Can you predict trustworthiness? Consider the key traits…
2 May

Can you predict trustworthiness? Consider the key traits…

Did you know trustworthy people share several key traits? These character traits can increase our ability to recognize trustworthiness in ourselves and others. This is how we can discern trustworthiness with greater certainty and grow our trust in others or things as well as in ourselves. These traits are indicators of good character we can rely on to make better decisions in life. So, let’s begin by considering what trust is, the traits of trustworthiness, and evidence it offers us.

Trustworthiness is having confidence in a set of behaviors that we can depend on because the high probability makes the behavior more likely to be consistent or be a certain way. Here’s an example. One of the most obvious traits trustworthy people share is their follow-through; they do what they say they will do. Keeping our word by doing what we say we will do is integrity. If the behavior is consistent, it’s a trait we can have greater trust in because the words and behavior match.

The following are a few more behavior traits and evidence that we can trust in ourselves and others: honoring commitments, being honest, having healthy personal boundaries, living with integrity, having mutual respect, being accountable, having empathy for others, keeping confidential information private, having self-control and the ability to delay gratification, being nonjudgmental, generous and reliable.

“No virtue is more universally accepted as a test of good character than trustworthiness.”

~ Harry Emerson Fosdick

Now let’s explore untrustworthiness. A lack of trust can come with serious consequences. In fact, society would likely fail to function properly in the absence of trust. There are some warning signs of untrustworthiness or a low level of trust. When we’ve learned to distrust someone, it’s usually because we’ve come to understand that when we share with them, what’s important to us, it is not safe—thus we think we’re not safe.

Let’s go deeper. Trust can be earned, lost, and regained. We all know what it feels like when a trusted promise is broken. And…once trust is broken, it’s hard to restore. Few are quick to reinvest once betrayed. It takes a great deal of work to restore what’s been lost in a relationship due to broken trust. Most of us will pull back on the energy we invest in a relationship that no longer has a high level of trust. This is often the case—even with forgiveness. 

What is untrustworthiness and what are some of the warning signs? When we sense or feel a distrust, notice it’s due to one or more factors such as: contradictions between words and behavior, insincerity, manipulation, betrayal, abandonment, victimhood, lack of self-control, pattern of victimhood or blame, jealousy, anger, immaturity, lack of integrity or competency, insecurity, inconsistencies or incongruencies, etc.

When we recognize some of these habitual traits in ourselves or others, we may have a low level of trust or confidence in the ability or integrity to meet the needs in a situation. Once we experience this sense, we need to respect it and recognize the warning signs. Our wellbeing is our primary responsibility. Thus, we should do what’s needed to take care of ourselves.

When you are unsure and challenged, stop for a moment…to consider these 4 clarifying questions:

What am I thinking, What am I feeling, What do I need, and How can I get it in a healthy way? Then be sure to do it.

So far, we’ve learned what trustworthy is, what it takes to be trustworthy, and the key traits trustworthy people share as well as those who are untrustworthy. Let’s apply what we’ve learned.

Understanding and applying traits of trustworthiness is an important step in our personal growth. It helps grow our ability to face things in life with greater confidence and self-esteem. This is how we can learn to connect on a deeper level that’s rooted in our true being. In this way, we mature into wiser beings so we can live the life we’ve been seeking all along.

Isn’t it time we do something different, today? What will you commit to today to change your life now? Consider applying what we’ve learned with the following growth exercises. Remember to be patient with yourself as you grow. 

Which one of the character traits will you commit to growing today: Follow-through, Keeping your word, Being consistent, Honoring commitments, Honesty, Healthy personal boundaries, Integrity, Mutual respect, Accountable, Compassion, Keeping confidential information private, Self-control, Delaying gratification, Nonjudgmental, Generous, Reliable, other.

Consider using the acronym RAIN, coined by Michele McDonald. It’s an easy-to-remember 4-step tool to use daily, but especially when faced with a challenging life situation: 1). Recognize what is happening; 2). Allow the experience to be there, just as it is; 3). Investigate with interest and care; 4). Nurture with self-compassion.  

For more insight, consider reading in Chapter 11 “Loving Yourself” in my book: “Breaking Free from the Ego: A Course in Finding and Freeing Yourself”.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog. Please share it with someone else. It may be exactly what they need to hear to be free too. Come back for next month’s blog and…

Be sure to check out the helpful links below for my monthly newsletter, book, website, earlier blogs, and other opportunities. 

About the Author – Trina Carroll-Houk is a spiritual teacher, counselor, and founder of Breaking Free Boundaries, LLC who specializes in self-awareness, mindfulness, and the spiritual dimension of being. Her goal is to help people improve their quality of life so they can experience inner peace, meaningful purpose, and greater fulfillment. Trina represents a movement focused on helping people release what limits them from living in a higher dimension of spiritual consciousness.

Checkout Trina’s book on most online retail sites such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or BookBaby Bookshop: “Breaking Free from the Ego: A Course in Finding and Freeing Yourself”

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