People trust you when your actions confirm the words you say. As Mahatma Gandhi so simply and sharply put it, “action expresses priorities.” Actions show truth and authenticity – even the action of doing nothing.
Actions can either support your words or contradict them. Your words are more trustworthy if they’re accompanied by actions that point in the same direction and show the same intention. When they support what you say, you show that the desires, promises, apologies, and intentions you express are true. This creates trust and allows you to relax because you don’t always have to be on alert.
You might especially identify with this if you easily trust those who are important to you. You trust them based on the consistency between what they say and what they do for you. You don’t have to keep asking them to follow through because their words are enough. Or perhaps you’re thinking of those friends who aren’t very emotionally expressive, but who have shown that they’re always there by your side.
Trust is created when actions confirm words
And then there are those people who you trust blindly because they say such beautiful things. People who love to make promises, but then later show that they can’t keep them.
If words are not accompanied by actions that confirm them, they become fragile. They ruin trust and make it hard to get it back. You can’t trust someone who says one thing and then goes in a completely different direction. But at the same time, your own inability to react also shows what you prioritize in your life.
Think about the people who filled your heart with beautiful and caring words. How could you not want to let yourself be cradled by such beauty and hope? People want to trust – we don’t seek out people who will hurt us. We start to build up walls as the damage accumulates over time, but our true desire is to trust.
Trust brings security and peace
Trust brings security, which we need in order to stay sane. We need consistency. Inconsistency throws us off, makes us insecure, and puts us on constant alert. Therefore, when someone repeatedly breaks our trust, we feel the need to step away.
If we don’t value trust, we’re doomed to being crushed by our relationships over and over again. If we don’t respect ourselves, nobody else will respect us. That’s why it’s important to seriously consider who we offer the beautiful but fragile gift of trust to. Sometimes this is a real act of courage.
Look for people whose actions back up their words. Don’t say things lightly if you’re not completely sure that they mirror your feelings. Don’t make any promises if you think you might not be able to keep them. Ensure that your own words have value. When there’s consistency between what you say and what you do, you inspire trust and security in other people. Not only that, you also avoid the resulting irritating cognitive dissonance on your part.
“He that lives upon hope dies fasting.”
False hopes fill you with air, not substance
Trust and security are fundamental pillars of any significant emotional relationship. You can have a lot of friends, but TRUE friends aren’t so easy to find. You know they’re true friends because they’re always by your side. Because their words and their actions are connected, meaning there’s no insecurity to threaten your relationship. You know that if you have any problems, you’ll face them before betraying your word.
Would you prefer to live with false hope, waiting for actions that will never come, for words that evaporate into thin air as soon as they’re spoken? Or would you prefer the truth, however painful it is, because in the end it’s how the other person feels? Ultimately, truth will always show you the way, not the false hope of a mirage on the horizon.