Thursday, May 29, 2008

Trust Me

Trust to me, means belief in something or someone, to hold a confidence, perform a task, do what you say you will do and honour the person who has placed that trust in you. Trust is fundamental to life. If you cannot trust in anything, life becomes intolerable—a constant battle against paranoia. My dog for example, will lie flat on her back and expose her throat because she has total trust that I won't harm her. Few people will put themselves metaphorically speaking in such a vulnerable space.

You can’t have relationships without trust, let alone good ones. Intimacy depends on it. You can't have a friendship without trust, you can't have a decent family life without trust. You can't run a successful business without trust and governments and countries can't survive without trust . . .the world in it's awful state today is testament to that.

But I want to talk about personal trust. I am nothing if I am not trustworthy. If I say I'll do something, I'll do it. If I say I'll keep a confidence I'll keep it, if I am asked to protect something I will embrace it . . I can be trusted . .

So when someone asks me to betray a trust, I will not, under any circumstances! No matter the consequences. I recently copped some verbal abuse for refusing to share information that I was 'trusted' to keep confidential. It wasn't important, it wasn't life threatening, it wasn't even particularly interesting but I was put in a position of trust not to share it and so it remains confidential and now I have an even stronger bond with the person who placed their trust in me and that makes me feel . . .well . . .'trusted'. What was ironic, that same person had entrusted me with confidential information that I had never shared but seemed to think when the shoe was on the other foot, I would fold and reveal. Big mis-judgement on their part.

I've worked in highly confidential positions with NSW Police as Project Manager, PA with access to criminal records, confidential minutes and Ministerial briefs. Now I work with people's finances, families and futures. They show an incredible amount of trust in the information they share and I take that responsibility very seriously. I have an incredible relationship of trust with my BabyBro which includes shared mortgages and financial arrangements that would make lesser families shudder. Don't get me wrong, I'm also cynical and don't 'trust' others easily but once they have my trust and I have theirs, an unbreakable bond is put in place. Betray that trust and you are toast! Cut off, ostracised.

I suspect more marriages are wrecked by lack of trust than by actual infidelity. The partner who can’t trust the other not to betray him or her will either drive them away or force them into some real or assumed act of faithlessness.

In the workplace too, trust is essential. An organization without trust will be full of backstabbing, fear and paranoid suspicion. If you work for a boss who doesn’t trust subordinates to do the right thing, life is miserable. Being constantly checked upon and corrected or reminded to do this and that is a classic sign of lack of trust. Colleagues who don’t trust one another will need to spend more time watching their backs than doing any useful work. The office politics would make Machiavelli blush.

People who do not trust are constantly keyed-up and tense, watching for rivals or other to launch some covert operation to undermine their position whether its a relationship or in the workplace. They hoard their secrets like they hoard their possessions. They are defensive in nature and suspicious of everyone - imagine the stress! I'm not being unrealistic here. Some level of calculated risk is required and I advocate caution but for someone who is basically quite cynical, I've rarely been disappointed and the rewards have been strong associations, close family bonds, wonderful friendships and a solid (if not a little short) marriage.

Trust like faith takes a conscious act of unconditional belief in that other person’s good sense, ability, honesty or sense of commitment to set the ball rolling. Even though your trust can be misplaced, those close to you will value being trusted and in turn trust your judgement and behaviour. Relationships will thrive and friendships are born. Will your trust sometimes be misplaced? Of course. Life isn’t perfect and some people aren’t trustworthy - I have found that out the hard way too. But will increasing your willingness to trust produce, on balance, provide a positive benefit? Will it make your life more pleasant and less stressful? I believe so. Even if refusal to betray a trust evokes a negative response, you will strengthen the bonds between you and the person who trusted you in the first place.

Trust equals reliability and delight!

(I'll be off the air for a couple of days. ClareBear sent an amazing DVD of her South American Adventures so we're off to share it with the Groovy Grannies. Have a great weekend!)


Thriftcriminal said...

You have a good weekend too, I'm off to France for a wedding.

I work from a slightly different perspective, people are imperfect, but it's too much trouble to go around assuming they will screw you over, so I assume they won't (depending on their risk profile) with some appropriate scenario planning as a backup.

Nick said...

I agree trust is absolutely essential to our relationships with others. Unfortunately my trust in others was severely damaged by my childhood and I still find trust extremely hard. Even if people seem perfectly friendly and good-natured, deep down I'm still afraid they'll hurt me sooner or later. So making friends is a tough task. And there are personal secrets I've only disclosed to a handful of people in my life because I'm so nervous about other people's reactions. Once the ability to trust is undermined, it's very difficult to rebuild it.

ian said...

Hi Baino,

Interested to see that the Oz weekend starts on Thursday

Being entrusted with a confidence can build a bond but it can also drive a wedge. Confidences are often shared at vulnerable moments and once the defences are up again those who have shared things will often want to put a distance between themselves and the person to whom they have talked.

Grannymar said...

Enjoy the weekend!

I'm with Ian on this one... sometimes shared secrets or worries have brought with them a strong bond, while at other times the act of confiding acts like a confessional and gives the teller the freedom to walk freely away with a weight off their shoulders.

Emperor Ropi said...

well, I have a very little trust but I think I have enough time left to find someone whom I can trust or someone whom I have already know proves that I can trust him/her. So far I have 1 friend whom I can trust a lot.

Absolute Vanilla (& Atyllah) said...

Have a wonderful weekend Baino.
I'd kind of echo Nick a bit on his comment - once trust is destroyed in childhood, it's bloody difficult to rebuild. It can be done, but it's done slowly cautiously, one step at a time - and you kind of learn just not to have expectations when it comes to other people. I don't expect people to hurt me, I just don't expect anything, I take it one moment at a time.
I had a situation recently where someone I thought was a mate turned on me, really unexpectedly and is currently bad mouthing me to others (word gets round, doesn't it) - it just left me thinking, "god, people can be so deeply disappointing." Nuf zed.

steph said...

Enjoy the weekend! Baino

I TRUST you'll be back? ;-)

Ireland has a Bank Holiday on Monday so it might be a bit quiet when you get back.


Baino said...

Thrifty, that's oneupmanship! I'm only going to Terrigal! I'm with you on imperfection, I don't trust willy nilly but I guess I take people at face value (otherwise I wouldn't be blogging and sharing things with those I've never met)And I do have a way of eeking information out of people so I get a good impression of what they're like before I 'go in' so to speak.

Nick: I've been fortunate to have a wonderful childhood so no negative imprinting there. I don't make friends easily but when I do, they are deeply valued. And the person who shared this little confidence with me is someone I trust implicitly. We've been through a lot together. I hasten to add it was no huge thing but I was asked not to share it so I didn't.

Ian: I guess in your position you would know but I haven't found that to be the case, the cups half full as they say. Um weekend hasn't quite started but I'm up for an early mark this arvo!

Grannymar: I don't want to give the impression that I carry a soul full of secrets, I don't, but I can be trusted if someone asks me to retain a confidence whether at work or in my personal life. I see what you and Ian mean but it hasn't been my experience. I am more disappointed by those who expect me to betray a confidence which I will not do.

Ropi: My father used to say, if you can count two best friends, you are blessed. I have had a single best friend now for over 30 years and she is my closest confidante and I hers.

AV: Fortunately, to my knowledge, my trust in others hasn't been misplaced but I have had people white-anting me behind my back. What goes around comes around and I know about them and keep my guard up. That's human nature I guess and the penalty for being outspoken or having strong opinions.

Thanks Steph, just a little trip up the coast to see the outlaws and share ClareBear's DVD of South America - and a few joyous tears I'll bet - She's the only female grandchild so very spesh.I'll be back Saturday night. Gawd, you lot have more public holidays than Oz!
Trust you'll have a good long weekend!

Terence McDanger said...

I have a mate like that. And I'm the same.

That's why we're mates.

Anonymous said...

High-fives are in order for this post.

Jack said...

Welcome to the King Jack Appreciation Society! I trust you'll be a very Loyal member as much as I trust how handsome I am BWARK!

Anonymous said...

I carry so many people's secrets on my shoulders they weigh me down sometimes. But all feels bright knowing other's have had enough trust to hand them over and lighten their load a little :) Feeling trusted makes a strong person. But you know that :))

Baino said...

Terrence, you are not being clear . . you have a mate like what? That you can confide in or who you get shitty at because he won't share his secrets or are you referring to Ms McDanger as your 'mate'. You're mad . .and confusing! But I'm glad you're back!

Aight Anonymous. You is well knowlegeable on da subject!

Thanks Jack. Must be elevenses time in the Anonyhouse? Totally irrelevant but hey, you're a legend around these parts so off topic is fine by me . .long live the king!

Anonymous said...


Baino said...

Anony: Right on topic! Yep, that's how I feel, I've never had someone unburden and then do a runner . . then I've never had to be deceitful in keeping a secret either so it's no skin off my nose.

You too .. hopefully there'll be time for some happy snaps by the seashore.

Quickroute said...

Baino - Bravo! - what a small world but a big meaning trust has ! - It's everywhere from joe bloggs at the office to the guy you buy the paper off! but I trust my local paper guy more than some of my workmates.

Quickroute said...

p.s. I doubt you'll be disappointed by Clarebears pics and Enjoy the weekend!

Baino said...

Quicky: Ah a fellow believer! Weird isn't it. I actually trust some people I've never met! Wouldn't trust one of my bosses as far as I could throw him! Work that one out.

Actually we watched the DVD the other night, it's very long but fantastic. And suitable sound track to boot! They clearly did everything on the gringo trail although i was a little worried to see her lighting dynomite in some Equadorian sliver mine!

Melissa said...

Have a great weekend! What fun to get that video! I'm sure the grannies will enjoy it, and I'll bet you could watch it a thousand times. :)

It's rare to find a friendship that is based in true trust and confidentiality. Bravo for holding true to your beliefs and respecting that friend's trust in you!

Terence McDanger said...

Arg shit that wasn't clear, you're right.

I mean I have a mate that is as trusty as a slab of granite, tell him something he'll never utter a word. I am exactly the same, hence the reason why I think we're good pals.

I do know a few nosey parkers who get pricky when you don't spill, but I just fart on them and they go away.

Babysis said...

Oh My God what a poignant blog....just on the day my 8 year old baby boy's trust has been destroyed by a fellow "friend". Only to have it saved by another friend of "salt of the earth" qualities....who would think in one so young.....this post touched my heart like you may never know....Trust....indeed the most powerful thing you can ever give another.