You may think that trust is black or white. If someone does something to let you down, something they told you that you could expect them to do, you might be tempted to label them as an untrustworthy person; particularly if they’ve let you down on the issue over and over again. And you would be right, feeling like they can’t be trusted. But does letting you down in a particular area mean that they’re really untrustworthy in all areas? Not likely.
Understand that it is possible to not trust someone in a particular circumstance, around particular issues. For example, if you have a friend who’s always late, it’s fair and reasonable not to trust them around time management. But does being late—although it inconveniences you and shows lack respect for your time—mean they can’t be trusted in all areas of your relationship? (Like when you need someone to listen when you’re going through a rough patch or need a hand with a project?) Not in my experience.
So when you’re disappointed or hurt and about to stamp someone with the untrustworthy label, remember to take time to qualify, specifically, in which area you feel this person has let you down. Not only will you protect yourself from future hurts but you will also be able to appreciate other’s strengths as well as understanding their shortcomings.
E.L. Chappel author of Spirit Dance/Storm Makers/Coming very soon: The Surge
You will hurt other people and other people will hurt you. The challenge is to resist the temptation to retreat into all or nothing thinking and instead, pinpoint the specifics, so you can see and evaluate how a crack affects the integrity of the entire wall.
“I don’t trust you around…”
aka The Glamorous Wife
p.s. This post was inspired by a conversation with Dr. Robert Kaufman.