Wednesday, April 23, 2014

What is trust?


Some time back I had a conversation with a friend where I remarked that the only person I trust completely is me – I tried to explain that no other person would always choose the things I would and no matter how well-intentioned, a decision might let me down. She was offended though and felt that what I said was insulting, that I should either trust someone or not and that there was no middle road. I still disagree.
What does trust mean to you?
I believe there are levels of trust. I trust my husband of 39-years with my life, literally, but there are times we disagree about relatively minor things like what movies we want to see or what color we want our walls. So yes, I trust him, but do I always “trust” him to choose, say or do the things I would want him to without being there to let him know how I feel?
Then there is the trust of loyalty – a “friend” who means you no harm whatsoever, but when you are confronted by adversity may be scared of facing conflict themselves and won’t take the visible stand of support you’d like. Or sometimes a person will call herself a friend but, like in high school, is not willing to go up against the “popular kids” and will distance herself from you in order to feel good about herself and enjoy her own popularity.
And of course there is the person who cannot and should not be trusted – ever. This is the person who will figuratively stab you in the back for their own gain, who doesn’t care if you are hurt in the process so long as he gets what he wants. Maybe there is the person who WANTS to cause you pain because of some imagined or accidental slight?
Trust has to be earned, not just given blindly. And when you do trust someone and that trust is betrayed it is one of the most painful disappointments.
I’ve been participating in a weekly blog hop called Weekend Writing Warriors (WeWriWa for short) and each participant pastes a short snippet from one of their works. Lately I’ve been featuring snippets from my novel Bartlett’s Rule; in the story Paige has been betrayed by her ex-fianc√© the ugliness of which leaves more emotional than physical scars. Finding that you were wrong to trust someone can shake more than just the belief in that person, but can also destroy a person’s self-confidence in the ability to trust at all.

Have you ever been betrayed and brought to your knees questioning how you could have trusted someone in the first place? How did you overcome that? Do you agree that there are levels of trust or is it as black and white as my friend seemed to feel? More importantly, who do YOU trust?

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