What is Trust (part 8)

Hello reader :) At the end of 2015 I decided to write a book on Trust and by the start of 2016 I had finished and uploaded it onto Amazon. I had plans of promoting and pushing the book but, if I’m honest to myself, I was actually scared that people would actually read the book and, through this book, give a glimpse of who I truly was so I distracted myself with “more important things to do”.

With a year now gone, I’ve finally decided to Trust and simply publish the whole book on Medium.

The book is best understood when read in order since the book builds on top of concepts and definitions used in earlier chapters. So if you’re jumping in the middle, I’d recommend going and starting from the start so there is no confusion. As well, there are activities so that you can explore not only the intellectual side of Trust but the emotional side as well. Like confidence, it only becomes real if you feel it inside you.


The Baby with the Bathwater

Exploring the case of the micro-manager further, we have an employee, Billy, that we can Trust to do X, Y and Z but cannot Trust to do A. But, because of this one thing, we Mistrust everything else. We get fixated on the things we cannot Trust him to do instead of looking at the things that we can Trust him to do. We get stuck in Mistrust.

If we were to just tell Billy to only do X, Y and Z and not do A. We would no longer have any Trust issues. We would be at Peace with him doing X, Y, and Z and we would be Quiet with him not doing A. But instead we get stuck in Mistrust with Billy, why?

One reason is because we have been taught to be afraid to Trust; we believe it is somehow dangerous to Trust and we should be careful on who we give our Trust to. We and society have conditioned us so well that we take it to heart and thread this belief throughout all our Choices to Trust. When we finally find an excuse to Mistrust we hold it up as a lens to view everything else.

But let us be clear, this does not mean we do Not Take Care about our Choices to Trust or to Not Trust. We all naturally do not want to get hurt so we should Take Care on who we Trust but we should Not Be Cautious on who we Trust.

We automatically blind ourselves to the potential to Trust because we believe that it is dangerous to Trust. And for Billy, because we are blinded by the fact that we cannot Trust him to do A we cannot see or refuse to see that we can Trust him to do X, Y and Z.

What we are doing is throwing the baby out with the bathwater. And, if it is a strongly ingrained habit, we will probably be doing this throughout the whole spectrum of our Life. Because we are looking for something we cannot Trust him to do, we will find it or fabricate it in our mind. It is pretty easy to do.

With Billy it could be as simple as having an unsaid expectation that he did not met. For example, we expected him to make copies of a report for the meeting but, because it was so obvious in our mind that he should do it, we did not tell him. And when he shows up to the meeting without the copies, we feel betrayed in that Trust since now we have no copies to hand out in the meeting.

Activity 17: Find a nice, quiet and comfortable place where you will not be disturbed. Then sit or lay down, close your eyes, focus on slowing down your breath (in through the nose and out through the mouth) and tell each part of your body to relax.

Now imagine anyone in the world, the Dalai Lama, the Pope, a famous person, someone very close to you. Anyone that you think is 100% Trustworthy, or pretty close to it, and find a reason or a situation where you can start to Mistrust that person.

When we are looking for something and we look hard enough, we will find it. And as we become an expert at what we are looking for, it becomes easier and easier to do until it becomes automatic and natural; it becomes our Truth.

Let us take it a step further with Billy. Now that we have found Billy untrustworthy, we now have enough evidence to prove to ourselves that everyone else in the team is untrustworthy. And it is True because we want to believe that it is True. And there could be bonuses, if Billy is of a different ethnicity, religion, social class, education, skin color, etc., we can start building or reinforcing our walls of Mistrust for those as well. We start building or reinforcing one of the main pillars that hold up Intolerance inside us.

Granularity of Trust

Let us revisit our situation with Bill again and find another reason why we get stuck in Mistrust. As a recap, we can Trust Billy to do X, Y, and Z but cannot Trust him to do A. Instead of allowing ourselves to Trust Billy in doing the things we Trust him to do, we decide to Mistrust him because of the one thing we cannot Trust him to do.

One reason, that we discussed in the previous chapter The Baby with the Bathwater, is we believe it is dangerous to Trust. But it is not the only reason. Another reason is that we have not considered the granularity of our Trust.

For example, when we hire a mechanic we are Trusting that person to fix our car but we are Not Trusting that person to give us personal advice. It is obvious and it is something we do all the time automatically and subconsciously.

So why is it not automatic and subconscious with Billy? It could be that we do not have a clear definition inside us on what we are depending Billy to do so we have unconsciously thrown over a false blanket of general Trust on Billy. And unlike the mechanic, this lack of clarity leaves us feeling Disquiet because the question rises “what else can I Not Trust Billy to do?”

If we do not take the responsibility of clearly defining the granularity of Trust with Billy or if we do not know that we are the one responsible for Choosing the granularity of our Trust with Billy, we will constantly feel Disquiet, like we have left the stove on before leaving for work.

Let us be clear, we do not always need to clearly define the granularity of Trust with someone. Being able to throw a blanket of general Trust on someone is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves. But we must be the one Choosing it and comfortable when some of our expectations in that Relationship of Trust is not met.

Activity 18: Take out your journal and a countdown clock. Give yourself a countdown time of five minutes. Start your clock and make a list of relationships that you believe people would normally give a blanket of general Trust.

The Choice to Trust is always our Responsibility to make and along with this responsibility is the level of Trust that we allow in that Relationship. When we have clarity on our Choices of Trust, we start becoming more and more in Peace with our Life and our Relationships of Trust.

Another potentially trap that we might have fallen into is our belief that we need to Trust Billy unconditionally. That we feel guilty or bad that there are things we do Not Trust Billy to do but we are not brave enough to tell Billy. So instead of taking responsibility, we double-check on Billy. For some of us, it may seem far fetched that we would do this but it is actually pretty common. And we will explore this in the next chapter, The Choice to Trust.

Again, this does not mean it is bad or dangerous to give our Trust unconditionally but when we do, it must be our Choice to make.