Trust, it is an interesting concept. Every day in your life unknowingly you choose to trust or not to trust someone. For instance when you turn on the weather channel, you are choosing to trust the meteorologist. When you leave your jewellery on your dressing table, you do so because you trust it will be still there when you need it. When you count your money at the ATM, you are choosing to not trust the machine.
All across our life spectrum we are bombarded with SMS(s), Print & TV Ads, Emails, Posters, Hoardings, personal advices from people, politicians, corporates, financial advisors, doctors trying hard to win our trust. In some cases the endeavour to win our trust gets so ferocious that makes you question the motives behind such actions.
And yet the thing mostly missing in our lives is the presence of a trust worthy friend. They say human life is full of contradictions and we wouldn’t be humans without them.
In the midst of all this madness I met a person ‘S S’. He is one person soft-spoken and yet you want to latch on to every word that he says. He doesn’t even lift a finger to impress you or to win your trust and yet you want to trust him with everything you got.
What is the basic rule that tells you how you can trust someone. It is when a person has demonstrated over a very long period of time that they can be trusted. In our case it has been over few months that we have been playing badminton together that he has never tried to win a point by false calling. He plays the game very competitively but fair and square not worrying about winning or loosing, though he ends up on the winning side more often than not.
One can say, playing badminton is too small to judge a person’s character. I say it is not. You can tell a person from the way he plays his game. Some would play it in a fun way, some would get aggressive, some would play flamboyantly, some don’t even bother who is winning. If you take a closer look you would know that in their personal and professional lives they are somewhat similar to the way they play the game.
I have been trying to delve in to other reasons besides the honesty why some people like ‘S Si’ win our trust while some don’t. Here are some of the behavior and visual clues about ‘S S’ that has influenced me :
If someone is regularly on time, it not only signals consistency, but also general conscientiousness toward other people. Needless to say S S is always on time on the courts.
In the workplace, nothing inspires trust more than getting the job done right. For those who don’t know him, he is one of finest legal brains we have in the country. Who’s who of South Delhi is divided in to 2 different groups, one that knows him and the other that wants to know him.
Eye contact (but not too much).
This is perhaps the biggest behavioral indicator of trustworthiness. But the quality of the eye contact, also matters. Is it steely or warm? Too much eye contact can be unnerving.
The ability to keep a secret and exercise tact always inspires trust. Never once we have heard him bad mouthing anyone or engaging in loose talk about anything.
The more someone behaves with consistency, the better you’re able to establish patterns and form expectations.
At the end of the day, you have to like someone in order to trust them. My experience tells me this is partially instinctual. We have the “like/dislike” instinct to tell us at a gut level if we are safe or not. I hope that you don’t rely solely on this measure but it is important.
‘S S’ is likabale person, always well dressed, would compliment the winning team ‘Well Played’ even if he has lost a game from the position of winning.
Trust is important because we are social beings. It is our natural instinct to trust someone. Yet, we live in a society that is full of stories about misplaced trust, so everyone is careful about trusting someone. The more we rely on others the more careful we need to be.