Who you trust has serious effects on your health and wellbeing.
A health insurance company once paid me to deliver stress reduction classes to help lower the annual cost certain "frequent flyer" patients were generating. Surprisingly, one of the classes focused exclusively on teaching people how to trust more wisely as a health protective practice. I certainly have been quite surprised sometimes at how naive people can be about who they continue to trust. Does anything undermine a peaceful body more than untrustworthy relationship dynamics? Some basic truths about trust are needed when we want to:
- Reduce fear, friction, anxiety and resentment in our relationships
- Better align our lives with our highest integrity
- Live with increasing physical and emotional well-being
Why bother? Because:
- Investing our trust in the untrustworthy is very debilitating, stressful and confusing. It is bad for your health.
- Expecting the untrustworthy to be something they cannot be, or are not yet at the moment, does not honor the truth of the situation. It does not accept the other person fully, as they actually are right now. This exaggerates interpersonal confusion, anxiety, disappointment and resentment.
- You can love and respect someone without putting your well-being into his or her hands unwisely.
Of course, not trusting anyone is equally unhealthy and unhappy. The trick is to learn to trust wisely.
The 3 important questions to ask when wondering if you should trust someone in any given situation:
- Does this person have a demonstrated, reliable pattern of behaving in the way I am hoping? If not, then why do I insist on expecting otherwise? (Remember one definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results!)
- Does this person havedemonstrated expertise in the area I am intending to rely on him for? Don't expect 30-year-old wisdom from a 12 year old. Don't necessarily trust financial advice from your hairdresser. Do not expect accurate emotional functioning from a substance abuser. Any addiction destroys that ability.
- Do I have a reliable history with this person that they have my best interests at heart? A repetitive history that undermines your well-being makes it unwise to continue to invest your trust.
You should be able to answer "yes" to all three of the above questions for someone to be considered a good candidate for your trust. People can be trustworthy in some areas and very undependable in others. It is your responsibility to protect yourself and learn how to discern this. Stop pointing the finger at the person who is disappointing you and start making the changes you need to protect your health and peace of mind.
When it comes to trust, talk is cheap. Don't listen to what people say, watch what they do (or don't do!)
You may need to stop deluding and comforting yourself by listening to the words you wish were true. Trust is built or destroyed by actions and inactions, not words. When trust is broken, it is unwise to reinvest it too lightly or quickly. People can change, forgive each other, and repair relationships. Everyone benefits most when there is a firm resolution that trust will be offered again onlyonce there is an established repetitive pattern of trustworthy behaviorover an extended period of time. If you find yourself in a continuing pattern of being disappointed or upset over someone's untrustworthy behavior, it is time to ask yourself why you are continuing to engage in, and encourage this pattern, by participating in it!
What's your experience with wise or unwise trusting? Is there someone you can pass this on to who might need it?
Please let me know if you found this information useful by sharing it,"liking " it and leaving a comment. Don't you think we should be taught this in high school? !