I saw an exchange on tv recently–don’t ask me to remember what is was–where one character stated to another that no one can ever fully trust another person.
Never fully trusting another person sounds nothing short of exhausting. And to deny that genuine trust can exist between people is an annoyingly one-dimensional statement.
News stories everyday reveal pretty horrible things people can do to one another, often in relationships where trust is assumed…among family members, between elected officials and constituents, or with teachers and students. I guess if trust can so easily be abused, it makes it more impressive that so many of us do still trust, unconditionally and without hesitation.
When I saw this story tonight, my heart sank. I don’t have to read the details to speculate how this went down or what the fallout will be. I went to college and saw some terrible human behavior that makes this is alarmingly easy to imagine. Impulsive decisions to trust, either one’s instincts or another person, can have disastrous outcomes. Consequences of a split-second wrong decision can last a lifetime.
Trust is the foundation of all of our relationships; the deciding factor in what we share, how we act and if we’re comfortable in a situation. Whether we do or don‘t trust another person governs what we share, how we interact and our general sense of comfort. Beyond trust in others, there’s trust in ourselves and our instincts. It grows as we mature, based on experience and intelligence. I don’t think it’s a constant though, but a skill we’re always practicing and reassessing. Experiences that damage or break our trust will most directly govern our future choices.
A story like the one above makes me feel even more fortunate to have so many people I trust implicitly. Not only with personal information and thoughts, but with my emotions and the delicate awareness of when to intervene verses staying silent. Trust goes further than keeping secrets; it creates an environment of safety and comfort, and a sense that everything will be alright.