Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Matter Of Trust

“It is an equal failing to trust everybody, and to trust nobody.”
- English Proverb -

Ever had someone you hardly know ask you “Don’t you trust me?” And expect you to answer “Of course I do...” Well, in my younger years, it wasn’t unheard of for me to respond that way. Why did I do it? Because I was overly polite, extremely naïve, very inexperienced and often intimidated.


As I got older, more experienced and, from time to time, disillusioned by betrayal and disappointment, I grew wiser, stronger, more confident and certainly more careful. And learned to effortlessly and very directly answer “Well...no. No, I don’t trust you. Why would I when I barely know you?”


I mean, seriously, isn’t that the most ridiculous thing? That someone would expect you to trust them just like that? Simply because they demand it?


Trust is not a right. It is a privilege. A gift. Something that is earned over time. Sometimes over a long period of time. And maybe earned isn’t even the right way to define it. Perhaps we should think of it as something that we grant to others, individuals that we feel safe and secure with.


I don’t believe we should live our lives being suspicious of everyone around us, but I do think that letting down our guard completely, handing out our trust readily to just anyone and making ourselves vulnerable to everybody is reckless. And can, in a worst case scenario, prove dangerous.


So I do not hand out trust like candy, particularly to individuals that insist on it. Over time, and as I get to know someone more personally, I decide whether to ‘grant’ them my trust. Or not. And whether to keep on trusting them. Or not. Ultimately, the decision is mine. To grant. Or to retract.


What about you? Do you trust people easily?

26 comments:

  1. These photos are delightful, Martha. Love them. I wouldn't say that I trust people easily at all. Even as a child, I realised that the world was full of people who would say and promise anything, just as long as you did what they wanted. The world is full of con artists. Thankfully, it's also full of decent, honest folk as well!

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    1. I think it's good to be cautious, but not paranoid. Finding that fine balance is what works well for me.

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  2. Ah well, you know about me and trust ( http://bikbikroro.blogspot.sg/2012/08/on-face-value-and-judgement.html ).. your pictures are lovely -- animals know what to expect of each other at any rate!

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    1. They certainly do know what to expect! Loved the article on that link. I hadn't read it before.

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  3. There are also stages and levels of trust. Sometimes you can trust someone for certain things and not for others. I used to be too trusting too. I think most people are, when they're young. That's why kids and teens are so easily victimized by predators.

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    1. Yes, stages and levels! I do that, too.

      I agree, most people are more trusting when they're young. Experience beats that out of us...LOL...

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  4. Like yourself Martha, I remembering feeling intimidated, naive and too polite to think and if necessary, speak up for myself when I was younger. I'm surprised I didn't get myself into more trouble than I did, but one thing I've always had is my intuition, which I've always listened to. I agree with Sulky - the world is full of con artists, but thankfully, it's also filled with decent, honest people as well. Beautiful shots.

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    1. I think when we're young, we don't have enough confidence, and certainly not enough experience. As we get older, we learn to get around better in this world.

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  5. Great post Martha! Very wise words. I liked the photos you used too.....animals know what all about being too trusting. Their lives depend on being skeptical about humans and other critters. we could learn from them in some ways.

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    1. You are sharp, Jim. When it came time to choose photos to add, I felt that animals was the best option. They are very guarded with their trust. Like you said, their lives depend on it.

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  6. I trust everyone except the people who ask if I trust them. Oh and I maybe don't trust Stephen Harper although he has never personally asked me if I trust him.

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    1. Well, you are much further ahead of me, Francie. I don't trust any politicians --- no matter what party the belong to!

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  7. Oh man/woman Martha.....this is the hugest, most mammoth problem I have had over my 63 years on this planet. From day 1 losing my father in an airplane crash, through new friends(?) and jobs situations. Life has thrown so much at all of us to make us stronger and resilient. I thank you for broaching this topic and I 'trust' you have grown from all of your experiences!

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    1. I think experience is good for making us stronger and resilient, as long as we don't become too jaded. I have grown from my experiences --- hopefully in good ways!

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  8. Good post. I love the black squirrel. I've seen fox squirrels, but never a black one.
    Rick ~ Your latest follower.

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    1. Thanks, Rick, and welcome! I'd never seen black squirrels unitl I moved here 3 1/2 years ago. I was quite fascinated when I first saw them.

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  9. I trust my intuition first and foremost and then go from there, but I would say that I don't give my trust easily. And heaven help the person who lies to me, I never trust them again. I've been married for 20 years and I don't even fully trust my husband.I grew up in a family where my trust was broken early on and often but that taught me a valuable lesson and my instincts became fine tuned quickly. I don't see this as a bad thing...it keeps me sharp and aware. I\m not out there worried about people in the world but I am watching and learning and I do think it gives me an advantage. I often see things as they are, when others don't and have been able to avoid many bad situations because of that.

    Having said that, I can so relate to your levels of trust when you were younger. I had blind spots when it came to the boys and hurt myself in a lot of ways. It's all a lesson though, isn't it? It's important to find balance in that. One thing I tell my daughter is to watch a person's action, not their words.

    I love the little prairie dog eating grass. So sweet~

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    1. Yes, I agree; it's important to find that balance. I see no reason to trust someone right off the bat. How can I when they are strangers to me and I know nothing about them? I'd rather proceed with caution, watch and learn what that person is all about, and take it from there. I'm not in a hurry to get anywhere.

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  10. I trust no one right away. Trust for me takes a long, long time.

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    1. Nothing wrong with being careful! The world can be quite scary at times.

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  11. Well,when I was younger I did trust everyone. I believed what everyone said because that's how I am built. With Asperger's it tends to be something that goes with the territory, but after having been hurt, used, and really abused by people who knew they could take advantage of me because of that, I totally do not do that anymore. I'm the direct opposite and I've learned that I have this really good sense inside of me that tells me when someone is up to no good. And you are right, trust is something we grant to someone after we have gotten to know them well and in time have learned that they can, in fact, indeed be trusted.

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    1. Looks like you learned to listen to your intuition, something that we all have but sometimes ignore. As we get older, and more experienced, we manage trust in a different way.

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  12. I'm glad most commenters seem to be able to juggle this issue. I'm sorry to say I am as naive (almost) in my fifties as I was in childhood. I blame it on my parents, who I don't think lied knowingly in their whole lives. Now I cannot lie to save my skin and still manage to feel amazement that others can LOL.

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    1. My parents were exactly the same way --- honest down to the core. They weren't the ones that made me more skeptical --- others in the world did. Still. I do try to keep a good balance.

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  13. Fun photos, Martha! Trust is a tough one. I try to trust people until they show me that I shouldn't. The worst betrayals come from people you thought loved you - like when my first husband told me he wanted a divorce. Once trust is gone, it is a very hard thing to rebuild. I still try to stay open to trust, but I'm much more cautious now.

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    1. I used to trust more easily. Now, I prefer to take my time, get to know a person first, and take it from there. Nice and easy!

      Yes, once trust is gone, it is very hard to rebuild. Divorce is very hard to go through. I've faced that, as well, and know it's no picnic.

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