How to Be Dependable

Three Methods:Changing Your HabitsAssessing Your ReliabilityQuotations

If you become a person that people depend upon, or rely on, then you will find a sense of accomplishment and feel much more independent. People will respect you more and see you as someone who is ready and able to help, and that's one of life's greatest achievements. Become more dependable by doing the following things.

Method 1
Changing Your Habits

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    Show that you are capable of being depended on; worthy of trust, example: "a dependable employee does good work and is good at being on time..."[1]
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    Keep your promises. Do what you said you would and do it as much as is needed. Promises, once spoken aloud, can be thought of a pacts you make with the universe. When you do not uphold your end of the bargain, the other party is less likely to turn to you or count on you in the future. You lose your credibility, reliability, and integrity when you break a promise.
    • If you are one of those people who impulsively makes promises before fully considering the ramifications, try this: never agree to do anything until you have made sure you understand the request, have a plan in place to reach the desired outcome, and have the necessary resources at your disposal.[2]
    • Fulfill your duties without excuses. If you cannot do exactly as you stated, then have reasons -- but first, help with making other arrangements, make amends, apologize... if that's appropriate.
    • Never neglect or shrug off your part, becoming lax or slack. You will regret it in the future as the people who thought they were your friends will look elsewhere for favours.
    • Use electronic reminders, such as on your phone's calendar; so you do not forget your commitments and appointments. Say and mean it: "I will remember" -- possibly, use a day planner book.
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    Be consistently punctual. Showing up when you say you will or when you're supposed to can earn you great marks towards dependability. However, according to research approximately 1 in 5 people are consistently late, and overcoming chronic lateness is not an easy habit to break.[3]
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    Be there: on the spot, w-h-e-r-e you said you would be, and:
    • Consider maintaining an appointment card or schedule book or electronic device with reminders to help being on time.
    • Schedule events realistically without underestimating the amount of time tasks and events will take
    • Give yourself more than enough 'buffer' time for traveling, things you've forgotten, etc.
    • Get ready and organized early so that you will be prompt.
      • Plan all details of doing a good job.
      • Write a list and fill it if you need tools, materials, supplies, etc.
      • Make a schedule so you can be on time.
    • Be okay with down time. People who arrive early may spend some time waiting on events to start. Bring along other work or something to read to make productive use of down time.
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    Be trustworthy. Being trustworthy implies that others have confidence in you. Trustworthiness is built on the opinions of others, and a reputation takes time to build. However, by working on other aspects of reliability, such as punctuality, keeping promises, not telling secrets, and consistently doing good work you can build a reputation of trustworthiness.[4][5]
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    Be honest. Truthfulness is an incredibly important human value. When others expect the truth from you, they trust you and find you dependable. Sometimes, telling the truth can be hard. It may even hurt others' feelings. However, if you use tact when delivering even harsh honesty, others will know they can count on you to be candid.
    • The best way to maintain honesty is to live a life doing things that you are proud of. When you portray integrity in your everyday behaviors, you are less likely to need to lie to cover up a behavior.[6]
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    Be faithful. If someone confides in you, then it ends with you. Avoid gossip, and spreading unfounded rumors. Build up rather than cutting down your team members.
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    Be responsible for what you do. Be alert, doing duties well. Responsibility can be a very difficult skill to master, but once learned, will earn you much respect from others. Responsibility involves acknowledging how your actions affected others, owning up to your mistakes, and practicing what you preach.[7]
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    Be steady, steadfast, and steady-going so that leaves out being an unorganized, messy, "never do well" as a professional of any kind.
    • Practice responsibility by weighing the pros and cons of your choices (especially those that may affect others), using mistakes for growth, and accepting your role in a bad decision or outcome rather than trying to justify it.
    • If you are a professional, you will need to prove yourself by becoming a dependable consultant, independent contractor, business owner or employee who is able to do the job very well.

Method 2
Assessing Your Reliability

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    Understand what dependable is. Dependable means capable of being depended on; worthy of trust, example: "A dependable employee does good work and is good at being on time..." Synonyms for dependable include steadfast, trustworthy, reliable, consistent, and stable.[8]
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    Know what dependable is not. Despite dependable being relatively easy to define, many people often confuse it with being a pushover, a doormat or a "yes" man. Being dependable does not equate to these labels. Dependable people follow through on their word and produce consistent results time and time again. It is not necessarily true that they allow others to walk all over them or are afraid to speak up for themselves.[9]
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    Consider how people describe you. Think about how key people in your life have spoken about you - parents, teachers, employers, friends, etc. Do these people mention your punctuality? Do they rave about how you always complete tasks that are assigned to you? Or, do they complain that you are frequently late? Do they describe you as unreliable?
    • If you have difficulty determining how those closest to you rate you on the dependability scale, ask them. Reach out to a boss, teacher, or parent and ask the person if he/she thinks you are dependable. If they answer in the negative, ask the person for advice on how you might better yourself in this area.

Method 3

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    *"Do or do not. There is no try." -Yoda, Star Wars
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    If you are dependable -- "That's what really matters!" If you are not dependable -- That's what really matters!"<fact>
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    George Washington was reported to have said: "I can not tell a lie." when he was a small child. That would mean, "I choose to never lie." Or maybe "I would not choose to lie."


  • Be secure as an anchor in a storm and all through the day and night: but, be flexible and open to learn, adapt and develop.
  • Emphasize dependable behaviors, for “dependability” is a trait that includes timeliness, good quality and good service.
  • If something that was promised didn't happen -- or didn't work -- then somebody was probably disappointed, and you were not totally dependable. Hopefully it was not your fault.
  • 80% success might be "terrible" for example if something really bad happens when you mess up like when disarming explosives (bombs)...
  • To be dependable as a Christian, Love like Christ (love your neighbor as yourself) not in word alone but also in deed. Lead people by the Holy Spirit to "Build on the Rock (Jesus)". Learn to trust and rely on Jesus Christ versus to "believe" because merely believing is inactive and such passiveness is not helpful to others... Be consistently dependable, in times of blessing, and in times of distress. Be as Job, who was a rich man with many blessings, upright with the Lord in every way, and kept his integrity even when all that he had was taken away. He complained a lot, but never lost faith.


  • Actions speak louder than words. Avoid making false promises. Instead of making promises, just go ahead and do them.
  • Saying: "I'll get it done!" is worthless until it is actually accomplished.
  • Discipline is doing what you say you will do.
  • You can control your future by being dependable in many ways but yet be undependable -- so do it "when it really counts."
  • A person gets a reputation as dependable or undependable by either doing "well to make it work or happen" or not quite dependable enough...
    • "You tried!" could mean: "You were fairly successful -- but still not quite good enough." "But I really tried..." could describe falling off the starting blocks. Trying is not the goal.

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Categories: Goal Realization & Problem Solving