One of the most important facets of any type of relationship is trust. The ironic part is that it is also notably the most difficult to achieve. So while it is vital to have it in a well-functioning and successful relationship, sometimes it takes a great deal of time until both parties wholeheartedly begin to trust one another. In fact, some individuals may try their entire life and never fully be able to trust anyone, while still others may be too trusting. The truth of the matter is, you either trust or you don’t. There is no in between. If you ‘kind of’ trust somebody, then you don’t trust them.
There are many different viewpoints regarding trust. While it is vital to some, others believe that no one can or should be trusted. They live life with a skeptical worldview, always on the defensive. While it is true that they may not be hurt as badly once someone inevitably betrays their trust, they in turn do not experience a relationship to its full potential.
For those individuals who do strive to achieve trust in their relationships, the approach seems to vary. For instance, some people believe that trust should be earned over time and through demonstration. Others believe that everyone should be initially deemed as trustworthy, until they do something that proves otherwise.
Personally, for me, I do believe that trust is important in relationships, and that people can be trusted to do the right thing. I also believe that trust takes time to build, and that it’s not always easy. These two fundamental beliefs join and leave me with a prolonged sense of cognitive dissonance. While on one hand I know that trust is crucial to the development and success of any interdependent relationship, on the other hand I am unable to expend trust until a decent amount of time has passed and I feel that I know a person well. Therefore, several months (or even years) can pass in a relationship, without achieving the vital aspect that nourishes any healthy relationship. This concept illustrates the struggle of reaching the “trust impasse”.
For a while, this dilemma felt strangely familiar to me. I experienced a feeling of déjà vu. After much deliberation, I recognized another situation with the same type of impasse. Building credit.
When I was younger, I distinctly remember having trouble being issued my first credit card. Not because I didn’t have a stable flow of income, but mainly because I hadn’t established enough credit. How ironic! I wanted to have a credit card, but didn’t have enough credit to be trusted to have one. Well, how was I to build credit without a vehicle for doing so? An impasse.
This is where the trust part comes in–there are some credit card companies that put their faith in you (even with little to go off of), and issue you a credit card so that you can build credit, and thus, creditworthiness. Building trust in a relationship is very much like building your credit. How can someone begin to earn your trust if they are never given the opportunity to? Without extending some initial trust to the person, there would never be a way for them to prove themselves to you, and thus to earn your trust. You would ultimately be at a standstill, never being able to work towards a solid foundation of trust. Slowly but surely, when the right decisions are made over the course of time, that individual will earn your trust and thus build their ‘credit’. Credit can’t be established until being issued a vehicle to establish it with—in this case, your faith & an opportunity.
All in all, the absolute worst case scenario is that a person shatters any trust that they’ve earned with you, and you learn. You learn that perhaps that person wasn’t who you thought they were, perhaps you aren’t compatible as friends or partners, or perhaps you weren’t on the same level of understanding. All you can ever do is hope for the best…but it always, inevitably, starts with a little faith.