To trust or not to trust, that is the question. Whether it’s better or worse to give your trust away openly or make someone earn it. I had dinner with a friend recently and our conversation turned to relationships somehow. It was one of those 2 and a half hour “Woah the restaurant is closing already?” types of conversations that was both engaging and entertaining (I need more of those, dinner next week?). Not only relationships between boys and girls, but between yourself and everything. Wherever you are, you have a relationship with everything around you and that can change your mood and how you feel about your surroundings. Having a bad day? Go sit in the sun on the beach.
She asked me how I view people and give trust or interest, what makes me trust a person, what makes me interested in someone. I think I’m pretty easy going and I told her that I generally trust people right off the swing. I’m easy, it comes free. Maybe because when I was a kid I had no friends and I’ll take whatever I get (I was really good at swings on the playground because that was a solo sport. Who needs a push? Not me. Actually I did, but no one wanted to play with the little Chinese boy so I learned how to swing by myself.) or maybe because I’m a Leo and am just socially accepting, but whatever the reason is, I like to trust people and believe that they have a good core. She was the opposite. You have to earn her trust and earn her interest, she’s skeptical to new people. She said this was so that the people she eventually trusts, she knows she can trust them 100%.
P: But isn’t that kind of a waste of energy? It’s either 0 or 100%? You spend so much time wondering about a person, whether you can trust them or not, waiting for them to make a mistake against your trust. What if they don’t? So you basically assume that you can’t trust a person until they prove you wrong.
J: Yep! Cuz that way I won’t get hurt. If I trust them right away and they end up breaking my trust, that would hurt. If I’m interested in someone I need to know they’re trustworthy. I don’t know how long it takes, just a feeling of comfort that I can trust them! And there’s nothing wrong with assumptions of a person! If the assumptions are wrong, it’ll come up eventually.
P: Ok so, so far all of your assumptions of me have been wrong. So this whole time that you’ve assumed things against me and then seeing if they’re true, couldn’t that time and effort be better spent getting to know how I really am instead of starting on the negative end and then trying to work it’s way back to neutral?
J: No because if you started at neutral, the chances of being hurt are more if my assumptions turned out to be right. I’ve let you in and if you break that trust after I’ve let you in, then you’re an asshole.
Isn’t that kind of a waste of energy? You spend so much time wondering about a person, whether you can trust them or not, waiting for them to make a mistake against your trust. What if they don’t? Then you’ve wasted all that time being skeptical and negative, untrusting and fists up ready to fight. But I see her point. While she doesn’t trust easily, once she lets you in, you know you’re fully in even if it took a lot of “HA! I proved you wrong!” moments. I, however, really don’t believe in wasting energy wondering if a person is good and if I’m interested in someone I assume nothing about them just to protect myself. I raise my chin, bare my neck and hand you a razor. If you wanted to hurt me, you could. But once you do, there’s no way back in. I’m fickle that way and I’ve noticed that it doesn’t really take much to push me over and cut you from my inner circle. I guess while her trust is hard to earn, it’s easy to keep. Mine is easy to earn, but hard to stay.
P: So if your trust is that way, what if you’re interested in someone? Does it take a lot for you to be interested in someone?
J: Yeah it’s the same. I might be interested in someone, but it takes a lot for me to actually like them. Until they prove that they’re worthy of my liking! Then I fall head over heels. What about you?
P: I’m hella picky, but I think when you meet someone and open up to them, it’s so much easier to get to know them. There’s no preconceived assumptions, no ‘I heard this about them so I’m gonna be wary…’. Vancouver’s so small, everybody knows everybody and not everybody is going to like everybody so there’s always trash to be heard. What part is true? Who knows. I’ll find out for myself and the only way to do that is to start from neutral. I’m funny though, I know that I might be head over heels liking somebody but if they do something that makes me go “hmmm…wow…that’s…not cool.” I can switch directions faster than a starving lion chasing a 100 handicapped antelopes. I’m still friends with the person, but now that’s it. I’ll never ‘like’ them again. The bad thing is that this comes without warning sometimes…I can’t help how I feel, I just feel it.
J: How many times have you been hurt because you’d trusted someone too quick and they messed up? How many times have you been interested in someone only to have them turn out to be not the person you thought they’d be?
P: The number of times I’ve been hurt cuz my trust was broken are far fewer than the times where my openness was worth it. I think for every 20 people I trust, 1 turns out to be unworthy. So I deal with that 1 case when it comes up. But for you, you have to deal with all 20 and be wary of all 20 until they prove it. Wouldn’t only dealing with 1 when it actually happens, be a lot easier than dealing with 20 possibilities? What do you think?
In the end, her and I have the same end results so we agreed to disagree. The people that are really worthy of your attention will get it, but how they get there is different. In her words “I’ve been on a few dates lately, and there’s a lot of crap out there. Some guys just want you for your looks, some are bums with no futures, some are creeps and most are assholes.” And it’s true (applied to girls too!). I remember when I was younger, I thought that there was a huge selection of amazing people to meet and be friends with, start relationships with. As I got older and met everybody in Vancouver, I realized that while good people are everywhere, great people are hard to find. So if you know some great people, don’t let them go. There’s a lot less of them then you think.