trying to close a sale, then she may not be completely honest in her praise, and she might overlook the (also perfectly valid) criticism of the awful joke I just told, my relative ignorance of any number of other things or the spot on my shirt front from lunch.

But if we’re friends, and she alternately praises and upbraids me, as applicable and as appropriate, then her words would obviously take on more weight as those of a friend.

That’s one reason why even though I’ll never see most of the people on Fluther, I know pretty well, I think without even having that meeting, how many of them will act, and their words carry strong import to me.

This is not to say that I don’t value actions over “mere words”, but I don’t denigrate words just because that’s all I have to evaluate a person’s value to me.

cookieman's avatar

‘B’ by a mile. I trust very little of what comes out of most people’s mouths.

JLeslie's avatar

Both. My mom never says I love you to me; it doesn’t matter. My husband does say I love you, and I love it when he does. I think actions generally mean more than words, but both count.

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

I believe more in actions than words. But they both count, though actions more than words.

woodcutter's avatar

Actions seldom lie but words can lie anytime they want.

wundayatta's avatar

Words are nice, but I’d never base a relationship on them. For me, actions are key. That’s how I know what a person really means.

I think it’s a two way street. I talk a lot. But I don’t think you should pay too much attention to my words. Pay attention to how I behave. Hard to do on the internet, but you can see how I relate to people and whether I care or am empathetic or not if you watch me across a lot of different answers. You’ll see a certain consistency.

It’s funny because sometimes people get an impression of me based on one answer, and they think they can predict my answers to other questions based on the past answer. I’ve even had people writing my answers for me in advance. Of course, as soon as they saw my real answer, they edited theirs so they wouldn’t look like too obnoxious.

But over time, you can see the consistency, even online. It’s hard for a person to carry off an act consistently. Discrepancies appear. Questions arise. The weirdness makes you mistrust the person. Sometimes you find out the real story, and it’s all ok. Sometimes the person disappears.

But in the real world. it’s easier to check out the different between words and actions. There are patterns that people who are pretending hold up. They usually won’t talk about certain kinds of things, like their past, or certain aspects of their past. They might be overly cheerful, as a way of hiding serious things they won’t talk about. Often, they don’t follow through on things they say they will do.

People who aren’t hiding things seem more well-rounded. They’ll talk about good and bad. Happy and sad. And when they say they will do something, they do it.

Symbeline's avatar

If the pen is mightier than the sword but actions speak louder than words, then I don’t get it. Sometimes all you need is words, sometimes you need action. Depends on a lot of things.

DWW25921's avatar

Actions are so very important. They validate the words. Words are nothing without actions.

Ponderer983's avatar

Actions all the way!

Buttonstc's avatar

Actions speak louder than words.

flutherother's avatar

I am uncomfortable when there is a disparity between words and actions. Having integrity means that words and actions are in alignment and that what is said is meaningful.

Ela's avatar

Words can be cheap, hollow vessels people use as tools to manipulate others.
To me, there is 10x more value in a person’s actions and the words they don’t use, rather than the ones they do.

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