Truth is the underlying core principle that supports the most important ingredient in virtually any healthy relationship: TRUST. If you ask 100 people what they want most in life, at least 80% will state in some way, shape or form “a wildly romantic, loving relationship.” It is that intimacy in life, the fact we know the other person “has our back,” that putting someone in our lives ahead of ourselves – sacrificing more than we thought imaginable, that is the “frosting on the cake” or “defines life for most.”
As we went through this year of the pandemic, it became even more evident as we saw many lose their partners in life…it was as if someone surgically removed their heart or even worse, their will to live. All of this is due to the underlying level of trust we have in such a relationship. It is like the other person knows what we are thinking before we even speak, they are there when we need them without even asking, they breathe our breath.
Perhaps you have not as of yet experienced that kind of commitment, dedication, self-sacrifice, love in a relationship. You will…but only if you open your eyes to it, and are willing to reciprocate. The core principle or should I say foundation that holds all of that together, allowing you to experience all of those incredible “side effects” and more, is all based on one principle: a foundation of TRUST.
So, if we had to define TRUST what would one say? Trust is confidence in the honesty or integrity of a person or thing. An example of trust is the belief that someone is being truthful. An example of trust is the hope a parent has when they let their teenager borrow a car. Or when you tell another person a very personal “secret” that you want no one else ever to know. You in effect are placing in the care of another person or in a situation deemed safe, what you deem is of critical importance.
Frequently, when people discuss trust they outline some basic elements that “make up trust.” I look at them as “the 4 Core.”
- Consistency. If you expect someone to trust you then your behavior, actions, thoughts and words cannot “float with the wind.” What do I mean? trust thrives most in an arena of predictability. In other words, once someone gets to know you, you become predictable. It is that level of predictability that means so much in any relationships because from predictability comes the ability to rely on someone or trust their behavior will follow what we know them to be.
- A second concept underlying trust is a level of relationship. In other words, if there is no relationship then it is impossible to trust someone because there is no established reason for predictability or reliance on another’s behavior. So, in evaluating the level of trust it typically is dependent upon the depth of the relationship. Some require a great depth of relationship before they trust, and that typically comes from having had past experiences where they were “burned.” So, we learn as human beings that when we break trust, the path to regain it sometimes is much more complex than the original path to gain it. The stronger the relationships, the more likely trust will exist assuming there was no breach.
- A third element is what we refer to as open, honest communication. If you have no communication, then the core foundation to trust cannot exist. We learn to trust one another through communication…actions and words that are shared that exhibit integrity and being “a person of their word.” But, again it is not just any kind of communication, but one in which you exhibit a high level of integrity. A person is only as good as his word…have you heard that statement before? It resonates with others who are trustworthy, looking for that same value in all their relationships.
- A fourth which is inherent with the other three is that a person has a certain level of competency. Once again, to be a person who is deemed trustworthy requires a minimum level of competency.
Isolate any one of these and they reflect an honorable characteristic in any relationship, but without the others it is like a table with one or two missing legs. A sturdy table needs 4 strong legs as does a healthy relationship.
Here is a chance for you to take a “check back” on where you stand in each of these four critical characteristics to assess just how you are showing up in your relationships. Is your “table” teetering on a couple of legs? Rocking back and forth as there is one substantially short of the others? Or is it level…standing strong with no possibility of a wobble? Only you can control that.