I have been pondering on the word, “trust”, and what it means to me. American Heritage dictionary defines trust as follows: “Firm reliance on the integrity, ability or character of a person or thing”. If two people are in a relationship – be it intimate or platonic, is it possible for trust to exist if one of the two does not trust the other? Does it makes sense to continue the relationship if there is no trust? Here are my thoughts on this vital component in any relationship.
Trusting someone means that you are fully aware of the possibility that this person could betray you at any point in time. But you feel that based on your experience with that person, the risk is extremely low. If I am in a relationship with you, you should know that I’ve got your back. If I find out that you don’t trust me, then obviously it means you believe that you cannot rely on my integrity or character to do right by you. It also means that trust does not exist in our relationship. This holds truth even if I’m not aware of your distrust in me.
Once I know that you don’t trust me, then my trust in you will be compromised. Why? Well…let me give you an example. If you dont trust me, chances are you will believe untruths you hear about me. If you believe what you hear, then most likely your opinions of me will change. Your interactions with me will change. Whether internally or outwardly, you will question the validity of anything I say to you. I will be placed in a position of having to defend my integrity. You don’t trust me…so tell me…how can I trust you? If the issues that brought about distrust are not addressed and resolved, what would be the point of continuing the relationship? What would it be based on?
Trust can only exist when it is mutual. Both parties must see the other as trustworthy. Distrust, even if it’s one sided, opens the doorway to pretense and deceitfulness; it compromises character which plays a major role in who we are as individuals. Having someone’s trust is a privilege that should not be taken lightly. If we are fortunate to be in trustworthy relationships we must take accountability to maintain the trust.