Ever since writing my #PersonifyMe post I have been mentally dwelling on the concept of trust. First off, what is trust? Why do so many of us end up saddened or traumatized after giving out our trust? And is there a healthy way to build trust so we minimize the damage that can be done to us by others? I went digging both inside and outside of myself for answers to those questions, in an effort to understand myself better and help others who struggle with trust the way that I do.
What is trust? The dictionary described it this way “Assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone. one in which confidence is placed”. Two words stood out to me, in that definition – Assured and Confidence. Assured means characterized by certainty or security. Confidence means a belief that one will act in a right or proper way.
In both of those definitions I saw one of the main problems that led to my trusting people that then let me down, and I mean serious letdown not tedious let downs like someone being late or not returning a borrowed CD. I was far to free with my trust. I was young and believed that the whole world was “Rainbows and Unicorns” so to speak. I would hand out my trust like it was candy during a town parade on the fourth of July. I didn’t wait for time to pass so I knew enough about a person and could then feel assurance or confidence that they were worthy of trust. Most of the time you can’t know on meeting a person whether or not they are of good character, whether they want to act in a right or proper way. That takes time! It takes seeing a person in their own “environment”. Are they cruel to their parents or children, do they borrow and never pay back, do they make and keep their commitments or back out without notice, are there inconsistencies when they talk … so many things can be observed and help us discern when someone is or is not worth trusting.
If you sense something is off – TRUST THAT! Don’t dismiss things that set off red flags in you like I used to. Value yourself enough to protect yourself in the ways that you can. I hung onto a blood sucking vamperic friendship for over 20 years because I refused to see that she was a selfish person that took so much more than she ever gave. My family and other friends all told me to let go and I dismissed them as judgmental and unforgiving. I learned the hard way that it is not judgmental or unforgiving to have expectations of people. Which brings me to this point …. If you have trustworthy family, friends, or spouse for heaven’s sake LISTEN to them!!
I created a new problem in me by being so careless with trust. Gaining my trust is now harder than finding the golden ticket to get into Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory! That is not healthy either. I am now searching for balance. One way that I am working on fixing that is by giving out a little trust. Like loaning out a CD that I can replace, doing favors for people and seeing if they do the same for me. Give your trust out in ways that may sting a little if people aren’t worth it, but won’t mar you for life. Lastly and most importantly I listen to my intuition and those that care for me.
Have something that you use as a trust “meter” share it with us!
Here’s to you and your finding trustworthy people that enhance your life.