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Trust is an interesting word, don’t you think? You can have this firm belief in the reliability of someone or something – but where does it come from? Are we naturally born with this ability or do we develop it as we grow?

Some give it away freely and expect nothing in return; an act of good faith. To them it’s nothing to have an open-heart and believe that everyone and in every circumstance around them will act accordingly.

Others believe it needs to be earned; you need to be willing to prove yourself before you can be found worthy of such a thing. I’ll give you this trust thing but first you must convince me, in some way, that I won’t regret it.

One of the things I learned to do (as trust didn’t come naturally to me) was to offer up this trust to any new relationship. If the topic came up, I would say something like:

“I offer you one cup of trust and one cup of respect. It’s up to you what you do with it. If you keep those two cups filled, that’s great…but if you empty them out – either a little at time or all at once, it’s up to YOU to replace it.”

I always thought that was pretty fair, right? Yet, is it? After all, if they prove untrustworthy, isn’t it up to me to walk away or decide to live with how that affects me? If someone has done something to lose my trust – that’s my issue as I’m the one who ultimately decided to trust in the first place. That doesn’t mean that they’re off the hook, it just means that I can choose not to trust them any longer or even walk away entirely. They don’t have to do anything – unless it bothers them that they are not trusted. In that case, they can choose to take action by either convincing me that they will be trustworthy the next time by doing something (an action) that would make me change my mind – thus ‘earning’ my trust once again.

I truly believe by nature we are trusting entities; do we even have a choice? As infants, we are at the mercy of our caregivers as we come into the world completely vulnerable and unable to take care of ourselves. Then…somewhere along the way, something happens and we lost trust or faith in how we think life should unfold or people should behave. How does one warm up to trusting after trust has been broken?

What would you do if someone lost your trust and are you someone who offers trust openly?

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