Monday, December 14, 2009

That Thing Called Trust.

Current Mood: Tired, and perhaps a little under-the-weather.

Current Song: from Saher by Jagjit Singh (it's that kind of day).

So I started off writing an entirely different blog post, and then it turned into this one. Lately, this has been in the forefront of my mind.

Yesterday, while having a conversation at some point, my sister said, "It's really hard to trust people."

It took me as a bit of a surprise actually, because of all the people in my family, she is the one that is most likely to trust someone. I'm the spiney one with the thick armour. I might have been lead armadillo in some previous life.

This isn't always a good thing, by the way. I've grown up like that. I'm suspicious of people in general (not in the needs-to-be-sedated way). I take apart social responses and relationships and reconstruct them so I can understand them. I would make a fantastic editor because of my proclivity to deconstruct on a regular basis.

Another among my long journeys. When you look at the very root of my trust issues, therein lies the key. It's more about being able to trust my responses rather than other people. I know myself well enough, but given an ambiguous situation, dealing with myself is more of an issue than dealing with another person. I don't know how I'll react. How my brain will wrap around the situation, what I'll say.

I've been lucky this year to be exposed to so many new people, many whom I've met through social media, and never in real life. Many have become good friends. This has gone some ways towards allaying my fears.

I also realize that I have never fallen apart to a point where I haven't picked myself up again. Something must be working inside. Some part of my being (probably the deconstructive/reconstructive one) puts me back together again.

I still have to learn to trust others. I think it goes hand in hand with learning to trust myself. I realize not everything can be trusted, but I also realize that giving someone or something the benefit of the doubt, is a form of respect. And respect I can do.


Sam said...

I totally understand where you're coming from on this one. I'm also a reconstructer/overanalyzer, and that definitely contributes to my ability (or inability) to trust in people and situations. But, I think you found the key, which is that you have to trust yourself first, and believe in your ability to confront any situation that comes your way. You might not always deal with things the best way the first time around, but that's okay. Great post :)

Sameer Vasta said...

I'm the opposite: I trust too easily. I don't analyze, examine, deconstruct and reconstruct. I take things at face value, I trust wholeheartedly, I give of myself with reckless abandon.

It may sound like a good thing, but it's not. I've been taken advantage of, walked and trampled on, chewed up and spit out more times than is humanly healthy. Yet I still don't learn.

I'm working on thinking with my head instead of my heart, but it isn't easy. Maybe we should give each other some pointers. :D

Mehnaz said...

Sam - thanks! It's good to know there are others out there like me :) Yes, sometimes we don't handle things "the right way", but having trust in your own judgement at least will make you feel secure enough to deal.

Vasta - The world needs both sorts of people. I find that people who trust easily are also often the easiest to trust because they believe in the inifinite loyalty of others. I say we get together and give each other pointers too! It'll balance everything out :)

Karim Kanji said...

. I'm the type of guy that trusts. Maybe too much? I dunno. I just think that Anne frank's words (paraphrased) are etched into my dna: "After everything I've been through I still believe, deep down, that people really are good."

Karim Kanji said...

Vasta - Keep the heart thing going. Thinking too much with the head may leave you a little less bruised but your world may be a little less spicy and fun too. But that's just me.

Sameer Vasta said...

Mehnaz, I think that's a good idea. So are you coming to DC/TO, or do I have to make the trip out West? :D

And Karim, don't worry. I don't think I'll ever be able to stop thinking with my heart, no matter how bruised it always leaves me. I just need to sprinkle some logic into the emotion from time to time. =)

Mehnaz said...

KK - I agree!

And there is nothing wrong with trusting in the goodness of people. I believe that too, but I'm slower to admit it :)

The world needs both kinds. We keep eachother balanced and happy.

Vasta - well you are the globetrotter after all. A trip to see our mountains and ocean (and rain!) wouldn't be so bad, right?

Sameer Vasta said...

Well, it has been over two years since I last kayaked in the Pacific Ocean...I think a visit is in order. =)

Beth Oppenheim said...

Oh Mehnaz! Beautiful writing as always. Yes, it is very hard to trust people - and ultimately harder to trust them depending on the experiences we have had in the past. I am married to someone who trusts very easily. He tells me the New Yorker in me comes out too strong in that respect. I am also learning to trust.

Wonderful ideas dear, and I consider you a friend made this year! I am very glad we connected.

Mehnaz said...


I hear you. It's great that your husband is such a wonderful balance to you. Keeps things in perspective.

I also consider you a wonderful new friend. Happy we connected as well :)

Sabera said...

Interesting post Mehnaz, and as usual very well written. I have a problem with trusting people too. I analyze what they say too much, every single time, without considering past leanings with the same person. As Sam says, the key is always to have a trust in how you conduct yourself and keep an open mind. The rest, really, is beyond your control. Like Beth, my husband is a huge force in bringing me back on the track I should be in terms of giving people a chance. Thank God for soulmates! :-)

Mehnaz said...


Thanks for commenting. There are more of us out there!
It definitely takes some courage to put the fear aside and just take the leap of trust.

I'm working on it. and that part about finding a soulmate :)