WHAT APPEARS TO BE
“I can no longer trust him,”the middle manager told me, shaking his head. He’s ruined it. And he’ll never have my trust again.”
We all know trust is important. But what is trust?
WHAT MIGHT BE
Too many people interpret trust to mean “the other person does everything they say they’re going to do. This definition is dangerous, because it is blurred with another definition: The other person will do everything I expect them to do.
This means trouble. How many people do everything they say they’re going to do? (This is probably a short list.) Next, ask yourself how many people you know who do everything you expect them to do? (Is there anyone on your list?)
When someone says, “I don’t trust him,” are they actually saying, “I’m not willing to accept that person as they are or the past as it is?” As poor as this choice is, at least we’re being honest. Trust is no longer the issue — acceptance is.
WHAT CAN BE
The biggest cost in not trusting someone is not the imaginary penalty we place on others. Most likely, the person in question couldn’t care less. The penalty is often paid by us. In deciding I don’t trust someone I default to carrying around anger and resentment. That’s not very smart.
Try an experiment: Determine who you are ready to “accept” as they are — so you can let go of the upset. Next, watch what happens to the feelings of trust between the two of you.
I’d make a prediction about the trust that could develop, but I don’t know how serious you are about accepting others as they are.
What is the difference between what “might be” and what “can be”? You decide.