Friday, May 4, 2012

Don’t you trust me?


“Don’t you trust me?”
This is a question that is mostly asked by either the naïve or the manipulators.
You do not trust that something you drop will fall down, you know it. (We are talking about mundane living and not about free fall in a spaceship). Proven facts do not require trust. It is only when you do not know that something is true that you have to trust in it. Thus, the very fact that you have to trust in something means that there is an element of doubt about the truthfulness of the thing that you trust in. Trust, therefore, carries the seeds of distrust embedded in it.
How true then that trust in any human relationship exists only on the grounds of trust in your judgment about the other person. Being but ordinary mortals, we do not possess infallible judgment and, thus, it is natural for us to feel doubt when things happen that seem to contradict our trust. It is only the naïve who can think that their own honesty is so apparent that the other person cannot have the least smidgen of doubt about it.
If someone dear to you seems to have some doubt about some facet of your character or actions, getting all wounded about it and plaintively asking him/her this question is actually no help. To trust you beyond a shadow of doubt the other person has to trust his/her judgment beyond a shadow of doubt – which is close to impossible for most ordinary mortals. It is best to explain the situation. Else, you could well shut the other person up from pursuing the question but, in any long term relationship, such silences will only end up killing it. Over a period, there will be more knowledge and, thus, less reason for distrust. If the distrust is persistent and inexplicable, it is still naïve to be asking this question – it is probably better for you to kill the relationship yourself.
More often than not, this question is asked to manipulate the other person’s thoughts or actions. The manipulation may be unconscious, minor or even benign but manipulation it would be.
“Hey! You are keeping this secret even from me. Don’t you trust me?”
The intent here is to get to know what you are keeping from him. When he asks about trusting him the question is - Trust what? That he will not use it to blackmail you? That he will not start tweeting it to the rest of the world the moment you leave him? That he will not share it with someone and say, “But you guys are so close. I thought you would have told him yourself”? That he will not say, “He told me that long back” when you choose to share the secret with the rest of the world? That he will not part with it to save his life?
“Come on! I need this money for my new business. Don’t you trust me?”
Trust what, again? Trust that she will not run away with the money or deny having borrowed it from you? Trust that she has the ability to successfully run her business and be able to return the money to you? Trust that she would have made provisions to return your money, in the event that something untoward happens to her?
We, invariably, end up considering this question as one of trusting the other person’s integrity. Any time an act of trust is required of us, there are multiple things to be considered in addition to the other person’s integrity. A doubt on any of these facets may cause you to prefer not to fall in with the other person’s wishes.
Being asked the question, however, puts you in the position of either telling the other person exactly what you are doubtful about – something you do not want to do with a person you care for, normally - like for example, telling your business-woman friend that you do not think that she would do well in business. This puts you in the position of falling in with the other person’s wishes while not inclined to do so.
When not used by a naïve person, this is a question that has been liberally used by manipulators to get their way. What, to me, is reprehensible is the fact that it works only on the people who really care for you and, to me, a person who will cheerfully manipulate people who love him/her is not the sort of person I really want to know.
“Don’t you trust me?” is one of the most insidious manipulative questions in the world. Trust me!

38 comments:

  1. That was a trustworthy post! hi hi

    Very true!

    Yesterday I asked my maid if she used soap to wash my son's water bottle and she retorted 'Dont you trust me?' ! ha ha God save this world from all the mistrusts!

    I loved the line "the very fact that you have to trust in something means that there is an element of doubt about the truthfulness of the thing that you trust in" though had to read it twice to get the meaning right! :D

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    1. I must write more clearly then! I am impatient because I am lazy and want to get done with what i am writing asap:) Glad you liked it nonetheless

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  2. Such a simple and yet fluid way of writing, Suresh!!! I like to read your pieces just for that awesome directness and sweetness in your messages!

    Now, I will think twice before I use "Don't you trust me?" (lol, I actually use it)

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    1. Great that you came in! I was suffering from withdrawal symptoms:):) I meant this post specifically when it is asked with a intent to receive a reply. You and I, of course, use it only rhetorically:):)

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  3. How can you trust someone unless you find them to be trust-worthy?! So honest people when asked this stunning question will answer "No. Not yet." Wouldn't they? A blind, risky belief which usually these unknowns ask for in the name of "Trust" is actually a faulty replacement for the word "Faith" which does not need proof, hence referred as "Blind" faith.
    Nicely written ji.

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    1. Thank you, VST! Actually for as long as you have to trust, there is always room for you to be wrong. Else you would know that the other person is dependable.

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  4. What a coincidence. Only yesterday night Arjun was asking don't u trust me, I would not play with the Nintendo DS if it were in my room without asking your permission. Well if he needed our permission to play how does it matter if the DS is not in his room. :)

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    1. Children are the best manipulators but they are entitled to do so:)

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  5. That sounded pretty convoluted but actually on second reading (yes, my tubelight brain had to do the second read to comprehend the profundity) it was pretty simple and basic. I don't trust anyone easily and except maybe when I was a child, I have not trusted anyone completely. I don't know if it is a good thing or a handicap to be doubtful of everyone one comes in contact with, but it is better to be safe than sorry, right?

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    1. In recent times I find myself repeatedly accused of profundity:):) Delighted that you considered it worth it to read it a second time when your first read did not make sense.
      As for being slow to trust, I have normally found that people who are quick to trust are equally as quick to distrust. I'd rather have the trust of someone who takes his/her time over granting it.

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  6. Dear Suresh,

    As the Russians say " We trust, but we check!", this question must be very relevant there!

    One big irony is that this question is meaningless/ irreverent to a person who has a strong emotional bank account with you. In fact, he/she will be annoyed with you if you ask this question! As against this, one who doesn't trust you in the first place will distrust/hate you more after this question!

    Bye!

    Cinema Virumbi
    http://cinemavirumbi.blogspot.in

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  7. >>>>"this question is meaningless/ irreverent"<<<<

    Pl. read it as irrelevant.

    Bye!

    Cinema Virumbi
    http://cinemavirumbi.blogspot.in

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  8. more often than not this question itself creates all the doubts. nicely written :)

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  9. Hi Suresh,

    Fun post and thoughtful post as usual. The clincher was the last sentence, as it should be, Trust me! :)

    As Sudha pointed out, it is such a coincidence that only yesterday night (here in Boston, probably the very same time you were writing this post) Arjun threw a tantrum all of a sudden of us not trusting him :) When Sudha showed him the blog this morning he accused Sudha of making you write this post :)

    I give my trust very easily as you well know.

    There are two kinds of laziness, I am sure there are many but I am too lazy to think about all of them, physical laziness and intellectual laziness. I suffer from both (and any other type of laziness out there which I am too lazy to even think about).

    I think, just because I say I "think" should not go against my claim of being intellectually lazy, the people who give their trust easily are intellectually lazy. It takes a lot of mental and emotional effort to think thru the consequences of giving someone your trust. This is similar to having blind faith in something. We, the lazy, believe blindly in things because we are too lazy to reason our faith :)

    You also claim to be lazy but I don't think you come close to being as lazy as I am. At least you can't claim intellectual laziness... this blog is a proof of that :)

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    1. Hi Shiva! Looks like you shed your laziness yesterday!

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  10. Striking a balance between being naive and trusting or grown up and astute (permute that every which way) is the key. Your posts are a delight to read.

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    1. Thanks, KayEm! Btw, Did you find the time to read "Desi Wild Hogs"? Used to yr comments on all my 'fiction' attempts and didn't see one on this:)

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  11. Hi Suresh,
    I am Vijay, author of Life Meets Digital Blog. I nominated you for the 'Versatile Blogger Award' in the capacity of your blog lover. Please check out http://lifemeetsdigital.blogspot.in/2012/05/versatile-blogger-award-thank-you-note.html. Congratulations !

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    1. Thanks a lot Vijay! You made my day! It is a great pleasure to have people like you visiting my blog and complimenting me. I must beg your pardon, however, for not putting up a blog post to accept your kind nomination. Having done it twice already, I would find it embarrassing to do it all over again. Thanks once again!

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    2. You are welcome and I understand :-)

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  12. Dear Suresh ji,

    I know you've got appreciations before, but guess you deserve it again and again :)

    please check http://anupampatracontemplates.blogspot.in/2012/05/non-stop-generosity.html

    Of course there is no need of putting up a blog post for it. Just accept it.

    Regards,
    Anupam

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    1. Hi Anupam! Of course I accept it and with gratitude. I feel apologetic because you have taken the trouble to indicate your love for my blog and I find myself in the embarrassing position of not even being able to acknowledge it properly. Thanks for considering me worthy.

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  13. what brings me to life is like this is that i am from life is like that :)

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  14. Interesting thoughts, CS. Fully agree. I also used to like sharing thoughts like this when I started blogging. After sometime I began to feel it will be more interesting if the thought is shared through a story or poem and that is how I diversified into that form of writing. By the way nice to see you have so many readers now. (From the comments)

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    1. Quite true, TF! Ideas are best communicated through tales. Unfortunately, to do so, you need to have the talent to tell them.

      I have been lucky that way that so many kind souls have found their way to my blog.

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  15. You are not lucky, you are a good writer and people enjoy reading your blogs. This is another one of those crispy snack like post. Many have learnt not to ask me that question because my answer is always no.. LOL

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    1. Good that I never thought to ask you that, Farida :) And thanks for those kind words.

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  16. All the while I was reading this, I was forming TV serial associations with each instance that you provided. You will be happy to know that Ekta Kapoor did not disappoint! I was able to make connections with each example.
    Clearly, trust, or rather the lack of it, makes our TV world go round!
    I like your philosophical take on such human traits! :)

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    1. Thanks Rickie! You sure know how to make a person happy!

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  17. Call it Trust Issues..But I am going to ask my Dentist tomorrow..."You are Gonna pull out that teeth...Is it Gonna Hurt?"...And I am sure he would reply..."Not At All...Don't You Trust Me?" :(

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    1. Hahaha! That is one example of that question being used to mask the truth. Which dentist ever says "It is going to hurt like hell - afterwards" :)

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  18. I hate this question too. And I too think it is manipulative. How do you reply to it?

    Dagny

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    1. Depends! If I am indifferent to or dislike that person I say "I don't" or "Should I?" :)

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  19. Very well written... "don't you trust me?" is nothing but a manupulator's question! I would NEVER trust a person who said it :P

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