How Reliable Are You?


When you see the word reliable, what do you think of? The definition, as taken from, The Free Dictionary by Farlex, online, includes,

1. dependable, trustworthy, honest, responsible, sure, sound, true, certain, regular, stable, faithful, predictable, upright, staunch, reputable, trusty unfailing,adjective

2. safe, dependable, adjective

3. definitive, sound, dependable, trustworthy.

Let's put some of these words to work, shall we.

Can You Be Relied Upon

The issue of reliability is one that can have far reaching implications. You see, life or death can be involved. For instance, suppose you have a serious accident, and an ambulance is called. Suppose two ambulances were called, after much discussion one is decided upon, one takes off and goes to another emergency. The one that accepted the call, decides they would make a pit stop along the way, eventually a more, (they consider), serious call comes through, and they decide to take that one instead. Wouldn't you say, reliability was very important and that it could have been a life or death issue in this case. This may be a far fetched example, but I hope it makes my point.

Reliability in marriage, and friendship can be the mainstay of both relationships. A marriage can quite possibly end, or be thrown into serious discord if one or both are not reliable. What about other familial relationships, parent to child, child to parent, sibling to sibling, etc? In business also, reliability is very important. There is a fine line between trust and reliability, however, at this time we're not discussing trust, which can be serious, but reliability can be just as serious.

We can ask ourselves, Are we reliable? Can we be counted on to keep our word in all situations? Do we count on others to be reliable? Is reliability even important to us?

Does Your Yes Mean Yes, And Your No Mean No

There is a scripture in the bible that says, "let your yes mean yes, and your no, mean no." Think about that for a minute. Has someone ever invited you to a party, let's say at their home,and you accepted and agreed to attend? Later you were invited to a "better outing." And in the vernacular of today, "you blew off" the first person that invited you, in favor of the "better outing." Did you give any thought to the fact that the first person prepared the gathering with you in mind, or rather they prepared food with a specific number, and you were counted in that number.

In the marital arrangement the usual promise from the man is that he will take care of his family's needs. Suppose the man does take on that responsibility, but along the way he shows himself to be unreliable. In time his work ethic changes or is revealed, and he goes to work at his own discretion, sometimes late, or other times not at all. Consequently if he's unreliable in his employment, his job could be seriously jeopardized, or even forfeited. How long do you think peace and harmony in that marriage will last? What about the wife, she's been known, at times, to not be true to her word. A noted incidence occurred when, she said that she would put the husband's clothes in the cleaners, (she does not do laundry,and, that's alright). The husband wears uniforms to work, and must always present a neat and clean appearance to the public. Well, today is an especially important day, he's getting his annual review for his raise, (very important to the family). What happens? He goes to the closet to take out one of his nice clean uniforms.........and, nothing, not even a part of one. Where are they? Guess! Yeah, in the wife's car, dirty, and she's gone to work. Was reliability important in this case?

Parent child relationships: Being reliable here is a serious enough issue to merit consideration. To begin, parent to child. First let me begin by saying, I watch those TV mystery shows, such as Law & Order, CSI, etc, and occasionally I see very relevant topics, that I learn from, (paranoid me). So, I'm going to use an example from one of those shows to make my point. Suppose both parents have the responsibility of chauffeuring the children to and from school. Let's say it's the father's turn to pick the minor child up. Well school is out and no provisions are made for anyone, but, the father to pick up the child. Everyone, after checking with the child as to the whereabouts of the father, is assured that he is on the way, (child has cell phone), leaves. I'm not going to go through the whole scenario, but suffice it to say the father, takes an "important last minute call," (how much more important than his child, I'm just saying), thinking it will only last a few minutes. One hour later, he leaves to pick the child up, when he gets there, no child, (kidnapped). Wouldn't you say that being reliable in this instance had far reaching consequences.

Let's lighten it up a bit here. Child to parent: Both parents work. The arrangement is that the teenager, after getting home from school, starts dinner for the family, (three smaller children). Well this young lady gets on the phone to her BFF, you know where I'm going with this. Right, seven o'clock comes, parents are just arriving home, no food cooked or even started. Reliability was very crucial here.

Sibling to sibling: Both are assigned chores. Sibling One is very reliable, Sibling Two, not so much. Sibling One has the task of taking the weekly garbage out to the curb, the night before, the next day's pickup. (Big party weekend before, receptacles all completely full). Sibling One (reliable one), has mounds of homework and asks Sibling Two to take garbage out, just this once. "Oh sure," says Sibling Two, while playing video games on the computer. Sibling One goes to bed after a long and tiring night of homework assignments, pretty sure Sibling Two kept his word this time. The following morning, the loud sound of the garbage truck is heard by all, nobody moves, why, because the parents know that Sibling One always takes the garbage out. Sibling One thinks Sibling Two has kept his word. Sibling Two is oblivious to it all, because, as he feels, that's not his job. Well, time for everyone to leave for the day, as all step outside, garbage cans filled to the brim, still in their original location, and the garbage man is long gone for the week. Who do you think gets the blame for this? Wouldn't you say that reliability was a key factor in all of this.

Friend to friend: What kind of friend are you, are you the one that your friends can count on to always be there, no matter what, or the one that everyone is afraid to call on, because they feel you will not "have their back?" What if, your friend was in dire need of a ride to the doctor, she had no money for public transportation, no other way to get there, and you promised the night before to take her. Which category would you fall into?

What about reliability in business: Your starting time for work is 9:00 am. You repeatedly come in to work at 9:15, 9:20 etc, never getting to work on time. Suppose one of your duties is to turn in timely, accurate reports weekly, that are germane to the continual operation of the company, one week you are on time, the next, not, two out of three times the report is inaccurate. You continue in this practice for about six months, suddenly the company is having serious financial problems, and it's caught far beyond the critical stage. If the weekly reports had been reported accurately and on time, serious ramifications could have been avoided. Reliability?

What About You

If you are that husband or wife, could you perhaps sit down together and have a serious heart to heart, and if one or both fit any of those scenarios, or anything remotely related to them, explain your frustrations. Admit you have the problem and accept whatever help and understanding that is offered. When these things are pointed out to you, accept and own them and honestly try to change. On the other hand, for the one without the problem, don't be judgemental, be kind, offer assistance, whatever it takes. After all there are so many external attacks on the marriage arrangement, that you don't need to add or hold on to any internal problems. Work at removing these vexing internal problems and produce a united front to the external ones.

Parents, what about your commitment to your children, perhaps you can work at being more reliable, so as to teach the same to your children. Make no promises you don't intend to keep. Children, what about you? When you make a promise to your parents, work at keeping it at all cost. After all you expect them to keep their word to you, in something that you feel is important, so why not give them a reason to reciprocate. Siblings, there's always give and take in any relationship, why not give a little more and not always be the taker. You see, the reliability you show in something seemingly minor, can, in time translate into larger issues in later life. Think of this as practice for living in the real world as an adults.

Friends, you've heard the saying, "if you want a friend, you must be a friend." In other words if you want to keep your friends, you must act the way you want them to act towards you. In this self-centered world, friends are precious commodities, so as far as it depends upon you, be the kind of friend that it can be said of us, you are a friend indeed.

What about work. Let me begin by saying I did lose a job once, (one that I did not like, anymore), due to tardiness, which was their only complaint. I wrote a hub about my tardiness, (Why am I always late) I digress. As you can see reliability in the workplace can mean the difference between having a job and not having one. During these hard economic times, we can ill afford to lose a job due to our own lack of reliability. So, my advice to you, whose ship has not sailed, (ingrained tardiness), work at changing this habit fast. Even if you feel you can't change, consider this, can you give up eating on a regular basis, or your place of residence. Those things are sometimes the alternative to changing a bad habit and retaining your employment. Not just tardiness, being reliable in other aspects of one's employment is crucial, perhaps you can name a few yourself. You see the ability to retain your employment could depend on several factors. Let it not be due to your not being reliable.


To conclude, are you reliable, how reliable are you, is reliability even important to you? These are questions that only you can answer. However, your answers can impact others, so before you answer, consider that thought. And may reliability be the cornerstone of your personality.

© 2009 Alfreta Sailor

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Comments 34 comments

BJC profile image

BJC 7 years ago from Florida

True true true. I used to do this and the repercussions were awful. God taught me well on this one. Thanks for the hub and gentle reminder that is good for all of us :>

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

I am the reliable sort fastfreta! I find it just so much easier and less stressful to do what I say I will do.

BUT - and here is the big BUT I have met so many that are not - and they think I'm supposed to be okay over this. I have had to end early friendships over people who did not show up, who never kept their part of the deal, didn't keep their word - and on and on.

Who has time to cater to an irresponsible person? As the saying goes (with a slight change of mine) 'irresponsible people will treat you the way you allow them.'

Fun hub by the way!

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 7 years ago from Southern California Author

Thank you BJC and BK for weighing in on this very long hub. I have learned and I am still learning to be more reliable, although in most things, I am 100% reliable, others, like getting to appointments on time, I need work.

jiberish profile image

jiberish 7 years ago from florida

I must be a little weird, I have never been late for work, or any appointment, usually I'm early. However, being reliable can sometimes become a burden when people impose on my time. Here's an example; I love to paint in my spare time, usually I will be covered in paint and in deep thought when the phone rings. Someone on the other end wants me to run an errand, I explain that it will be some time, and they get angry. So, I have come to the point that I do not answer the phone, unless I am willing to be interrupted, therefore, cutting down having to be reliable. :)

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 7 years ago from Southern California Author

jiberish, from what I see, the problem is not yours, but theirs. And yes you are weird! LOL, just kidding, I wish that I had that ability. Thanks jiberish for that.

C. Stewart profile image

C. Stewart 7 years ago

Great Hub Freta!

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 7 years ago from Southern California Author

Thanks, C. Stewart! Come back again soon.

Veronica Allen profile image

Veronica Allen 7 years ago from Georgia

I really love this hub! It's really rare to find reliable people however. Most people expect you to keep your end of the bargain, but feel that they don't have to reciprocate. Thanks for the reminders.

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 7 years ago from Southern California Author

I agree, especially in this selfish, me first generation. Thanks Veronica.

create a page profile image

create a page 7 years ago from Maryland, USA

Great hub fastfreat. Much food for thought. I lost my job twice due to 'cooked up' reasons by my employers. Now that I have my own business I do not regret not working for anyone. I try to be reliable for my clients. I hope they appreciate that. Keep up the good work.

alekhouse profile image

alekhouse 7 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

Good hub, Freta. Don't want to boast, But...I am extremely reliable. Always on time, if I say I'll do something, I always follow through, unless circumstances beyond my control intervene.

I say Yes a lot...but I can also say No if I think I can't meet my obligations. And, reliability is extremely important to me. All my friends are reliable, or they aren't my friends.

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 7 years ago from Southern California Author

Create a page and alekhouse thank you so much for weighing in on this subject, as it is close to my heart. I pride myself on being reliable as far as making my yes mean yes, however being late is a big problem, and most of my friends know that. They know they can count on me to be there, late, but there. They also know if there's one person they can count on, it is me. So you see I fit into both categories to an extent. Thank you both for sharing.

DoodleLyn profile image

DoodleLyn 7 years ago from Upstate New York, USA

Hey fastfreta - Another great hub on an important topic. I consider myself, and my friends consider me, reliable. Anyone who wants to be taken seriously needs to be, I'm sure you agree. I had to laugh, and relate, to jibberish. I will sometimes not answer the phone when I am busy, as I don't want to get into a situation that I cannot attend to right away. My biggest problem is saying NO. lol. Keep 'em coming ff, great work!

DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 7 years ago


After giving this some thought;

I can truly say I am reliable. If I say I will no matter what I will! I will do whatever it takes to keep my commitment. But I won't compromise my principles. I won't say yes unless I really mean it.


fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 7 years ago from Southern California Author

Thanks DoodleLyn, and DeBorrah for stopping by. I do appreciate hearing from you both, and value your comments, please come back soon.

Helen Cater profile image

Helen Cater 7 years ago from UK

I would like to think I am reliable. I enjoy helping others more than helping myself and hope I have helped you today.

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 7 years ago from Southern California Author

Thanks Helen, for stopping by, and please come back again soon.

Waren E profile image

Waren E 7 years ago from HAS LEFT THE BUILDING............

Well not all the time for me,I tend to run from the phone and lock my room when low priority things get in the way of my personal agenda,but I'm working on it really!:)

terrimak 7 years ago

I am a reliable person and take great pride in that. Loved the hub. Great writing.

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 7 years ago from Southern California Author

Thanks terrimak for stopping by, please come back soon, and thanks for the compliment.

Tamarii2 profile image

Tamarii2 7 years ago from NEW YORK

I have to work on being reliable.I don't like to open my mouth because every time I do I tell people I am going to do something..etc.Then I find my self kicking me for saying it.Because they then rely on me to pull them through.I have a college fund foundation and that gets my mouth in trouble all the time.I talk and then people ...etc look to me.I truly have to work on this...Great hub.Thanks for your comments on my hub.Enjoying the journey.>peace to you.

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 7 years ago from Southern California Author

Thanks Tamarii2 for your comment. I think that a lot of us have the same problem, so don't feel alone. Thanks for stopping, please come back soon.

june688 profile image

june688 7 years ago

I really love this hub! It's really rare to find reliable people however. Most people expect you to keep your end of the bargain, but feel that they don't have to reciprocate. Thanks for the reminders.

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 7 years ago from Southern California Author

Thank you june688 for that insightful comment, I totally agree. Thanks for stopping by, please come back again.

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

Oh you are awful. You know how to rattle our conscience but I like your thoughts which gives you to think about it. I love your style of writing.

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 7 years ago from Southern California Author

Thank you Hello, hello, for your continued encouragement. Hope to see you again soon.

AllMomNeeds2know profile image

AllMomNeeds2know 7 years ago

I think I am reliable but I am always late! I try not to be but it's just so hard!

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 7 years ago from Southern California Author

Oh my goodness, a woman after my own heart. Did you read my hub on always being late. I'm usually late when it matters to me, but not to others. I don't know why, go figure.

habee profile image

habee 7 years ago from Georgia

I'm very reliable, but I've found that my younger friends are not. If they say they'll be somewhere, they might or might not show up. I guess it's a genrational thing?

Enjoyed the hub.

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 7 years ago from Southern California Author

Thanks habee for stopping, I consider myself reliable, although I'm sometimes late, but if I say I'll do it, they can count on it being done. Please come back.

Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 7 years ago from London, UK

Mmmh. Food for thought. I can modestly say that I can be relied on most of the time as sometimes things happen that are outside my control. I also try not to promise what I can't do.

As for you Fastfreta, you can be relied on 110% to deliver very interesting Hubs. :)

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 7 years ago from Southern California Author

There you go again Lady_E feeding my ego. Thanks for that, truth be known I need a little dose every now and then. Love hearing from you. Come again soon please.

ladydijay 7 years ago

I try to be reliable. Some time I feel that I over commit myself, never the less I do my best to keep my word. As you have expressed so well, a host of people can be affected by just one I will.

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 7 years ago from Southern California Author

Hello ladydijay, so good to hear from you again. Thanks for stopping by.

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