Trust is at the heart of authentic connections.
When there’s no trust, there’s no safety, healthy communication, or meaningful connections.
Whether we’re talking about a colleague, friend, family member, or romantic partner, you want people you can rely on in your life. People you can turn to and count on in difficult situations. People who inspire you to let your guard down.
Want to know if someone in your environment is genuinely trustworthy?
Look for the following signs.
#1. They Live And Breath Consistency
“Consistency is the foundation of virtue.” — Francis Bacon
A trustworthy person will behave and talk roughly the same in different situations. They won’t pretend they’re someone they’re not, and won’t change their personality based on who they’re with.
You know you can rely on someone when their character remains intact, no matter how much their circumstances change, or how many people try to influence them.
It’s about living and breathing consistency — consistency of effort, actions, and character.
#2. They Don’t Expect You to Read Their Mind
“Words are all we have.” — Samuel Beckett
A reliable person won’t leave you guessing about what’s going on in their head. They will try to communicate their feelings directly and openly, even if they don’t have the greatest communication skills.
There will be no mind games or mixed signals. They won’t put you in a position where you have to overthink or try to decode their behavior.
If they want something from you, they’ll ask for it. If there’s something troubling them, they’ll share it with you. If something happens, good or bad, they’ll let you know.
#3. They Stand By Their Promises
“I would rather be accused of breaking precedents than breaking promises.” — John F. Kennedy
One of the most important signs that show you can genuinely rely on someone, is when they keep their word and follow through their promises.
And I’m not even talking about big things — a promise can be something small, like giving you their word they’ll text you or give you a call when they get home.
Truly reliable people think of their promises as verbal contracts. They know that trust is an essential component of a strong relationship, and once broken, it’s unbelievably difficult to regain it.
Keeping their word and standing by their promises is extremely important to them.
#4. They Never Judge You
“The self-righteous scream judgments against others to hide the noise of skeletons dancing in their own closets.”― John Mark Green
A trustworthy person will wholeheartedly embrace all of you and accept you for who you are.
They’ll listen to your ideas and respect your opinions. They’ll try to see things from your perspective and won’t try to change your mind when they don’t see eye to eye with you about a particular issue.
You’ll feel comfortable and safe around them. They’ll make you feel like you can completely open up and share the deepest parts of yourself because they won’t ever judge you for them.
#5. You See Other People Trusting Them
“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.” — Stephen Covey
Their family gushes over how much they can rely on them. Their friends have told you numerous times that they trust them with their lives.
Their boss continually praises them for their reliability and so do their colleagues.
If you see other people trusting the person of your interest, you know you can trust them as well.
And sure, anyone could at some point make a wrong judgment and trust someone they shouldn’t, but generally, if you see every single person trusting them with something, you can fearlessly rely on them as well.
#6. They Genuinely Want to Know How You Feel
“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”― Ernest Hemingway
Most people don’t want to know how you feel. Not really.
They’ll ask you how you are, hoping they’ll get away with an “I’m fine, thanks”, and go on with their lives. If you’re in a bad place and start sharing your struggles, they’ll probably listen to only half of what you’re saying.
A truly reliable person, however, will be genuinely interested in how you feel. They’ll want to know the full story of what’s going on, all the details, and little things.
They’ll happily lend you an ear when you need it, with zero judgment, and offer you a shoulder to lean on even if they have their own problems to deal with.
#7. Their Actions Match Their Words
“Don’t listen to what people say; watch what they do.”― Steven D. Levitt
Words mean nothing unless they’re backed by actions.
Why? Because words are easy whereas actions are much harder. Words become meaningless when they are not followed by actions.
A good sign a person is reliable is when their words match their actions — what they say is what they do.
If they promise they will come with you somewhere, they always show up. If they say they will do something, they do it. If they vow to change something, they do.
There’s consistency between their words and actions and that’s how they gain people’s trust.
Before you let your guard down and trust someone, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is that person consistent?
- Does that person communicate openly with you?
- Does that person keep their word?
- Is that person judgmental of you?
- Do other people trust that person?
- Is that person genuinely interested in your thoughts and feelings?
- Do that person’s actions match their words?
If you answered yes to all of these questions, consider yourself lucky — you have a genuinely reliable person by your side.
This post was previously published on medium.com.
You may also like these posts on The Good Men Project:
|White Fragility: Talking to White People About Racism||Escape the “Act Like a Man” Box||The Lack of Gentle Platonic Touch in Men’s Lives is a Killer||What We Talk About When We Talk About Men|
Photo credit: iStockPhoto.com