It’s a matter of trust | Sunday Observer

It’s a matter of trust

17 October, 2021

Trust has been defined in more than one way. When you trust someone, you have a belief or confidence in that person’s honesty, goodness, or skill. Some people are trusting or trustful because they always believe that other people are good or honest and will not harm or deceive them. Unfortunately, such trustworthy people are a rare commodity. We live in a world where trust is routinely destroyed. Loss of trust is due to broken promises of political leaders and even members of the clergy.

When does trust originate in life? Trust is an experiential phenomenon for the nonverbal infant. Infants develop an increasing confidence that their needs will be met and they are valued. Trust can be inferred from the infant’s increasing capacity to delay gratification. An infant develops a sense of warmth and delight from those who are near and dear to it.

Therefore, an infant’s sense of trust is an emotional state that provides an undifferentiated sense of oneness with the world. Even an adult’s basic trust is evident on those beautiful mornings when he awakens and feels a profound sense of joy at being alive.

Unlike an adult, an infant develops confidence with the good intentions of those around him. Very soon it finds out instinctively whether there is a possibility for the development of his sense of trust. If the mother or the caregiver is unable to differentiate the infant’s needs and to respond appropriately, seeds of doubt will develop in his mind.

It is the early beginning of trustworthiness of the environment for the infant. If the caregiver makes a mistake in interpreting the infant’s signs of distress, it loses confidence. When an infant keeps on crying, the caregiver tries the feeding bottle or changes the diapers.

If the crying persists, the caregiver might move the infant to another room. In extreme cases, however, the caregiver rarely finds the right need of the infant and may persist in one solution. The growth of mistrust arises from the infant’s inability to gain physical or psychological comforts.

Trust and confidence

If a child grows up in an environment of trust and confidence, he will accomplish his tasks commendably well. However, if he happens to grow up in an environment of distrust, he will not perform his tasks well. When a child enjoys everybody’s love and trust, he will think that the world is a pleasant place to live in. As he begins his school career, he will soon realize that the whole world is a deceptive place and almost everybody is bent on deceiving others. He finds it difficult to go on trusting others.

Philosophers, notably Osho, view trust from a different perspective. Osho says we should not lose trust in others, whatever the cost. When you do so, you will never be a loser because trust in itself is the ultimate end. Trust should not be a means to an end because it has its own intrinsic value.

Expanding on his theory, Osho says when you trust others, you remain open. When you do not trust others, you become a closed person. In his words, “If you insist on continuing to trust, then a beautiful flowering happens because you have no fear. The fear is that people will deceive, but when you accept that there is no fear, there is no barrier to your opening.

The fear is more dangerous than any harm anybody can do to you. This fear can imprison your whole life. So, remain open, and just trust innocently, unconditionally.” When you flower, you help others also to flower. Then a miracle happens. Those who had been deceiving you will realize that they had been deceiving themselves! In fact, you cannot go on deceiving somebody endlessly.

Apart from philosophical views, trust is essential in any human relationship, whether it is personal or professional. Trust eases our anxiety and reassures us when we have doubts. In a society where examples of fraying trust abound, it has become a commodity that is not freely available. The word ‘trust’ embodies confidence and reliance. It also refers to sincerity and the willingness to do as many good deeds as possible for others.

Beautiful glass

In the modern world, you cannot trust someone immediately. It may take years to build up trust, but you can lose it within minutes. Trust has been compared to a beautiful glass. Used well, it will quench the thirst of life. If broken, it cannot be put back into its original state. Unfortunately, we live in a world where trust is routinely destroyed.

In a ‘Harvard Business Review’ article titled “To catch a liar,” communication expert Bill Rosenthal and Carolyn Anderson say liars tend to avoid eye contact. However, seasoned liars are good at maintaining eye contact. So be wary of those who make excessive eye contact to deceive you. If you have mastered Body Language, you will be able to detect liars easily.

Stephen M.R. Covey, author of ‘The Speed of Trust’ has identified 13 common behaviours of trusted leaders around the world. They:

Talk straight
Demonstrate respect
Create transparency
Right wrongs
Show loyalty
Deliver results

Get better
Confront reality
Clarify expectations
Practise accountability
Listen first
Keep commitment
Extend trust
Scant respect

Some people pay scant respect for trust which is the highest form of human motivation. Trust brings out the best qualities of people. However, trust takes time and patience to develop and it does not preclude the necessity to train and develop people so that their competency can rise to the level of that trust.

Trust is related to different levels of communication. The lowest level of communication comes out of low-trust situations characterised by defensiveness, protectiveness and often cluttered with legal jargon. Such forms of communication will produce only Win / Lose or Lose / Lose situations.

Finally, before trusting others, trust yourself! [email protected]