“Yeah, well, Rose, I mean, you shouldn’t trust anyone completely.” – Dorothy Zbornak, Golden Girls
Trust seems like a simple concept: you either trust or you don’t. Right?
Recently, my son asked me if I trusted him. We were in my car and he was at the wheel. Perplexed, I asked him why he would me such a thing. He said he just wanted to know. So, I stopped and thought for a minute. I looked at my son as he was driving my car. After a few moments, I gave him an answer. I told him that I trusted him in different ways. I told him that I didn’t trust him to drive my car by himself, as he only had a learner’s permit and was still new to driving. I told him that I trusted him to watch his younger sister overnight, if the need came up. I told him I trusted him to manage his own homework and I trusted him with my finances. I told him I didn’t trust him to perform surgery as he has a weak stomach.
He took a moment before telling me how much sense that made.
Trust, like a diamond, has many sides that are not equal nor identical; this is what makes trust unique for each person. We may trust a colleague to review our work but not to have drinks with. We may trust our significant other to be a financial partner but not load the dishes into the dishwasher. We may trust ourselves to pick out a great pair of shoes but not with the box of sweets in the pantry.
The idea that trust can be so complex and multi-faceted is what makes it so difficult. This can be why so many try to minimize trust to “do” or “don’t” categories. Attempting to track all the layers of trust can make one crazy with anxiety.
Is it important to understand those layers? After all, isn’t it just easier to put people into the “trust” or “don’t trust” box? When we are talking about trust, aren’t we all talking about the important things?
It is easier to put people into the two types of trust boxes. And some of us may only be referring to the important things when it comes to trust. The problem is that not all of us embrace the important things the same way. We often misunderstand communication or motives based on how those two polarizing boxes of trust are defined.
Bottom line, trust can be a scary and uncomfortable thing. The first person we need to be able to trust is ourselves. If we don’t trust ourselves, we will look to others to help with making decisions. A lack of trust in ourselves can also lead to repetitive unhealthy behavior (we can talk about that more later).
So begs the question? Should you not trust anyone completely as the quote stays above? Well, that is really up to you. Do you honesty trust anyone completely? Can you look at the layers of a relationship in your life and say with 100 percent confidence that you trust at least one person completely.
You’ll need to define what trust means to you and how it interfaces with your emotions to answer that.
But, you can do it.