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Trust as the new currency

August 24, 2009

Trust

I’ve been thinking a lot about trust lately as well and immediately favorited this quote from @thomasknoll when I saw it. There is so much to be said about trust…how it’s built, how it’s broken and how one person can screw it up for many others.

I’m a very trusting person. I like to trust that people are good until I know otherwise. Does this make me naive? Maybe, but I’d rather trust people than have my guard up 24/7 and never trust anyone. I feel like, even though there’s a risk in trusting, it’s one to be taken. 

Now, let me say that I believe there are different levels of trust. Trust in relationships is tricky and that’s a place where it takes me a while to really trust people. When I do, it means a lot. And when that trust is broken, it hurts a lot…for both people. Some of you know this, but when I moved to CA just over a year ago, it was to start a non-profit for young entrepreneurs with a person who I trusted very much, both as a friend and business partner. He knew a lot about me and for me, trusting him was worth more than the crappy salary we agreed on for me to move out here. (If you want a good laugh, just ask me how much it was.) 

We were business partners for 8+ months before I moved out, yet as soon as I got here, something was different. Working together was difficult and I wasn’t enjoying it. I didn’t feel like he trusted me anymore and I’ll be honest, my guard was up as well. I was miserable. Yet, continued to work on the company and eventually got excited about it again. 

I won’t go into details, but I was contacted by another company soon after I moved out who had a better offer. I told the company I owed it to my partner to discuss it with him first. And I did…and he was not happy. I can’t blame him, but I hoped as a friend, he would want what was best for me, even if that meant ending our working relationship. We tried discussing options, but in the end, I had to make the choice that was best for me and that was to move on to a new company.

Now…with all that being said, I hoped we could remain friends. Not the case. We haven’t talked since May 2008. And that hurts. I couldn’t believe that he would erase me as a friend from his life, which is what he did. However, as I’m recently going through similar things, I can see where it was probably easier to totally erase me from his life than to try to trust me again.

And yes, we trusted each other and I broke that trust. Was I wrong for breaking it? I don’t think I was as I was looking out for myself, as we all have to do. But he did trust me…he trusted me to rock this dream of his and make it a reality…and I bailed.

I was hurt too through all of this. I lost a very good friend who, as frustrating as he may have been at times, has a certain charisma about him that makes up for it. Was he always a good friend…that’s debatable. We all have our days, right?

Because of that experience, I’m careful of who I trust personally as friends and in relationships. Why? Because it hurts too much when that trust is broken and honestly, I can’t handle that, as I’m learning again at this very moment. The pain that comes from broken trust is too much to bear. Sucks that it sometimes keeps me from experiencing new things, but it is what it is. I’ve been hurt too many times to think otherwise.

Trust…the new currency. Has a nice ring, doesn’t it?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 24, 2009 12:25 pm

    Karen, I agree with you totally. For me, it translates into “follow through”. In my life, I’ve been most disappointed and hurt, when people don’t do what they say they will do. Because of this, I try my best each day, to do follow through so that trust in all my relationships, but personally and professionally.

    Without it, we’re on our own and from my experience, its harder to get from point A to B, doing it alone.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. August 28, 2009 11:01 am

    This was so resonant:

    “I can see where it was probably easier to totally erase me from his life than to try to trust me again.”

    I’ve been on his side of the experience this year w/r/t erasing. It’s not that I cared about people any less – just that it was too hard to trust them to support me again. Even if they become un-erased, I don’t think the trust will ever return.

    It’s a subtlety that I was at a loss to explain until I read your post. Trust is certainly the currency of my life.

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