Trust – When it leaves a relationship – so does everything else !
Let me repeat, when you lose trust in anyone – you interpret everything said or done by them based on uncertainty, fear, anger, doubt, suspicion and disbelief – not a basis for a lasting and mutually beneficial relationship whether personal or business.
Ever lost trust for someone – a supervisor, spouse, friend or anyone for that matter? If your answer is no you most likely either be in denial or living on some other planet.
Exactly what is trust and what causes us to lose it?
Do people lie, misrepresent or tell half-truths? Yes, yes and yes. Do these always inflict pain on another person? Yes, no and it depends.
Anytime we tell a lie or fudge the truth there is usually a personal agenda attached – either to not look bad, stupid or immature or to not hurt another person.
I don’t care if it’s a spouse, a first date, an employee, a customer, a child or a government official - lies detract from truth and then trust. Keep in mind that truth for each of us is grounded in our personal beliefs, experience, education and values. All facts are interpreted individually and uniquely based on a person’s expectations, knowledge, experience and self-esteem. So, when I say its – blue – you can say well, it’s light blue or whatever. When I say I’ll be there at noon – if I arrive at 12:05 did I lie or do I have other personal issues that got in the way? It doesn’t matter if your expectation is grounded in an opinion that everyone should always do what they say.
I know, this can be a complicated issue but in the end we all have our versions of what is true or false and right or wrong.
As a speaker having been in front of over a million people worldwide I can tell you – a large portion of any audience will sooner or later take issue with something I say. Is it what I said or how they chose to interpret it? I’ll let you answer that question.
Trust - confidence in and reliance on good qualities, especially fairness, truth, honor, or ability - the position of somebody who is expected by others to behave responsibly or honorably. Let me ask you can anyone define any of the previous words uniquely or personally? If so, then what is trust? Is it hearing or experiencing what we want or expect or is it the ability to handle someone’s different; view, opinion, explanation or rationale?
My point here is that trust is a slippery area that can be lost in any relationship with or without reality – what is.
I could give you hundreds of examples going back centuries in history from every profession but I’ll share just three. The Bible states – X – and it contradicts with a personal belief in some way – do you question other aspects of this book? Do you lose trust in other statements – true or false – based on your personal beliefs, values or experience?
A spouse asks you – do I look good in this outfit? You think no, but you respond with a yes. Does this simple comment, even though not true from your perspective, destroy the relationship – not likely. If a boss asks you why you are late and you tell them there was traffic but the reality is you just slept in – is this a career breaker? Not likely. However, if the boss discovers there was no traffic that morning they may not confront you on it but is there a possibility the next time you are asked about an issues and you tell a small white lie do you think over time this boss will begin to lose trust in you? If they do, do you think it will impact the quality and integrity of your relationship? You decide.
Truth and trust are related but the problem is truth has versions or variables as I have stated above. If these versions or interpretations of them by another person or group have significance for others they will over time have a negative impact on trust.
Trust doesn’t mean we always have to agree but that I will always tell you what is real from my perspective. If my desire is for your approval or to avoid conflict and I fudge answers over time to maintain these factors you will begin to wonder – what’s true and what isn’t – thus you now begin to travel down the slippery road to less trust.
“Little happens in a relationship until individuals learn to trust each other.”