let-people-off-the-hookThere is a case for letting people get away with things.

Sometimes it’s not important. Maybe it’s genuinely not worth the hassle to you — to confront them and deal with the ensuing hassle. Perhaps you just don’t care enough about the relationship to deal with it.

This post is not about that case.

Here we’re going to take a surface dive into why you should NOT let someone off the hook. There are reasons to require people to own up to their mistakes and missteps. Certain situations demand it. Let’s really think this one through, ok?

Don’t let people off the hook when:

1. The relationship is based on equality (not all relationships are, nor should be, i.e. boss/employee).

2. The integrity of the relationship matters a whole lot.

3. Your self-respect is on the line.

4. You’ll lose a significant degree of respect for the other person (who is important to you).

5. You have enough faith in the other person to warrant holding them accountable.

Under these circumstances, don’t give in unless you discover that you have been genuinely misinformed or were missing vital information. The best way to do that is to face the situation together and keep an open mind. But don’t just give in! There may come a point when you need to give up, but don’t give in.

There are a million extenuating circumstances that make every situation unique, but this is a place to start. There are ways to assert yourself respectfully, which is among the more critical communication skills, according to Randy Peterson, author of The Assertiveness Workbook.

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