Thursday, October 30, 2008

Defining Character: Trust

Trust encompasses and affects so much. I am going to start here, but there are other qualities that encompass trust that I might explore in later posts.

When I looked up trust in the thesaurus other terms that came up were faith, belief, hope, conviction, confidence, expectation, reliance, and dependence. Trust can be used as a noun or a verb or even an adverb (as in “trustworthy”). I kind of think of trust as the absence of doubt. When I trust someone I don’t doubt what they tell me, what they would do for me, or their relationship with me.

I recently listened to an audio book called “The Speed of Trust”. This book was all about how trust can impact business. The author said when trust is high, speed goes up and cost goes down. One example he used is the airline industry. After 9/11, we all lost trust in our safety. In turn, cost went up and speed went down. It was a very interesting concept.

I think this can apply outside of business as well. When you trust someone everything you do with or for them is easier, faster, and doesn’t “cost” you so much emotionally. Think about your romantic relationships. When you yourself are trustworthy, and also trust your partner, you spend less time arguing about jealousy or suspicious activity and you aren’t worn out emotionally from worry or anxiety. Even in friendships, when you trust your friend everything is easier. You don’t worry about their intentions/motives, and you don’t question what they say to you, what they would or wouldn’t do for you, or what they are saying behind your back.

I value trust. I want to trust myself. I want others trust to me. I want to be able to trust others.

I think I am a pretty trustworthy person. I try to always keep secrets and do what I say I will. One tip I have heard is to say everything as if the person who you are talking about is right there in the room with you. But honesty is only one competent of trust. The other is capability. In other words I need to always do what I say I will do so that others can trust me.

Basically it comes down to 3 rules to become a trustworthy person:

1. No Lying- seriously just don’t do it. If you value your relationship with someone you shouldn’t ever lie to them (especially about the small stuff- it’s not worth it!). Because once someone catches you in a lie (even a small one) that doubt will poision their thoughts about you. They will never be able to fully trust you again and may start questioning everything you say to them.

2. No Gossiping- this is hard because gossip is a fine line. Is relaying a story gossip? Is it only gossip if it is bad? What about celebrity gossip? Should I outlaw that too?

3. No Bullsh*tting- I am very familiar with the bullsh*tter. I have known a few in my day and they suck. They are those people who will make you think that yeah they are going to that do that thing with or for you, but then they never do. It starts early for most guys in relationships when they say they will call you tomorrow and don’t. Then they wonder why we don’t trust them later on! Get a clue guys- we’re not mad because you didn’t call, we’re mad because you said you would and THEN didn’t! Quit bullsh*tting!

I am also very trusting of others (most of the time). Sometimes this can get me in trouble, but I like to think the best of people. So instead of trying to pull one over on me, why don’t you all jump on my bandwagon and try to be more trustworthy yourself. I think the world would be a much happier place!

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