I Want to Trust Everyone, But…
For me, it’s easier just to pretend that people are trustworthy, rather than constantly checking on people to see if they deserve my trust. I hate to admit this about myself, but it’s true.
In the past, I’ve trusted people who have clearly demonstrated that they don’t deserve it. I’m not saying they’re bad people, I’m saying that for me, the actions they showed me did not match the words that came out of their mouths. I had to learn how to check on people before I had confidence in their ability to hear and see me.
Step 1 – Stop and Think
I love how this sounds so simple. Am I in a situation where I need to stop before I trust someone? If yes, STOP. Stop talking, say “I’ll need to think about that.” Stop agreeing, say, “I’ll need to get back to you on that.” Stop trying to make the other person like me, say (smiling), “I think it’s an interesting idea… and I appreciate your giving me a chance to join you (help you, work for you, contribute to your project…) I have other priorities that I need to assess.”
Step 2 – Take Time to Assess
Now that I’ve asked for some time, I can give myself a chance to assess the situation. (By the way, if the person I’m talking to/negotiating with, starts to pressure me when I ask for time… I am already gathering data on this person. This MAY be a sign that they don’t have enough consideration for me, to respect my need for time. It’s a good way for me to quickly gauge who I’m dealing with.) I ask myself the following questions:
- Do I have experience with this person? Have they disappointed me before? Do I have a feeling in my gut that they might be looking out only for themselves? If the answer to these questions is yes; this tells me to ask for help. Find someone I trust and talk it out.
- Do you feel like people take advantage of you? Do you sometimes feel like people don’t respect you and your opinion? Do you find yourself doing things for others that you wish you hadn’t agreed to?
- If this is a new person in my life, what does my gut tell me? Does the person look me in the eye? Does the person LISTEN to what I’m saying? Do I get the feeling that if I had to tell this person something they didn’t want to hear, that they’d react in a way that would be hurtful to me? If yes, then I need to carefully weight the consequences of this offer/relationship. If I think it’s worth going ahead, can I arrange one or two ‘baby steps’ to move forward without committing a lot… so I can gather more information?
- If you’re looking for more tips on trusting but verifying, check out my previous blog post, trust but verify (part 1).
Step 3 – Building Trust is a Process
Do you find yourself wishing that you hadn’t agreed to doing something? Do you feel responsible for the way other people think and feel?
If you answered yes to either of these, maybe you can try the trust but verify game. There are lots of ways to play. The outcome of a well- played game is self-esteem, peace of mind, confidence and future of fulfilling relationships. Ignore this game at your peril.You can check out my other post: Trust but Verify (part. 1)
Photo credit: Trust but verify