Trust: Adventword Dec 15

Trust is hard. I touched on that in the post on Rely. Trust to me means giving someone the opportunity to hurt me. It means asking and expecting to receive. On the flip side, it means shouldering a burden of expectation, the weight of obligation. It’s a terrifically scary proposition, a true leap into the unknown every time.

And yet when trust is given and rewarded, we become so much more than we are alone. It works in some mysterious, multiplicative way, where the life shared by everyone who trusts and steps up to be trusted is far easier than additive work-together sum of one and one and one.

I’m told I am a trusting soul, that I believe people are inherently good, but I know better. The truth is, I think the worst of everyone including myself. That is a kind of trust too, I suppose. I trust people to be flawed, to screw up, to do bad things. I expect that. I rely on it.

Hopeful is a better word for me, I think.  I expect people to screw up, but I ask anyway.  I expect to be let down, but I plan as if people will stand by their word anyway.  So it’s very, very hard to betray my trust. The bar is set super-low.

There’s an instinctive aspect to trust too. Some people I will forgive and trust again, no matter how many times they hurt me. Others I would never trust with anything important to me. Not even once. These are often people who are well-liked, admired, respected–and I often like them too– but I don’t trust them.

And life has thrown enough liars, cheats, and con artists at me to leave me leery of anyone who actually says, “Trust me.”

In general, trusting people to be themselves means I’m pleasantly pleased whenever someone rises above the failure baseline. And I can live with that.

Time. Bah. I could talk about trust issues all day. I write whole novels about taking that leap into trust now that I think about it. Huh.


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