What if you just decided to trust someone?

There are different kinds of trust in the world. There’s trust that things will work out in the end. There’s trust in ourselves, our capacity and kindness. And there’s trust in others.

Trust in others doesn’t come from their behavior. It isn’t something they earn. It’s something we decide to give. It’s the way we think about them.

Trust in others comes from our beliefs about them that create a calm, reassuring feeling for us. It’s our belief that they are going to do what they say they’re going to do, that they mean what they say. It doesn’t have anything to do with whether that’s actually true for them, or we would never trust the people who are really good liars.

In any given moment, we can choose to believe that what our spouse or teenager or coworker is saying is a true representation of what’s happening for them inside, whether or not that’s absolutely the truth. The truth is that no one is 100% trustworthy in this way. We all fudge a little about our inner experience sometimes. We might just decide to trust people so we can feel that calm reassuring feeling that allows our brains to move on to other things.

We do this every day when we get in the car and drive on public roads, believing that most people–people we’ve never met and know nothing about–are going to follow the rules of the road and it will be safe to get to our destination. There’s no more reason to believe that’s true than to believe that it isn’t true, but believing that it’s true allows us to live our lives with more confidence and more peace.

There might be times when we don’t want to trust someone else, and that’s okay. It’s worth asking ourselves whether we really WANT to trust a given person. It might serve us not to trust them. The point is, we get to decide. Other people lying doesn’t cause us to mistrust. Remember the really good liars? Our thoughts about other people cause us to mistrust them.

So ask yourself, do you want to trust this person? Why?

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