Friend or Foe: Giving and Inspiring Trust
Trust is the cornerstone of all relationships.
It’s the secret to personal connections, as well as business success.
Every day we make multiple decisions, sometimes in an instant, about whether to trust others.
We measure our hopes and aspirations against our worries and fears to determine whether someone is worthy of trust.
So how do we know whether someone is friend or foe? How do we earn other’s trust? And how do we trust ourselves?
This article in Psychology Today explains why some people are better at being trustworthy and judging trustworthiness.
Of course there are many factors affecting ability to trust—past experiences and betrayals, the ability to judge character, and to some extent personality, as well as whether we had a ‘secure’ or ‘insecure’ attachment and experience with our childhood caregivers.
“A child who learns the lesson that people close to her are reliable, can be trusted, and will take care of her goes out into the world with very different mental presentations and expectations about human interaction than an insecurely attached peer.”
I’m lucky enough to fit into the secure category and hope to do the same for my own son.
Fortunately there are ways for people who have had different experiences to improve their ability to trust. This article explains that it starts with self-trust.
“…Resolving trust issues is not about getting another person to be trustworthy. It’s about you become a trustworthy person with yourself and learning to trust yourself.”
For me it’s incredibly important for my own happiness to be a trustworthy person.
I must trust that “I have this”—that I can complete a difficult task.
I must inspire trust from my clients that I will do what I promised.
I must deliver on my commitments to my friends and family.
I must deliver on commitments made to myself: self-care; finish that novel; be kind to myself.
All of these things come down to “do what you say you were going to do”.
It involves taking responsibility for my actions and accepting blame when I’ve been wrong.
It involves giving credit to others when it’s due, and a genuine wish to help others.
I know that when I have good self-trust that I feel better about myself and more inclined to trust others.
Sure sometimes I get burnt by other people, but it comes down to this:
Do you prefer to believe that that the world is here to help you or that it’s against you?
On the most part I prefer to believe the former. That is, learn to trust and be trusted, and that leads to happiness—well at least more times than not—so I choose trust.
‘Trust’ is today’s word out of the jar. Read more about my Out of the Jar project here.
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