Building a Trustworthy Social Network

There are few letters in the word "Trust", yet there are equally few words in human language with tremendous impact in life. Trust is a very powerful word and a notion that can either build or destroy individual human beings, families, societies, nations and the world. Whether secretly or openly, we all hope to find at least one individual with whom we can establish a trustworthy connection or establish a trustworthy relationship with. The nature of the relationship can be friendship, partnership, or professional. Many people, including scholars, have written books about trust in all aspects in society, yet hearts are still broken, society is filled with disappointed individuals, and the social fabric is crumbling all because no one enlightens us about the heart and foundation of trust. While this article doesn't claim to be the ultimate guide on the subject of trust, it offers clear and simple steps that can be implemented by anyone interested in successfully building a trustworthy social network in their own life.

  • Always Start With Self: There are simple and clear laws that govern how life unfolds and these rules are immutable. One fundamental law in life is "Balance between giving and taking". In simple terms, only the act of giving guarantees the right to get. In real life, every reaction is preceded or triggered by an action. This means, if you expect someone to trust you, you must first give trust. Practically, "you cannot give what you don't have", therefore to be in the position of giving trust, you must posses trust within self first. In simple words, you must trust yourself first.

  • Trusting Yourself: Values and consistency are the foundation for trust, therefore you must define a set of values that either best identify you or you identify with. Your set of values will be the link through which you can connect with another fellow human being. Being able to accurately identify the set of values that you identify with or that best identify you is critical, you must be honest with yourself, it is not something that you should fake or pretend because they look or sound good. In practical terms, if you genuinely believe that you are a respectful (full of respect) individual, your attitude and whole being must consistently inspire nothing short of respect. This means, you are respectable (able to be respected). Trust in yourself will come over time by consistently being one with your self-identified values. Confidence comes with repetition not simply in your words, but in your thoughts and your deeds as well. You and your set of values must be one and the same, indivisible because they become part of your identity.

  • Giving Trust: Trust is not something that anyone can simply handover to someone else like a loaf of bread because trust is earned. From a personal perspective, you must earn the other person's trust. The expression "giving trust" simply means being worth of someone else's trust. You must give your trust through your way of being, setting clear standards and boundaries about what's acceptable and what is not, and being consistent. No one should wander who you are, what your expectations are, etc. Some of your personal values must become your "Core Principles" meaning, they are non-negotiable and will never change because they are one with your personal identity. Everything about you should project and inspire your core principles. You should never leave doubts in your own mind and that of others regarding your core principles.