Having been around a while, I have trusted people who let me down in some way. I started developing a strategy...a process....to determine if I would trust someone and most important...to what degree.
Now, I am not talking about business trust...that's another subject for another time. I'm talking about personal trust. Something we are asked to do frequently in our day to day personal dealings with people and on a more serious level...in our relationships...friends, loved ones, etc.
In this musing, I would like to talk about trust and the people we communicate with throughout our day. People who we don't know well....even people we work with.....meet or communicate with on the internet....it is surprising to me how much trust plays in our day to day world.
I will say this process I go thru is not fool proof(no pun intended)...but, it usually helps me. Although, I get caught sometimes as I WANT to trust someone and throw caution to the wind...this happened a short time ago and I made an error of judgement. I think that is the danger in trusting wrongly....we WANT to trust someone....not a good idea (as I found out) without some thought .
What I try to do when I am deciding if I should trust someone is:
Gather as much info on that person that I can.....who is this person's friends and "group"...how do they communicate with them?.....can you observe this in any way...if all you have is written communication to observe.....I'm referring to the internet now....take a look at as much of their communication that you can...if face to face....observe when you are around that person or in their group...the work place or social interactions come to mind....take it all in ...it is hard for someone to hide who they are..not impossible though...on a daily basis while interacting about little things....but, these interactions are most telling if given some thought...
Once I feel it might be ok to trust this person , I slowly give them info and see how they handle it...and then a bit more....normally, people give something back and you can start telling what kind of person this might be by how are they dealing with what you gave them and how solid and truthful is what they give you back. These exchanges can be over coffee, lunch, drinks, emails, other internet communications etc..You should be able to tell, to some degree, if you can begin to trust this person.
I, personally, tend not to be a trusting person(based on a lot of experience), so I really depend on observation and thought and frankly, a lot of second guessing that person....watching for inconsistencies is a big help.
As you observe and take in communications , over time, inconsistencies will start to show if this person is less than trustworthy.
I feel , strongly, that trust is built over time as more and more info is shared etc...but, it can be taken away in a heart beat. All it takes is one time for me, personally.
Thruout my life, I have seen this happen to a lot of people...my friends etc...and I noticed that even though trust is broken...these people continue to trust the person. I, frankly, have never done that nor, do I think I ever could. I think this falls under the heading of ...I WANT to trust them....and that puts them in an up and down situation . I feel if someone breaks trust once....it is like lying....they will do it again...for sure.
So, should I trust you?...it'll take me awhile to figure that out:-)
Some quotes that show even the famous have/had the issue of trust on their minds:
"The trust of the innocent is the liar's most useful tool." - Stephen King
"Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none." - William Shakespeare
"To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved." - George MacDonald