Can you remember a time where you gave someone your trust, and they betrayed it? This is unfortunately part of the human experience; some people choose to grow cold and wall off their hearts while others continue to open themselves up to disappointment over and over. So is there a way to read whether someone is being honest or know if they are being real with you?
There are many different variables and factors to consider when judging someone’s trust worthiness, but they include: their commitment to others past and present, clarity of intent (alignment of thoughts, words, and actions), their apparent vulnerability to you, their ability to communicate, and their values integtrity
Their comittment to others past and present.
An important thing to consider when determining whether to trust a person or not is their commitment to other people previously and currently in their lives. How close are they with their friends and family? People who are trustworthy and loyal will tend to have many close family and friends around them. Good friends will be there when you need them, and usually tell you the truth, so if your partner is trustworthy they will likely have others they have formed close bonds with and stayed true to. Another area to look at is their past relationships, while its never good to pry too much, finding out a little bit about a persons former love interests can tell you more about them. Are they cerial daters? How many serious relationships have they had in the past? What is their longest relationship? Have they ever cheated before? These types of questions can often tell a lot about a person’s trustworthiness. Just try not to make them feel like they are being interrogated by the FBI.
Clarity of Intent.
Calirty of intent is when someone has an allingment of thoughts, words, and actions. In my opinion, clarity of intent is the biggest indicator of the trustworthiness of a person. People who are trustworthy make certain commitments and keep them; thats ultimately what trust is: believeing that a person will follow through with their commitments. So if a person tells you they believe honesty is very important, but you start catching them in little fibs, thats a misalignment of intent, their words and actions are not aligned. The people you can trust are people who think, say, and do things that are consistent. Anytime their actions are different than their words, or they express feelings that are different than their words or actions it basically means they don’t know what they want. Usually these people are not intentionally being dishonest, but often, they are unsure what they themselves want. Someone who has a clear idea what they want and can tell you what they are looking for is usually a better candidate for your trust than someone who has no clue. Start asking yourself “Are the words this person speaks consistent with their behavior?”, then you will have a better indication of their trustworthiness.
Vulnerability is the level to which a person is emotionally invested into a relationship. If a person expresses concern for your happiness, does their best to be good to you, and expresses their emotions with you, its a good bet they are vested in your relationship. People who are vulnerable are so because they have a lot of feelings tied up in your relationship. If you are looking for a serious relationship then I believe that vulnerability is an absolute must. Vulnerability can be seen anytime the person puts their feelings out there to you: if they do nice things for you, tell you about their lives or feelings, share intimate secrets with you, show you their “crazy side”, or light up when they are with you, then that person is vulnerable. A big part of vulnerability is allowing someone to see the the good and the bad, a person who is being honest with you will sometimes show you a side you dont like to see of them, for example: when someone gets jealous, cries, or gets angry with you it is because they care about you, we tend to not get worked up over people we dont care about; only the people closest to us are usually capable of bringing out our rawest emotions.
Ability to communicate.
People who open up to us and express their thoughts are often more trustworthy than people who are closed off from us. This is similar to vulnerability, but its a little different. A person with strong communication skills will often try to tell you what they want, be straightforward, listen to your thoughts, and try to open up communiction between you. If a person has a habit of running away everytime its time to talk something out it could be a sign that the person doesn’t handle conflict well. If a person tells you what they think or feel even if they know its not what you want to hear, its a good sign that this person will let you know whats on their mind. A person who tells you what they want is much more likely to be trustworthy than a person who doesnt know how to express their needs and concerns to you. Things like infidelity, break ups, lies, and manipulation are much more likely to occur if communication and connection is severed.
Values and integrity.
What a person believes in and there ability to act in a way that reflects their values ties in loosely with clarity of intent. A person with integrity demonstrates a high clarity of intent; anyone who looks at an integrous person understands what they believe in and stand for. At the core of integrity is a persons values. Values determine what things are important to someone, traits like honesty, loyalty to family, commitment, or determination are all traits of an honest person. Some people place high value on accomplishments, possessions, or appearances and little value on things like honesty; if a person doesn’t have loyalty and honesty built into their core belief system, then it is unlikely they will surprise you by being trustworthy. We must trust people to live by the values and beliefs that govern their lives, so its important to find out what values a person holds within themselves.
There is no clear cut, 100% effective way to determine a level of trushworthiness of someone. Even incredibly honest, loyal, and dedicated people can make mistakes or betray your trust in the heat of the moment and even liars can tell the truth. If we learn to look at our partners in a non-judgemental light and examine their beliefs, thoughts, words, actions, behaviors, and emotions we can often get some sort of bearing on how trustworthy a person is. The bible says that you will know a tree by its fruits; look at what this person has produced with their life: this will often be much more accurate in defining trustworthiness than listening to what someone tells you in the moment.