I set out to write about trust and ended up with a post on hope. That was a week ago.
These thoughts crossed my mind as I attempted to begin. Do you need trust to hope? Can hope be sustained without trust? And this line of enquiry got me to the hope post.
Hope is spiritual. It is an innate sense which has propelled human behaviour and societal changes. It is the “there must be something better”, the “we can improve on this” and ultimately “there is a tomorrow” to which humankind anticipates.
But it seems trust is not about to leave until I deal with it. So here it is.
Trust is the glue of life. … It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships. ~ Stephen Covey
Trust comes from the human experience of being with each other. Trust is relational. We are not born with an innate sense of trust. Trust is cultivated over a series of words and actions between people – parents and children, sibling to sibling, romantic partners, friends and colleagues… etc.
Because it is relational, trust is perhaps harder to access and maintain. We are working with someone else’ expression of trust, someone who carries with him or her a different worldview or lifestyle from ours. To understand this of each other and to create a trust relationship is tough indeed.
We often look to another’s words and actions as guidance to our sense of trust. The lawyer in me puts it this way. What has he done to prove I can trust him? What did she say which proved she cannot be trusted? And how much of this “feeling” can I trust of myself?
The reality is we will never know for certain. What holds a relationship of trust is the set of “norms and rules” that you and I have created around this relationship. It is the authenticity of us with each other that builds trust. Consider your relationships – the sibling you would trust to have your back no matter what but not when it comes to choosing your wedding dress; the friend whom you will call upon in times of material need but not for emotional support. It is circumstantial. An inherent element of reliability is required for any relationship of trust.
Let’s not however jump to judgment. To cultivate trust requires time. It requires patience, and the desire and the curiosity to explore what makes another tick. And if their tick matches our tock, then we are heading in the same direction.
“What we know matters but who we are matters more.” ~ Brené Brown, Daring Greatly
It is worthwhile asking – how often do we examine our own words and behaviours, to assess if we are worthy of another’s trust? If authenticity in relating is required, how authentic, genuine, real have we been?
I have written about my friendships and the notion that every friend knows something about me, but not every friend knows everything about me. A thought – if every friend gets together, will they collectively know all there is to know of me? 🙂 I digress.
Being authentic does not mean wearing our heart on our sleeve or baring our soul to all asunder at all times. We get to choose when, how much and how soon. It means when we choose to do, we do so with truth and integrity. We are not faking it for reciprocity or to achieve an end.
To be trustworthy is to be real. To be open, vulnerable on our road to connect with another. Sometimes, it may backfire. Disappointment and betrayal are possible. Yet at least one of us has to be bold, to dare to risk the pain… one of us has to have the strength of character to trust one more time…again and again.
When our real-ness through our values in action meets another in their real-ness, we see the beginning of a trust relationship.
“Don’t wait for them to prove themselves to you. Trust them.” ~ Karl Eikenberry
© 2017 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.