This year is winding down and I’ve been
trying to hold it all together reflecting on how the year has been & the things I’ve learned. I’ve been having the conversation on trust across many of my friendships. We’ve all been talking about how to recover, what to do, how to manage it and well – who we can really trust and how do we know we can trust them?
Even the best of us can be duped and played. However, most people will never tell you it’s happened. I’m here to confess and tell you it happens more than most would like for you to believe. Otherwise, you wouldn’t see people stretched out on social media and on the news so often.
One of the most important things I have been thinking about is how trust can be re-gained. Or can it be re-gained? If so, what are the ingredients for that? Just based on last year alone, the issue of trust has been one that’s come up again and again. Not so much that I can’t trust anyone, but my interactions with certain people have left me looking at others with a side-eye.
If someone you love or is close to you does unimaginable things, do you forgive and move forward? What if they don’t want to move forward? What if they do it just to peace out? Or what happens when it’s just something stupid they do but seem to be sorry for it? Then what happens? Then of course, there’s the dreaded pre-planned set up. How do you get past that?
It’s not those outside of my life or
frenemies that I worry about. It’s the people who are closest to you who mostly disappoint you. Most of the time, you can’t see it coming either. I mean, people come up with some real creative stuff sometimes. It leaves you wondering – what was this fool thinking about at the time?
I’ve been thinking about it regularly. Even if the person (or persons) is (are) out of your life, what about those who remain?
I can only speak from experience – the betrayal of a few made me doubt those who were left. It makes you want to turn over every rock and heavy thing just to examine what’s underneath it. Is it really dark under there? Are there bugs under there? Or have you been hiding a secret passage from me all this time? Or is there a pot of gold you haven’t told me about?
I know on my own personal path, it’s been a struggle to weed out who could be trusted and who couldn’t. There are a few things I can tell you:
- You must trust someone. Everyone needs at least two people they can trust. People who will help you. People you can confide in.
- Who you trust may ebb and flow.
ShitThings happen. Trust is something that can be on high tide one day and low tide the next.
- I do think many (not all) people deserve a second chance, depending upon the offense. Why? Well, I’m a believer that you need to be sure. More than sure before you walk away from relationships. So many times we walk away too early. Then the person manages to reel us back in – and presto chango you’re stuck again for another cycle of abuse or mayhem. Sometimes, giving a person a second chance allows you to see what they’re really about. Not to mention, don’t we mess up too? Don’t we deserve second chances?
- You can’t judge a book by its cover – only it’s content. This is all about how people look. We’re quick to trust people sometimes because they ‘look harmless’ or ‘appear to be doing well.’ What’s most important is discerning what their agenda is for being in your life. Looks can be extremely deceiving.
- In order to find trustworthy people, we ourselves need to be trustworthy. If I’m not able to be trusted with confidential information, secrets, etc – how is it I expect to find someone to do the same for me? Like recognizes like.
I was reading this book by Dr. Henry Cloud called The Secrets of God and he asked the question about how people gain your trust. It literally stopped me in my tracks when he asked. I had to sit down and map out how it is people find their way into my life.
I’ve spoken about this before, in last year’s post Shaken or Stirred: A Post on Trust & Being Marvin Gayed, but I’ll repost it because it’s relevant.
In the chapter “Misplaced Trust Opens the Door to Misery” he lays out a crucial foundation:
You know people who have been hurt by trusting the wrong kind of person. Maybe you are one of those people. The signs were there, and they were ignored.
But the wish for something more, better, or different was stronger than the screaming reality. I have seen people believe the unbelievable and go forward with a relationship or business deal when the signs or the track record was just so clearly speaking to them and telling them to stop!
So ask yourself a question: what do you trust?
Do you trust what people tell you? Do you trust their charm? Do you trust their personalities? Do you trust how much you are attracted to them? Do you trust their credentials? Their power or status? What is it that makes you open yourself up to them …?
How you answer that question is one of the most revealing things about you.
…. Here is a secret that the Bible and any good psychologist would tell you about trust: trust a person’s character, as evidenced by their behavior.
My question for you tonight is, how do you trust people? What do you trust? Just think about it. It’s not something I expect you to answer here, but I challenge you to journal it.
Related Post: Second Chances or Hell No…
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