Trust Me…Are You Kidding?

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A former mentor of mine once told me something I will never forget. In his Brooklyn accent and hands waving wildly, he said…”Trust? Trust? No, I don’t trust you!  You don’t just trust someone because they say,’Trust me.” Trust is earned over time and only through action, not empty words.” 

A Southern woman is taught never to question an adult. We were to “mind them”.  Critical thinking hadn’t yet arrived from California. Blindly trusting people, even adults that should have been trustworthy, often resulted in painful experiences for children, experiences that would make trusting ourselves, much less others a lifelong challenge.

No matter where you were born, when you meet someone new and those pheromones are exploding like the Fourth of July, you rarely think about trust and in fact, don’t think much at all. You just FEEL. So the issue of trust goes underground in the swoon and swirl.

Time passes and God willing, we find our brain again.  Perhaps his phone rings and he doesn’t take the call. She scrambles for her cell phone when there is a text tone. He drives like a crazy person and when you ask him to slow down, he says “You don’t trust me?”. Now the work begins…

Trust is the foundation of relationships whether it be our friends, our children or partners in life. So, how do we know when we can trust someone?

First of all, we listen and honor ourselves by validating what we feel/felt. Now,we  take a deep breath for a few minutes, a day…however long it takes to get centered.  Finally, we search for the “facts”. Do we KNOW or are we making up a story about what happened? Fear and trust issues from the past can often produce an inaccurate script. The only way to build a lasting relationship is always ask for the facts. With those in tow, we can communicate our experience clearly and without apology and more importantly, listen deeply to the other person as they share their “story” with us. This is how trust is built. 

Trust cannot be declared or demanded. It must be earned, and that doesn’t happen overnight. So, assume the best in each other, ask when you need clarity, and show compassion for each other along this journey.

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