What You're Communicating When You're Late
I’m not talking about the person who is halfway down their driveway, and realizes their lunch is still sitting on the counter. Or, the person who is 10 miles from the airport and remembers they didn’t bring their passport. Either of those things would cause any of us to be unintentionally late.
No matter how much we prepare, we will all, at one time or another, be late because of accidental scenarios. It just happens.
But, what about the people who are chronically late… to everything? I certainly know people who couldn’t show up on time if their life depended on it. When I go to meet one of these people and find myself the first one there, I think, “Well that figures, so-and-so is always late.”
Maybe that person is you. Maybe you are the one with the reputation of always being late. Have you ever thought that you might be unintentionally communicating things you don’t want to communicate by never being on time?
When you are a person who is habitually late, here are a few of the messages you may be communicating to those who are waiting on you:
- It doesn't matter that you are always waiting on me; you'll get over it because we're friends.
- My time is more valuable than yours.
- I am a disorganized person, and therefore, cannot manage my time appropriately.
- What I'm doing is more important than meeting you, so I need to finish the task at hand, even if it means being late.
- I don't have the understanding of time management.
- I don't have healthy boundaries and therefore, I try to schedule too many things into my day, leaving no margin between meetings.
When we make a habit of always being late, we are essentially saying to the other person, “I don’t have respect for you and your time.” I don’t think any of us would ever want to intentionally communicate that to our friends, co-workers, or families.
Take an honest look at your life and patterns. If you struggle to be on time, you may want to consider making some changes.