November 2017
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trust: what builds it and what burns it, for me


icon: "analytical (a close-up photo of my eye in bright sunlight, showing the green and grey and roots-looking patterns)"

How do you define trust in your relationships? Do you believe it is a black and white issue or a grey area one in that you can trust people in different ways?

Trust comes in various levels, for me. I start everyone at about 60%: assuming that they respect me, they want to avoid hurting me, and they're not going to lie to me.

Things that add to that trust are:
- not hurting me often (which requires them to be careful with their language and actively practice removing slurs and stereotypes from their thinking),
- being remorseful and productive instead of defensive when I have told them that they hurt me,
- telling me as soon as they can when I do something that upsets them so that I can adjust my behavior,
- being willing and able to share their feelings and experiences with me (self-aware and open),
- taking action to care for our relationship,
- sharing freely with me without me needing to prompt them,
- showing curiosity and thoughtfully engaging with things I share,
- practicing good self-care, especially in such a way that they can have more quality time with me,
- openly (especially publicly) admitting when they made a mistake or realized a change they need to make.

There are probably more actions that build trust for me, but that list alone would bring someone up to 90% at least.

Things that lower my trust in someone:
- deceiving me,
- hiding things from me that they know I would want to know,
- not telling me when I bother or upset them,
- showing that they don't respect me or others,
- showing that hurting me doesn't matter to them,
- using slurs,
- mocking people for anything that is related to their status as an oppressed person (seriously anything),
- making fun of anything that is part of who someone is (like their laugh, their name, their style, their body shape, etc),
- trying to push someone into doing something (ANYTHING) they don't want to,
- affirming stereotypes,
- trying to 'win' in an argument or agreement,
- showing a lack of self-awareness,
- showing that they value me more than themselves,
- disliking all conflict,
- avoiding giving direct answers when I ask direct questions.

Any one of those things would drop my trust at least 10%. Not all of these are things I think are bad, but they are all things that show I cannot be very close to that person.

Things that have little to no effect on my trust, usually:
- keeping plans we made (all I care about is desire and effort, not success)
- being on time
- being available when I am in need
- remembering anniversaries/birthdays
- responding in a timely manner
- backing me up in a conflict
- showing me that I am more important than others
- staying consistently in my life

I notice many people expressing desire or need for these things but frankly, that stuff is mostly stuff that only neurotypical people can do, or stuff that creates a hierarchical relationship. I have had maybe two relationships with neurotypical people and they were ages ago. I don't really forsee myself being in any of those in the future and if I did, I hope I would not become reliant on those things as markers of trust. They have not at all correlated with people who remained nourishing, non-damaging connections for a long time.

So overall, yes I trust people in different ways. I trust Topaz probably about 98%, Kylei, Heather, and Hannah about 92%, and other people vary from 0% to about 88%.

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Comments
raidingparty ══╣╠══
The "percentage of trust" is reminding me of the foreword of The Autobiography of Malcolm X.
feladrone ══╣╠══
"- showing that they value me more than themselves,"

Ahh, this is for me too! I think a certain amount of self-involvedness is healthy and it makes me super uncomfortable when I get a sense that someone values other people more than themselves. I'm terrified of having that much... responsibly for another persons's feelings I guess.

I guess for me it's not quite so much about trust, though. Or maybe it is. I want to be able to trust that I'm not 100% responsible for another person's well being/comfort/whatever.

If you don't mind me asking, is there any particular reason for this, for you personally?

I can't be sure but I've always suspected that for me, it has a lot to do with my mom. She made her whole life revolve around me when I was a child, and I had (still have) a huge amount of shame over some things, because I knew it wasn't just my feeling that were at stake, it was hers too. I felt personally responsible for her happiness and when I did something bad I was making her life's work a waste - because I was her whole life. I was her project. But who knows, maybe I would feel this way even if I never had that experience.

Idk if any of that makes sense, I'm typing this way too late at night, but I've never heard of anybody else who's felt the same as me before. It got me all excited! I'm not the only one, haha! I thought it was just a strange quirk I developed.
choco_chippie ══╣╠══
Thank you for posting this. Trust, both what builds it and what lowers it as well as whether it's something that has to be built from scratch or whether someone has a certain level of automatic trust until something happens to lower it, can vary so much from person to person. It's really interesting to hear other people's thoughts on trust.
kehlen_crow ══╣seasonal - autumn╠══
I have meant to ask this for a while, and this seems a perfect occasion to do so.

Do you prefer comments that are direct and to the point? (I have noticed I tend to ramble when talking on a subject that's new to me, or uncomfortable.)


Also, I have to ask that you answer me once in a while, because (I know it's mostly illogical) when I comment and people don't say anything back, first I start wondering if I am offending them a little, and then after a while more without answers, I start wondering if I comment too much when they would prefer I did not. (Even though to me, entries where comments are allowed imply that anyone can leave one.)

Okay, this is one of the very ramblings I have just mentioned.
raidingparty ══╣╠══
Not who you were asking, but I think there's a different valence; rambling in text has slightly more use than rambling in speech, because you can go back and check the footnotes. And if someone's reading it, they can pick and skim if it's too much, whereas it's rude to stop someone speaking.
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.