“I have been burned by people where I have trusted their pretty words, and not their actions…I’m a bit clueless about dealing with those things. Do you have a quick and easy way of [helping me with this]?”
This question from the audience at a recent event in Australia (see the video below) led me to this response:
I’ve been burned more than once over the years by trusting someone for all the right reasons and getting either stabbed in the back or abandoned in a business deal.
The temptation then is to say that maybe I should adjust my expectations and assume that people are not trustworthy. It might be safer; I’ll have my defenses in place. I won’t get hurt as much.
For me, that is exactly the wrong decision.
I’ve chosen to extend my trust first and give people the opportunity to deliver on that. And if they prove me wrong, I just learn from that particular relationship, and I move on.
But I refuse to let it change my point of view that human beings are fundamentally well-meaning, loving, and good at heart.
How about you?
Do you trust first, or doubt first?
Either way, what words of caution, encouragement, or advice do you have for the more trusting among us?