Trust is very important. It can have a significant bearing on the state of our MH.
It is defined in the Oxford dictionary as “a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability or strength of someone or something.”
There are different types of trust. We need to trust ourselves but we also need to trust others.
The origin of the word (especially for Sally) dates back to the 13th century and probably derives from the Scandinavian Old Norse word “traust” (meaning trust) and the Old English word “treowe” (meaning faithful).
Okay let’s start with needing to trust ourselves. I found a good article written by Rick Hanson, a Senior Fellow at UC Berkeley Greater Good Science Center and a New York Times author. It is called “Have Trust in Yourself”.
He explains in his early life he had little trust in himself. He had low self confidence and had no faith in his decisions. He has spent a considerable amount of his latter life learning to have more self trust. Obviously this is connected with self esteem, which I wrote about on 11 December 2021. Hanson recommends taking a really close look at your abilities and achievements and accepting no one is perfect. He maintains there will always be something good to discover and that will build your self trust.
As well as trusting ourselves we need to trust others. We are built to socialise and do things cooperatively. For this to succeed there must be an element of trust between us.
There are things we can do to build this trust. I found these ideas on the Thesaurus.com site:
1. Value long term relationships.
2. Be honest.
3. Honour your commitments.
4. Admit when you are wrong.
5. Communicate effectively.
6. Be vulnerable.
7. Be helpful.
8. Show people that you care.
There is plenty of other advice available on how to trust people. Here are a few suggestions I have come across:
Set clear boundaries
According to “Psychology Today” “boundaries can be defined as the limits we set with other people, which indicate what we find acceptable and unacceptable in their behaviour towards us.”
Ensure you are not manipulated by others and start continually forgiving boundary transgressions.
Remember the role of respect
Every relationship needs a certain amount of respect. Unfortunately, particularly in more intimate ones, it is so easy for respect to be devalued. Failure to honour respect will erode trust.
Say what you mean, and mean what you say
If you make a promise then ensure you keep it. Also don’t make statements that don’t represent your actual feelings.
Accept and appreciate the differences between you and others. Respect the opinions and views of others even if you don’t agree with them.
I will leave the final words to Frank Sonnenberg the American writer:
“Trust is like blood pressure. It’s silent, vital to good health and if abused can be deadly.”
Are you a trusting person?