Trust: Hard to build, easy to lose
With one text, it was gone! All the trust that was built over the years evaporated in a flash. The person I love went from a trusted confidant to a toxic presence in my life. Aside from emptiness that now existed in my stomach, I found myself conscious of how quickly a person can be thrown into one category or another.
I will admit, this is easy for men to relabel trusted friends to clear enemies. Giving a lot of wiggle room for a person isn’t something we are natural to give to other so they receive the benefit of the doubt. It just seems in the world view we carry around either we feel confident keeping people to cover our back or always suspicious they will eventually put a knife in it.
There is a challenge to leave people in the in between where a willingness to work out conflict results in some lost trust regathered and held a little more openhandedly. It’s important for a man to recognize what challenges there are in every relationship that help or hurt their ability to be a trusted person. Yet, one item is clear about trust in all relationships; it is gained like a thermometer but is lost like a light switch.
“Trust is gained like a thermostat and lost like a light switch.” -Tod Bolsinger
So many times I recall how trust was lost from others when I didn’t take the time to build it. I had an assumption that everyone started me out like I did with them, an inherent high level of trust. Time together would either add or take away from this self assigned level of trust I gave you.
However, hardly anyone is trusting on a high level and so we must enter into relationships not assuming trust is present to produce outcomes of progress in the relationship. I would argue that many people are hardened to others in this day because so many have lost a great deal of trust for others. There have been people who have ruined it for the rest of us as they engage in new relationships or risk some level of intimacy.
I want to be a Virtuous Man who is worthy of Trust. I understand that this comes from a willingness to build that rather than expect it.
How can we find ourselves willing to be seen as trustworthy? I would suggest there needs to be an understanding that part of living an authentic life is willing to care about how others are able to trust a fella. The last thing I would want is for anyone to find me not worthy of trust. That is because I am a bit hyper-vigilant to be seen as a threat by being who I am as a man. I am not ashamed about it, and see the great opportunity to redefine how others feel about me by demonstrating virtues that are of value to the relationships and the world I choose to be part of. If they don’t receive it, well that isn’t my concern.
One quick way to invest in others ability to trust you is to consider what is it about your life, personality, and habits that produce an base for being a man who is trustworthy? If you can notice these hindrances or attributes that help, the greater of an opportunity comes for you to chose to act as a man who is worthy of such trust.
This can look like being honest, dependable, a communicator, firm in your yes or no, and willing to take input from others.
The truth is, the world needs men who are worthy of trust, and many have ruined it for us. We can be part of a movement that recognizes the need for Men of Virtue that are trustworthy.
Be that Man!