How important is ‘trust’ to you? Is it a crucial part of having a relationship with someone? Are you someone people trust?
There is no such thing as a ‘trust-omitor.’ But if there was it might not serve you as you might hope. It could have a faulty reading if you only get one opportunity to use it to read someone’s trust vibe. You would need to have it on all the time and have it be always accurate. I have discovered that there is a better way to gauge trust.
The first step is to find out if you trust yourself. When we are born, we have a built-in device that creates a need for trust. It’s called helplessness or otherwise known as complete dependence. We have to put our confidence in our caregiver, ‘it’s all we got.’ Many of us are blessed to have had a fantastic parent. And some of us have even had wonderful grandparents. There’s an old saying, “Grandma will take care of you!” (This one registers with me right now as a new grandma.) If the people that influenced our early years of life were those we could put our faith in we will have a much easier time making wise choices when it comes to whom to trust. But if we had just the average ‘normal’ parents who did their best but weren’t perfect, that’s the majority of us; then we will quickly realize that trust is more often a bit confusing.
So how do you trust yourself if it wasn’t modeled correctly? You may not even realize you don’t understand how to trust. In fact, you may think you are trusting when you have no idea that what is going on is unjust or dishonest. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Right? Not everything you trust in is good. You may have been betrayed and think it’s your fault. Especially if it repeatedly happened for years. At some point, you will have to find out what trust is so you can comprehend whether a trust is earned or granted.
Is trust earned? I think the answer is yes. That may sound harsh to you but think of it this way.
Have you ever said out loud or to yourself, “I will never trust anyone again.” I have. “I won’t tell anyone anything again, ever.” Getting burned feels horrible.
Is trust granted? Yes. In all actuality, it has to be. Without granting trust to someone, we will keep putting them through a thousand tests only to have them come up short letting us down again. We also have the capacity to continue to trust that person or not, and it is ultimately our decision.
What’s the benchmark? I think the answer is Truth.
Our first task is to take charge of what is truth and what is not. We won’t want to give our trust away to something that’s not true. It may be easier with objects like – square wheels don’t roll or with nature such as – cows don’t lay eggs, chickens do. When it comes to people, it’s a bit more complicated. Honesty goes along with discovering the truth. A physical barrier either known or hidden deep in the subconscious can develop between two people if there is a breach in honesty.
Maybe you’re like me in that – I value the quality of honesty in a person at the top of my list.
While my children were growing up, I would tell them that it would go a whole lot better for them if they told the truth rather than hide and fib. Because ‘a mother has ways of finding things out.’ (And all three of them learned this truth the hard way. They would agree.) In my marriage of over 32 years, I think that my trust in Gary is our greatest strength together. I believe him. I have some fabulous friendships, and they are that way because each of these people has been forthright with me even if it meant we have a disagreement or heavy, honest conversation from time to time. I trust my kids, my husband, and my close friends.
Thankfully I learned that this quality of honesty is the key. And I would be lying to you if I said that understanding this came as second nature to me. I wrestled with getting caught up in unhealthy relationships for quite a while in my early adult years. I didn’t know if I trusted in myself to discern and understand how to look for the real intent and necessary virtues in others. The truth was, I needed to see them in myself first.
You have to come to terms with the fact that if you can’t trust yourself, believe in yourself, and trust in your next move, how will you ever begin to grant trust to another human being. As a child, I believed blindly and unconditionally, and because I am a sensitive person who usually empathizes with people, over the years, I kept doing this until I started to blame myself for other people’s ugly behavior, thinking something must be wrong with me. I pretended everything was alright with the hurtful people’s actions all the while on the inside of myself I was reeling in agony.
Distrust is what occurred. I overanalyzed, micromanaged and second-guessed myself.
My ‘trust-omiter’ must have been malfunctioning.
That’s why I learned the difference in a mechanical ‘trust-omiter’ and the God-given intuitive insights in myself. I had to become honest with the whole of myself including the parts that make mistakes. I had to grow from low self-worth to a more mature attitude of holding everything in check, by not obsessing with negative emotional doubt.
“There’s a time and place for everything,” is what many counselors would share with their patients. Have you ever shared something with someone and after you poured out your heart they shrugged and nodded and moved on to either their own topic or ditched you for a conversation with another person – all while you are standing right there with your head dropped in mortification? That is often the beginning of realizing when it is appropriate to share. That opening up to certain people is safer than with others.
When I get burned once, I may step out again, but if it becomes a pattern, I found out that the problem is probably me. I needed to realize that trust is both earned and granted. I don’t have to divulge my private, intimate details with anyone unless they have proven trustworthy to honor me. Then I may be more vulnerable to them. But most often I hear, “Don’t do it.” as the Lord shows me, “Trust in yourself and in Me to know the right fit.“
The question of whether or not you are a trustworthy person – stems first of all from whether you truly trust yourself. The truth is that you will be the first to know if someone else is free to trust you.
Ask yourself, “Would I trust me?”
In other words, Do you trust your motives? Do you trust in your honesty? I mean, do you?
The only way you can know this for sure is to know the truth about yourself. God has this uncanny and often funny way of revealing the truth to you. Because He will not pussy-foot around giving you a pass if you are dishonest or unkind to someone, you can count on that.
What will ultimately happen is that you will either come clean and desire to change, or you will keep doing what you have been doing, but that will eventually lead to distrust from people toward you.
The way you know you are trustworthy is the quality of your trustworthiness. Period.
That’s a hard fact but…the ‘trust-omitor’ doesn’t lie.