I find trusting others difficult. It’s not that there are people I don’t trust, it’s that there are few. We’ve all heard that trust is earned, and I would agree with that statement. But it’s not a one-time-only exchange with others: it’s something that is earned daily. At least for me. When someone betrays that trust, even in a small way, I don’t ever confide in that person again. It may sound strict, but consider that if a person cannot be trusted with something small, how could anyone ever trust that person with anything. at all?
Recently, I had a conversation with a friend. We were both exchanging personal things going on in our lives. Nothing illegal or even embarrassing, just releasing frustrations about our daily lives. Everyone has them, or I suspect they do; It’s good to be able to talk about what’s going on in life with a friend that is not going to judge or try to give advice. When any of us do that, we of course take the chance that what we are discussing, , may in fact become known to a wider audience. That’s why trust is involved here. Sometimes, even someone that has proven they can be trusted, we find out that they cannot.
A few days after that conversation, I was speaking with another person, not someone I would classify as a friend, and found out that my discussion with the previous person had become very public. Again, nothing embarrassing or illegal, just personal thoughts and feelings. Of course I felt betrayed and I did become angry. I have a way though of holding that anger inside and not displaying any reaction outwardly. That may not be a good thing to do, but that’s how I handle it.
I really wanted to confront my now no-longer friend. I mean, I see him all the time. I came home and considered my options. Should I confront him, tell him how I thought he had betrayed me or just straight-arm him from now on – distancing myself from him and never having any sort of conversation with him that involved anything personal ever again. I opted for the latter. I don’t mind confronting people but then, how far and wide is that going to go, through him, so that the entire world becomes aware?
Once a person loses that trust, to be honest, it can never be reacquired. It’s over. That may seem harsh, but that’s the way I’ve always been. In this instance, I’ve known and trusted this person for years. What it was that ever prompted him to discuss our conversation with third parties is inconceivable to me.
It seems to me that this is the way the world is today. Think about social media. People post things about their lives to millions of other people every day. I’ve always found that odd. Sure, I’ve posted some personal information, thoughts, but it’s very, very limited. People don’t think anything about it anymore. Think about all the video clips we see online of people actually doing something illegal. They film themselves, or a friend films them. How stupid is that? We’ve become somewhat narcissistic and voyeuristic in a way. We’ve become a society where trust doesn’t exist anymore because no one cares about their own privacy.