“It is impossible to go through life without trust: that is to be imprisoned in the worst cell of all, oneself.  Graham Greene

Trust Deficit is a phrase that has taken over the print and visual media. What does it mean?

As a race, or species, we seem to have lost the simple act of trust. We do not trust people around us—at home, workplace and in society. There is in human beings what is popularly called ‘acute trust deficit’. When we look outward, we lack trust in simple statements ‘I am late because………….; I did not call because……………; I did not do because……’. Inevitably it is little lie uttered by any number of people in the course of  a day that you hear with scepticism.

When and if at all we look at our own behaviour, we too would have uttered some lies and given patently false excuses. We are always ready to blame others when things go wrong. In fact we ourselves may be not totally trustworthy individuals.

Trust starts with a little child who trusts that his/her mother and father will hold him, feed and take care of him/her with love and generosity. This trust gets gradually eroded as the child grows up and learns to be independent. As adults the feeling of distrust gets gelled into our minds and we even start questioning the motives of the same parents. We attribute motives that are coloured by our own behaviour—what we would do in such circumstances. In old age the brain itself breeds distrust and physical and mental weaknesses impel us to not having trust in anybody or anything.

Throughout our life, we are unwilling to go the whole way and are just not ready to make commitments. We dislike or just nod our heads casually to common rules set up by our family and society that we belong to. We take these rules and relationships for granted and often end up by reneging to our commitments. Break ups, divorces, dysfunctional family relationships are but some of the debris that clutter our lives—greatly based on this distrust.

In India the political ‘trust deficit’ is also called “Trust Gap” and is widely used in reference to state relations with Pakistan and other nations with unclear alliances and motivations. Simply speaking it means that we do not believe all the stuff that Pakistan is spouting about various issues. In the last few days we have had the Pakistan PM and his son here in India and they are screaming from the top of their voices that it is a private visit, in fact  a pilgrimage of sorts. One of the things that has prevented trust-building between India and Pakistan is that we have between us a virtual Berlin Wall. There is no regular contact between the two peoples.

If we can be truthful—“I am sorry I got late because I had not managed my time efficiently”, or “I just forgot”—this can bridge the chasm of mistrust and deceit, both inevitably linked together. One of the reasons for deceit is that we think that we do not want to hurt somebody. If the truth were revealed later, it causes more pain and distrust. When you trust implicitly, that too can lead to pain and break up of relationships. A vicious circle as it were, right!

How do we build trust? When you are involved in actually building trust:

  1. Acknowledge the feelings of the other party. If we can empathise, then half the battle is won—especially in relationships.
  2. Be above board in all your dealings.
  3. Honor your promises. Trust requires that people believe you are dependable.
  4. Show consistency in your behaviour. Your reliability and predictability are important.
  5. It depends on your ability and good judgement in handling situations.
  6. Display loyalty especially in your ability to protect others, to be on same side in their presence but most importantly even in their absence.
  7. Try to be objective and show fairness when making decisions or taking actions.
  8. There is a difference between privacy and holding secrets. The latter will ‘out’ and cause you great embarrassment or pain.
  9. Stick to the details. If you add or embellish stories, records of events etc. it can backfire and send across signals of volatility or inconsistency.
  10. Be yourself: Let the Joneses be. You be true to yourself, trust in your judgement and reactions…that is enough.

“You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you do not trust enough”.  Frank Crane


Welcome to the Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where Akanksha, Anu, Ashok, Conrad, DeliriousGaelikaa,  GrannymarMagpie11,  Nema, Noor, Ordinary Joe, Paul, Maria the Silver Fox, Rummuser , Will Knott, and I write on the same topic. Please do visit the linked blogs to get seventeen different flavours of the same topic.

About padmum

You could call me Dame Quixote! I tilt at windmills. I have an opinion on most matters. What I don't have, my husband Raju has in plenty. Writer and story teller, columnist and contributer of articles, blogs, poems, travelogues and essays to Chennai newspapers, national magazines and websites, I review and edit books for publishers and have specialized as a Culinary Editor and contributed content, edited and collaborated on Cookbooks. My other major interest used to be acting on Tamil and English stage, Indian cinema and TV. I am a wordsmith, a voracious reader, crossword buff and write about India's heritage, culture and traditions. I am interested in Vedanta nowadays. I am now an Armchair traveller/opinionator/busybody!
This entry was posted in Friday Three On One blog, Life skills, Society, Wellness and health and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Trust

  1. grannymar says:

    “Be yourself: Let the Joneses be”. I try to be true to myself, trust in my judgement and gut instinct, it works for me.


  2. rummuser says:

    Distrust, just like trust is earned. If there is a deficit of trust all around us, it has been earned by the recipients. I am glad that I don’t have much to do with modern outer world.


  3. Delirious says:

    I am wondering if the reason people can’t trust is because they, themselves, are not honest. They assume everyone else is dishonest. Because when I look at people I know who have been cheated, they are the ones who never imagined the world held dishonest people.


  4. Conrad Hake says:

    Trust and distrust are both contagious. It takes faith and a certain courage to trust.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s