By Anubhav Srivastava ( Register for his Workshop – Build Super Confidence For Super Success!)
Trust is a complicated word. While trust is something that is universally agreed upon as a good thing, there are countless cases where too much of trust turned out to be a bad thing. From broken relationships, to fraud in business deals to a complete betrayal in war, trust has not proven itself to be a universally good thing.
And yet, having trust is essential, because it’s not very mentally relaxing to always be on a hyper alert and deeply suspicious mode, it not only ruins your mental well being it also makes the other person go crazy, especially if they did nothing wrong in the first place. Without trust it is impossible to have a happy, loving relationship. So how much should you trust someone?
First, let’s examine when it is wise to trust someone in the first place.
I believe that trust has two components, the first is your own mental mindset. If you are a generally non trusting person or have had negative experiences in life in the past, you are more likely to be non trusting of another individual, even if they had absolutely nothing to do with whatever happened to you in the past. It’s just that because you have had your trust shattered by someone else in the past, your mind is now on hyper alert mode and always filled with fear because it thinks it is protecting you. A little cautiousness based on past experiences isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if you completely apply the past to a person who had nothing to do with it, you are shooting yourself in the foot.
The second component of trust is a person’s behavior over time. We all start out as strangers, it is only over a period of time that some of us become acquaintances, friends or more than friends. Over a period of time, the way the other person behaves in the past plays a big role in the kind of trust we reserve in them. If a person has generally shown themselves to be honest (or acted like they were honest), we are likely to trust them more. If a person has generally shown themselves to be dishonest, then you are likely to trust them less.
If you place complete trust in some one, you are giving them the opportunity to misuse that trust. Now I should emphasize that I am not encouraging you to be suspicious all the time, unless you are job is that of security personnel or you are a part of a secret service protecting the Prime Minister or President of your country! Based on how the person has proven themselves to act in the past, give yourself the liberty to trust them, but err on the side of caution and be open to the idea that a person can go wrong, no matter how trustworthy they have been. Don’t kill them with your suspicions or fight with them or accuse them of things without proof, but just keep your eyes open! Because if you don’t, you can be taken for a ride.
Furthermore, there is also the possibility that a person despite being extremely well meaning can still take the wrong decisions for you. This usually happens in the case of parents trying to control adult children.
You can place trust in the idea that some people may want good things for you, but that doesn’t mean they will always do right things for you.
To quote a very famous recent case, even the father of Lionel Messi mismanaged his finances and cooked up schemes to evade taxes, leading to a jail term for both him and his child, even though Messi may or may not have been aware of it and landed in trouble because of his dad.
The above is a famous case but in everyday life, there have been so many examples of where parents, despite wanting the best for their children (best in their eyes), pushed them to take up careers that they were not good at and did not enjoy. As a result, while they did end up earning a steady salary, they still hated their life. In worst case scenarios, especially in countries like India, there are case of students committing suicide because they could not handle the pressure their parents demanded of them when it came to excelling in studies.
Or the parents pushed the kids to marry someone of their choice only and did not accept the ones the child actually loved. Those who choose to elope are not easily accepted back into the family, even they claim to unconditionally love the children? How is the love unconditional when there are conditions involved, which if you disobey, you are forever banned from the family? As a result, many children decide to give into parents demands and marry the person of their choice. The child then ends up in an unhappy marriage with someone they do not love and forever resents the parents for forcing him or her to marry according to their choices only to satisfy their ego!
So even people as close as parents can be completely wrong and trusting your future completely with them is more of a gamble than anything. Now don’t get me wrong, people do sometimes end up in extremely unhappy marriages even when they marry someone of their own choice. But at least in that case, they know that they themselves are to blame for their misfortune. Whatever good or bad happened to them was a result of their own choice. At least they won’t forever resent their parents for making the wrong choice for them!
So I believe it is not wise to trust anyone 100 percent no mater how close they are to you.
Even if they are absolutely well meaning, a lot of horrible mistakes have been done by well meaning people. You have been given a brain to be able to think for yourself. Once you are an adult, even if you do take the advice of others, most of the times , even if you do listen to others you should ultimately do what you think is right for you.
There are exceptions, maybe for example when your judgement is extremely clouded due to being very young or depressed, addictions, losing your mental balance because of a sudden emotional event OR when you are thinking of doing a criminal activity! In that case it is more than likely that you are wrong and the person you trust is right.
But barring those circumstances, ultimately you should trust your gut instinct rather than someone else’s. Sure others’ experience matters and if someone you trust is telling you to do or not do something based on their experiences, you should listen and ultimately go ahead only if you are okay with living with the consequences of being wrong.
Basically you need to ask yourself the question, what is worse? Living with the consequences of being wrong or Living with the regret of not trying! If living with regret is worse then do what your heart says. The biggest regret is growing old while always having led a life only based on what others wanted and having killed every single desire of yours. There is no satisfaction in making others smile if you are crying all the time!
About the Author
Anubhav Srivastava is an author, speaker and the director of Carve Your Destiny, a first of its kind inspirational documentary featuring some of the most famous personalities from diverse fields. It has been seen by over 1 Million People on Youtube. Anubhav has also been featured in numerous International and India Media outlets such as BBC , The Times of India, Hindustan Times, Rediff.com, Leicester Mercury and many others.
For one on one consulting or a motivational workshop at your organization please email firstname.lastname@example.org . If you would like to write a guest blog post on Anubhavsrivastava.com you contact me on the same email address.
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