Never Say Never, And You’ll Always Be Authentic

Posted April 16, 2012 by Marcy Twete in Building Your Brand
The two most dangerous words in the English language are never and always. Making declarations with one of these two adverbs attached only sets you up for failure and can adversely affect how you are viewed by your colleagues and friends. Saying never and always makes a promise you’re likely to break, damaging your authenticity.

The big news in the entertainment world this week is the long awaited engagement of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Brad and Angelina’s relationship dates back to 2004 when they met on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith. In Hollywood years, an eight year relationship is akin to a lifetime. With six children in tow, many wondered why they hadn’t wed sooner. The two declared emphatically, however, that they would not marry until same sex couples were allowed to marry throughout the country as well.

Now, with Angie sporting a ring that apparently took over a year to design, it’s clear the two are taking back their early declaration about gay marriage. A perfect example of never say never and never say always at play. Their decision, likely made because of their children’s requests, to marry might be best for them, but is it best for their reputations? Once seen as the most staunch supporters of gay rights because of their refusal to marry in protest, their authenticity in supporting the cause comes into question now.

Whether your “never/always” declaration is as public as Bradgelina’s or as private as promising a family member or friend you’ll meet them for lunch, be aware that these types of declarations can and will compromise your authenticity in business and in life. It’s better to say, “I don’t know” than to make promises you’re unsure you can keep.

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."