Trust filters out the untrustworthy

People who find it hard to trust others are likely to be lonelier than those who don’t. If you suspect that people are out to get you, you’ll probably get got at. At least you have the satisfaction of saying ‘I told you so’, but it’s a pretty hollow victory. It’s difficult to become close to someone if you have to overcome a belief that everyone’s a potential villain. Your new contact isn’t going to respond well to your initial paranoia, and will probably move on to a friendlier face.

I’m away from home for two weeks, and I needed to find a housesitter to keep the place warm and look after the critters. I found someone on HelpX.com (great site), and after swapping emails and a couple of phone conversations, Mihai turned up. It was a matter of trust on both sides – he trusted me not to be a mad old bat who was going to lock him up and eat him, and I had to have faith that he wasn’t a thieving conman who’d sell my secrets to the Sun on Sunday. Turns out he’s a lovely man and is having fun at the house, has been adopted by cats and neighbours, and is a treasure.

You might be thinking I was naïve and credulous to let a stranger into my house at all, let alone leave him to his own devices. You might be right, but I’ve found that most people are okay, if not utterly fab, given half a chance. Maybe I’ll get done over one day and I’ll feel stupid and bitter, but so far so groovy.

I know very few people who are miserable gits and have an address book full of wonderful people. It could be sheer luck, but it could be that my (arguably naïve) trusting attitude is a subtle filter that stops me finding the gits and the villains and sends me warm, open and generous strangers to befriend.

What’s your experience? Has trust rewarded you or has naivety punished you?

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2 comments on “Trust filters out the untrustworthy

  1. Liz Finch says:

    You are so right, being trusting is its own reward. I chanced to sit by a woman on a bus for a journey of ten minutes, and we began to talk. She is a Jordanian graduate student and had newly arrived in Liverpool. During that brief journey we talked together so easily that we exchanged phone numbers in order to meet again and I could help her get to know Liverpool. She will only here for a year but we both enjoy the immediate friendship we have developed, from each trusting a stranger on a bus!

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