Have We Lost Trust In Each Other?
Updated: Jan 10
Nowadays it is harder than ever to build trust. Be it with customers, business partners and even friends.
Let's take a closer look and see what trust really means and how we can regain its value.
Do you remember receiving your first set of spare keys from your parents to come home by yourself as you were growing up? I do. This was when I realised the importance of trust. I felt strong and independent.
Being an only child and experiencing the divorce of my parents at a young age, I learned coping with challenging situations early on. It enabled me to form my own opinions and make my own choices. I knew I had earned trust through being reliable and listening. Listening to my parents, following through with what I had promised and not gossiping secrets someone had told me as soon as they turned away.
However, growing up I realised not everyone was following these rules. Yes "rules", because I assume them as standard principles of a functioning social community. Right along with respect, kindness, politeness and honesty. Trustworthiness is a virtue!
What had happened?
It might be the educational system, the not-so-well-received upbringing of a whole generation or maybe a natural development of society, taking into consideration the technological advancements in recent decades. We can even blame politicians to be the evil source of mistrust and suspiciousness.
But let's re-focus!
In such a hyper-connected world, where most relationships consist of virtual hugs and kisses and ones worth is measured by likes, people you can trust are precious jewels. Hard to find and rare. So once you found them, hold onto them. These people will be there in your most miserable times, they will listen to your nervous breakdowns and share with you the most wonderful moments.
Of course it's not a one-way road. Trust needs to be earned and this requires real hard work. Don't make false promises; don't overestimate yourself nor your time; don't let someone down, who relies on you; don't use sensitive information fraudulently; be reliable and responsive. Simply, be the person you want as best friend.
You need to surround yourself with trustworthy people in order to be successful. It may be your business advisor, mentor or companion. You can entrust them with your deepest fears, newest ideas or personal questions. Rather than having a big pool of acquaintances keep a few people very close.
Coming back to the key story. Literally. There is one event I can't let go, even though it happened more than ten years ago. One evening, alone at home, I sneaked out with a friend to a nearby kindergarten playground. Not leaving the tiniest hint on where I was. It's a no-brainer my parents got really worried. I had never done this before. I returned home, hanging head, in shame. Had I lost their trust? I wrote an apology note. All was forgiven a few days later and I learned another valuable lesson.
Trust takes a long time to build, is even harder to keep, but can be lost in a matter of seconds.