In the pilot episode of Fringe, a Fox TV drama about an FBI agent drawn into situations involving strange phenomena, Walter Bishop (actor John Noble) says about being in a mental institution:
There are so many things you lose in a place like that. You lose being trusted.
Strange how important that is once it’s gone.
One of the most valuable commodities we have is the trust others give to us and the trust we find at work and within our families and network of friends. Consider this: Are there some people you interact with regularly but whom you don’t trust? What is it that causes you to feel that way?
*Have they ever failed to do what they promised?
*Have they ever lied or not told the entire truth?
*Have they tried to make themselves look good at someone else’s expense?
*Have they purposely created problems for you?
*Have they placed blame or taken credit unfairly?
*Are they generally undependable about doing high quality work–even though they may “mean well”?
*Have they said something to your face and you found out later they said something else behind your back?
*Have you trusted them, then they let you down or did something devious?
Those are all reasons for losing confidence in someone. It may be that some of their actions were unavoidable or you are mistaken about what they did or said. Make sure you have the facts before you take someone off your list of trusted people.
The next thing to do is to look once again at that list of things that can cause lack of trust. Do any of them describe you at some time in your work or life? Even if no one confronted you at the time, it may be that someone feels differently about you because of something you did a long time ago. Look for every opportunity to demonstrate that you are trustworthy now.
The final activity that will benefit you and others is to express trust in your words and actions. Give people reasons to believe in you and tell them how much you believe in them. Those aren’t just nice interactions at work, they are ways to reinforce the valuable aspects of being trustworthy and being trusted. You won’t fully appreciate the importance of it until it’s gone.