Trusting someone is not an easy task. It takes years to build up trust and only a minute for it to come crumbling down. Our past experiences shape us to who we are today. Those who are closed, defensive and rarely ‘let anyone in’ have valid reasons for doing so. Betrayal and disappointment can lead you to keeping people at arms length. It may be a lonely place but it is also becomes a safe place.
When we choose to trust we are laying our cards on the table and saying ‘this is me’. We are choosing to let our guard down and reveal our true selves, some good and some ugly. There is no guarantee that we will not be hurt or betrayed in the future, in fact I can almost guarantee we will be. Does this mean we must live a closed life in order to preserve our heart? No, we should live openly and love one another using wisdom. It does not hurt one to observe others and identify who you can trust. There is no rush with such things. Jumping in head first can cause problems later on when you realise who you thought was a confidant was only someone interested in hearing about your downfalls. Not all who show interest have your best interests at heart. Wisdom means you can decipher between those who just want to know and those who truly care.
I have struggled with trust and my nature is to suss people out before revealing much about myself. This has in some way served as protection and prevented me from getting myself involved in sticky situations. In other ways it has meant I take a rather long time to get to know people. I have been told I appear aloof on first meeting people which at first I perceived as a negative trait. Now I see it as just a part of me.
To round up, trusting requires an element of vulnerability. It means taking a chance on someone knowing they are only human and make mistakes just as I do. It means picking yourself up and moving forward when the trust is broken.
What does trust mean to you?
I have heard this saying many a time and it continues to resonate with me. You first need to show an interest in someone before they take an interest in what you have to share. With the fast paced world we live in today, we appear to have such little time. People tend to race to get to the point and miss ‘it’ completely. I know because I have been a culprit.
Information is so widely available today; on the internet, books, from person to person, via one to one conversation or seminars/teachimgs/workshops. However, deep down people still desire the personal touch; the one to one deep conversations on subjects that matter to them. Nobody wants to be lectured or over informed, they have a multitude of people and places to go to for that. As humans no matter what we portray on the outer, we desire to be listened to, to be accepted and loved. When this need is not met we feel overlooked, shunned and out of place.
It helps to bring our personal experiences to the table, to remind others we too have had and still have challenges. It helps others to relate to us and not develop a “them and us” mentality. It helps to bridge the gap between their struggles and our struggles which is often not apparant. Whilst some carry their hearts on their sleeves, others have mastered hiding their pain and their challenges.
Ways in which we can show we care:
1. Actively listening
2. Refrain from over speaking unless you are clear it is welcomed
3. Refrain from trying to find a solution. At times there is no solution and over analysing will only will only serve to frustrate you and the other person.
4. Providing practical support if required
5. ‘Checking in’ with the person frequently if they are open to this
How do you show others you care?
How do you stay in tune with how others are feeling?
Whilst we may view ourselves (the majority of us) as honourable citizens, are we truly aware of what we are capable of? It is all too easy to judge others for their life choices and situations they have found themselves in. We can separate ourselves from others due to their “bad” nature and I truly believe some people are “bad”. I would like to think they are unwell or deranged because it would then give reason for their inexplicable behaviour, however I am learning people often do because they can. It is as simple as that. The opportunity presents itself and they take it.
We have a point at which we can be pushed too far. After that point, there is no telling what you could do: scream out, throw objects, run away (as in go A.W.O.L), have a breakdown. Situations can bring out a part of us that we did not need even know existed. A part that has a need to protect oneself and our loved ones. The fact that we do not know ourselves as much as we think, can be rather frightening and intriguing at the same time.
Whilst at college, in the late 1990’s a man walked by and muttered something so I responded then he spat at me. However, at that point I lost all sense of who I was, where I was, what I was carrying. I ran after the man (to do what you may ask) and two passers by stopped me and held me down. I recall shouting for them to “let me go” but they held me until the man had long gone. Looking back they were a godsend as who knows what I would have done or indeed the man I ran after.
Naturally I am introverted and constantly aware of my surroundings and not making a scene. In the situation above I allowed my emotions to rule and all logic thinking went right out of the window. When a person is highly emotional, angry and hurt it is difficult to reason with them as at that moment they are completely consumed by the circumstances.
I conclude that we are capable of far more than we think we are. It is only love and grace that refrains us from being the person that we choose to judge for their way of life.
What have you said/done that is out of character? How did this make you feel?
How much do you think you know yourself?