Trust is a term that has such deep meaning. It is the foundation of all human, societal relationships. In fact, it determines the route connections go: whether they are long-lasting, not growing because of the lack of trust, or at a breaking point because trust was what one party used for dishonest purposes after having been considered “trustworthy”. Trust is crucial not just for personal relationships, but also in the business world. Essentially, it allows us a sense of believing that a person – within a certain situation – is acting a certain way, based on our set of expectations.

The Glue of Relationships

Without trust, we would not be able to form deeper, meaningful interpersonal relationships. But do we ever actually reflect upon what “trust” really is? We all trust people; some we don’t. We just know – so a feeling it definitely is. But what is it based on? How is trust being established?

It’s subjective. When we trust someone, we see them in a pure light and expect certain actions and ways of doing. Moreover, we are of the opinion that this individual is doing the right thing as per our ethics and standards. Hence, he or she will not disappoint us. Because of this, truthful actions are at the core of the process of establishing trust. Don’t just say, but do what you know your neighbor, figuratively, expects. This will lead to trustworthiness.

To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved – George MacDonald

If one strives to do the right, and especially “true”, thing, then people will feel drawn to this particular person. Actions are a record of proof. Being able to trust someone comes with a feeling of relief, a certain lightness. We can feel at ease around this reliable person.

Actions Building Trust

Trust means that we are aware of the probability of him or her acting a certain way. Reliance is imperative. It brings us closer to people. And sometimes, it’s solely the aura that a person exudes that instantly makes them authentic, believable, and therefore truthful. This is especially true when we look at charismatic personalities that are leading organizations, are the faces of companies, or are operating in politics. Their actions matter to us, as they are making or breaking the trust we put in them to benefit our society, contribute to our economy, or better our country.

Trust – standing tall for someone and allowing them to put their faith in you by being dependable – Paris, France

They have a responsibility they can, however, only fully execute if we trust them. And this trust is the deciding factor of whether we want them at the top and represent or not. Operating in such high level positions makes trust an invaluable good, so precious, granting those who received it power, but letting them stand in the dark of criticism if misused. It’s a fragile good.

Consistently Reliable

When it comes to trust, actions are bigger than words. Further, it is the understanding that someone will keep their arms up strong to hold us – metaphorically speaking in reference to the image above. They “have your back”.

Trust is built with consistency – Lincoln Chafee

There are different levels of trust: thoroughly trusting a person with everything, especially in romantic relationships, or putting trust in someone when it comes to acting in or handling certain situations. Consistency in reliability is the essence of trust, and the fertile ground on which relationships – both personally and professionally – will flourish.

A Feeling of Security

Some people trust more easily than others. Yet, it’s inevitable to make yourself vulnerable with the decision to trust someone, as you give yourself, your mind, thoughts, your beliefs and so much more to this individual. If we thoroughly trust, we feel secure. But it comes with an all too often difficult task: letting go of all feelings of doubt, control, and, logically, mistrust.

The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them – Ernest Hemingway

Nonetheless, we need to find out for ourselves. There’s no knowing “for sure” if we can  trust. Only time will show. Patience is required just as much as the personal conviction and confidence that this person truly cares about a meaningful relationship, defined by trust.

Oftentimes, there are things we feel are beyond our own control. Therefore, being able to put trust in someone gives us peace of mind, as it is the hope we have that the outcome we wish for happens due to a person’s anticipated actions.

On the other hand, if we show people that we trust them, we fuel their self-confidence: the trust in themselves. It’s a powerful gesture to tell someone: “I trust you fully.” This generally motivates. Furthermore, it allows people to show the best version of themselves by trying to achieve the best they can – because they are being trusted.

We can never know for sure if our trust is being misused, is being taken advantage of. And it can hurt. But if we keep our faith in humanity and stay optimistic that we can, indeed, trust one another, we will all be more open towards our neighbors – and meaningful relationships on common ground can be formed.

Are you one to easily trust?