the topic of trust has made me evaluate the level of trust i have for people in general.
in my opinion, trust is subjective in the sense that it’s always relative to how much trust one is capable of.
In many ways, the statement “I trust you” can basically be read as “i trust you as much as I’ve ever trusted anyone.” or in rarer cases “I trust you more than I’ve ever trusted anyone.” in which case then the maximum level of trust than moves to a new baseline.
Whether I trust people relative to how other people trust requires me to know what the average level of trust is that people have for each other.
Thinking about this, I realise that I do not know what this norm of trust is or if it is even possible to know it.
Also, the levels of trust depends on the type of activity.
Do I generally trust that people mean what they say?
Well, that depends on whether they have a vested interest in my believing them. The more of a vested and direct benefit they can have from my belief, the less I trust them. This is modified by how long I’ve know them and trusted them successfully in the past.
Do I generally trust that people will deliver (ie keep their word)?
That depends on how much of a direct benefit they have in delivering / keeping their word. The less benefit they get, the less trust i have. This also depends on the possible cost to myself on failure. If there is a high cost, then I trust them less or attempt to put in place alternative plans so as to reduce the amount of risk i am exposed to. Again, this depends on how long I’ve known the person and how trustworthy they’ve been in the past.
Do I generally trust that I can tell whether people are trustworthy or not?
No. Only time and experience allows me to predict trustworthiness and even then it is not entirely reliable as changes in a person’s life can render them untrustworthy. However, when there is no risk or cost to myself, I trust people to the extent that they are believable (for what that’s worth).
Finally, am I trustworthy?
I’d like to believe that I am. If I give my word i will keep it. But then, I rarely give my word.