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!)