Archive | March, 2015

Can You Trust The Opposite Sex?

21 Mar

While working to improve some trust issues in my personal relationships with the opposite sex, the Huffington Post released an article “Men Just Don’t Trust Women” and added “It’s a Huge Problem“. Personally I found the article played it safe and danced around the issue utilizing one of my favorite tactics; humor.  It also did not address anything substantial aside from he has a built in EF (Exaggeration Factor).  I will say it and many people have confided in me that they find the opposite sex “Emotionally Manipulative”.  The more I get to know someone the more I understand their “EF” and I don’t care if they ‘re a man, woman, age, religion or sexual preference.  Since it seems I am not the only one struggling with trust issues with the opposite sex, lets go deeper.  Some make promises they have no intention of keeping, pretend to misunderstand when it suits them and use your own emotions against you.  This is not every woman, or every man, but they sure mess it up for the rest of us.


It’s Not Women… Necessarily

Perhaps a headline of “Women Just Don’t Trust Men” wouldn’t get attention. Everybody knows that. (Wanna save on car insurance?) Most would respond “Duh” and move on to more important topics such as videos of kittens or funny memes and lets face it, Huffington Post wants people to read their content as I want you to read mine. I say we quickly learn whether or not we can trust the “opposite sex” and level the playing field.  Men OR Woman, the “Huge Problem” is people trusting people we shouldn’t and not trusting people we should.  Lets get back to the basics and allow me to shout out to my parents for instilling in me that trust is earned, not given.  (Also true with respect)


Trust Me

As a general rule, the more a person says “Trust Me” the less I do.  In contrast I have also observed that I trust people when their actions have demonstrated that they are trustworthy.  Depending on your environment and the circumstances sometimes people consider it more fun to behave in a untrustworthy manner, and some may rank being “fun” higher than being “trustworthy” or “honorable”.  Perhaps they have never seen the reward of trusting someone or perhaps they are so jaded at being continually disappointed that they no longer believe anyone is trustworthy including themselves.  Personally, I strive to be impeccable with my word even down to the details but I try to never say “Trust Me” unless I am paying homage to a Harrison Ford character.  Sometimes I am in a situation that requires the person to trust me when they don’t have the time and history to see how trustworthy I am and I am asking them to take a leap of faith.  Of course intimate romantic situations have more at stake than your average acquaintance, sale or service, so it tends to impact us more.  Therefore do we trust the opposite sex less, or is it simply we have higher criteria because there is more at stake?  I am going with there is more at stake.


Trust No One

Earning someone’s trust is a great responsibility and in a world of instant gratification it has become much easier to simply trust no one.  This may also explain why people can feel isolated and lonely in relationships.  Emotional Intelligence and growth is limited when you do not trust, so if you want to grow and be the best person you can be, you have to learn who to trust and who not to.  There are people I do trust and the reward is worth it.  Having that one person you can count on is better than hundreds you “think” you can count on.  The tricky part is we don’t get the clear validation for choosing wisely as quickly as you do when you’ve chosen poorly.  Sometimes it becomes clear from all the people that are not worthy of your trust.  Pay attention to who is trustworthy as much as who is not, but don’t put up so many walls that you suffocate yourself.


Action Plan

Be the change you want to see in the world.  If you want people to behave more trustworthy no matter what their sexual orientation or culture, then be the person they can trust.  Treat them how you want to be treated; Trust them how you want to be trusted. Start small because from experience if you go “all in” and your partner does not then you just get jaded and resentful.  Start with details such as time, small tasks and discrete disclosures before moving to major commitments, promises or secrets. Do they do what they say they are going to?  Are they accurate and accountable in the expectations they present to you? Do they honor your privacy? Do they respect you? If so then proceed to the next level of risk reward ratio and repeat as appropriate.  I have some very trusted friends that I can trust with some things but not others and I accept them fully for who they are.  Where do you fit?  What have you learned?  I would love to hear in the comments.