Our lives are a series of connections and relationships that we make, build, nurture and sometimes break. Relationships come in different forms and run to different depths, from the familiar face you see at the coffee shop every morning, who you politely nod at without exchanging a single word, to friends who know what you’re thinking and how you’re feeling by simply looking into your eyes. We have relationships with the smiley doorman at the office building and the grumpy mailman we see on weekends. We have relationships with the bank teller and the supermarket checkout lady. We have friends whose stories are so interwoven with ours, their joy makes us glow on the inside and their sorrow shatters our hearts. We have relationships with colleagues, with bosses, with associates and with people whose voices we know but faces we’ve never seen. I got to thinking about the one single factor that takes a relationship from the shallow surface to the depth of one’s soul, and I found the answer. Trust.
Trust is the single most important ingredient in any meaningful relationship.
Without it, we do not share our true selves. Instead, we glide on the surface, oblivious to what lies beneath and missing the opportunity to discover and to be discovered. Without trust, our brains fill with fog made out of suspicion and fear. I am not talking about trusting a partner not to cheat or trusting a friend not to steal from you. That, I hope, is a given. I am talking about smaller, but significant, ways trust affects our daily interactions and our general peace of mind. Trusting a colleague to pull their weight in a project. Trusting your husband to lock the doors before heading to bed. Trusting a supplier to deliver your products on time. Trusting our kids to say “please” and “thank you” even when we’re not around to remind them.
Most of all, trusting ourselves and listening to our instincts.
Without that, we spend our time doing double the work to ensure the project is delivered, going from door to door to lock it only to find that it’s already locked, calling the supplier over and over until the sight of our name on their caller ID makes them want to scream and psychotically spying on our children. What an absolute waste of time!
Yes, we have all been disappointed at one point or another by someone who broke a promise or didn’t tell the truth, be it a boss, a best friend or even a brother. We have all been on the other side as well, breaking a promise and telling a lie or two (or seven). But should this be the reason we spend our lives double checking other people’s work and locking doors?