The concept of trust is intriguing.
How many times have you said that you do or don’t trust someone?
Implicit in the most generic definition of trust is the expectation that we can predict how people will behave, regardless of unknown future circumstances.
We want to believe that people will always do what they say or do what’s “right.” Yet, we don’t often step back and consider that people will change and have varying definitions of right and wrong, that also evolve.
So, where does that leave us? Should we abandon trust and be perpetually revisiting our assumptions?
I’m not going to add a qualifier either.
Life teaches us that people/institutions will usually do what’s in their perceived best interest to survive. Regardless of what they have told you, promised you, and even at times in conflict with the rules of a civil society.
Trust as we have come to know it, makes us lazy. We allow it to substitute the difficult and often uncomfortable work of continually learning what really motivates the people we interact with.
Instead of trust, may I suggest more of an evolving alignment. Let the actual words and actions of the people in your life be fuel for growing your relationships. Check if you are still aligned, and if things have changed, explore what you both have to do to get back in step.
The concept doesn’t scale, and that’s okay. People you don’t communicate with will continue to serve their self-interests, regardless of what you expect, so don’t let their decisions stress you out. In their mind, you are doing the very same thing…
In summary ,
– You will change
– Others will change
– Acknowledge your misalignments
– If the relationship has value, evolve to preserve it!