Many people argue about whether you can and should trust people, or whether you can’t and shouldn’t. Those are the wrong questions because they require you to reason your way to a generalization about all people and then to attach a moral judgment to the conclusion.
Better questions are:
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Trust your accurate intuition and people’s track records
- How accurate are your estimations about what people are likely to do?
- Based on experience, who can you trust to do which specific behaviors? Notice there’s no moral judgment attached to the estimations about what people are likely to do or to your tactics for responding to those conclusions. The considerations are not about whether to be nice and give people second chances. The questions focus on behavior, not whether the person is good or bad.
The same considerations apply with friends and extended family. We know people who:
- Are relentlessly negative, critical, harassing, abusive and bullying.
- Are selfish, demanding and explosive, and won’t build bridges.
- Can be counted on to have a good time but never pay their share of the bill, and never return borrowed things or money.
- Volunteer but then never show up. Or they show up late, are distracted and spend the whole time talking instead of working. Or they show up drunk.
Use your powers of observation and deduction. Who can you lend money to and expect it returned? Who won’t return the money, turning your loan into a “gift” or forcing you to engage in a fight to get it back? Who can you count on to fulfill their commitments? Who will leave you hanging?
In a new relationship, when you discover that the other person is unreliable, greedy, devious, back-stabbing or wrong and stubborn, rethink the arrangements. Do you want to live with the arrangement -- knowing now what to expect, or to try to change them or build a bridge or extricate yourself?
What if the person in question surprises you by doing well this time? Don’t take that to mean they’ve changed forever for the better. Extend them credit a little at a time. They have to prove they’ve changed over a long time before you should trust them with big bucks or your reputation.
The best way to learn how to use your accurate intuition and good judgment in the workplace and in your personal life is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and organizational consulting.
Design and implement an effective plan that eliminates the high cost of low attitudes. To get the help you need, call Ben at 1-877-828-5543.