Close up Hands Tea x

Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

Secrets, Lies & Omissions

TrustTrust is a difficult foundation to build and once compromised, very difficult to repair and restore.  As someone who has spent a lifetime surrounded by people who were such liars, they could have been professionals — sadly, addiction and psychosis creates an all-star level of liar that is hard to be believed, (pun intended) – I have a veritable ghost town of dilapidated walls where trust once stood.

When you’re young and vulnerable, it can be tough to recognize when folks are fibbing to your face.  With childlike innocence, you tend to believe all that you are told, even if it does come from the forked tongues of the adults in your world.  It begins with broken promises and a bizarre protective twisting of the truth (done, more often than not, to save their reputation, their way of life or their hide).  After you’ve been burned a handful of times by those, you start to see their actual pants-on-fire status.  As for me, I was a full-fledged lie detector by the time I was 9 years old.

Secret keepers are not as easy to pinpoint.  You can be fully entrenched in a friendship or relationship with someone, having developed tremendous trust and faith in that person, only to discover some hidden element to their personality or background that blows a huge hole in the walls of trust you’ve built around them.  Secrets often explode, like silent land mines you never knew were buried, under the foundation you’d built: an ex-husband who expertly hid serious substance abuse; a father figure who turned out to be the key keeper of his very own kept woman; a relative who collected silver at estate sales then had them engraved with her grandmother’s initials, leaving people to believe she’d inherited priceless family heirlooms from a family that, in truth, had very little.  Secrets are quiet, toxic bubbles that rise to the surface and gently pop to reveal character flaws.  You can then see a person’s ability to deftly bob and weave their way between fact and fiction, making them people to be friendly with – but never someone to trust or confide in, certainly not again, if you ever had in the past.  They will betray you, just as they betray themselves by turning away from important truths in their life.

Those who omit information, tread a fine line between secrets and lies.  Such as: the woman who doesn’t include that one job she was fired from on an employment application; the man who doesn’t admit to having been a smoker in his on-line dating profile, knowing it would be a dealbreaker to some anti-tobacco fanatics; the person who doesn’t disclose and STD to a potential partner… where trust building is concerned, omission makes for unsteady ground to work with.

People typically keep secrets, lie or omit the truth because they don’t want to be “found out” for something they’d mostly be embarrassed or mortified by.  As I said, they usually do so to save their reputation, their way of life or their hide.

Then again, sometimes the honorable goal of being a trustworthy person is just not something everyone aspires to.  It doesn’t seem to be that important to a lot of people.  Then again, I think – what if we’ve just forgotten how to be honest?  What if we’ve simply lost sight of the steps to take in order to be a person of integrity?  Shoot.  Poke around on the internet and even ehow.com can tell you what to do, if you’re in a pinch.  Allow me to point out their 7 step process of “How to Be Trustworthy” (feel free to also use this as a guide to spot trustworthy people BTW) –

1)      Be Honest With Yourself and Others.  This might take awhile for you to reconnoiter, in order to figure out the difference between fact and fiction, but it will be worth it.

2)      Keep Your Promises and Be Reliable.  People will respond to this. When you become a person of your word, they will begin to trust you.

3)      Be Fair in All of Your Interactions.  Don’t treat the waitress one way and the CEO of the company you’re hoping to romance another.  Your two-faces are so much more apparent when you behave that way.

4)      Realize That Open and Honest Dialogue is Reciprocated.  When you are open, others will open themselves to you, responding to your honesty.

5)      Understand That Being Compassionate Breeds Trust.  Your tender heart will be seen as vulnerable and giving – and people will feel safe in your presence.

6)      Acknowledge Your Limitations and Be Open to Suggestions.  Your honesty allows others to feel like they can do the same, and in that, there is shared trust.

7)      Be Faithful and Loyal.  When you stand up for the integrity of others, it shows great character and that you are someone who can be trusted.

I don’t know how to fix the holes that secrets, lies and omissions can leave in your heart.  Those are often repairs that can never be made, and in some instances, should not even be attempted, because even with reinforcement, you can be hurt again and then repairs are no longer possible. What I do know, is that the people in your life who are willing to actively work on the maintenance of the structural trust you’ve built (or are building) are people who are worthy of the trust you place in them.  They are the ones who will hold you up when sections of those walls come loose or need repair.  Those seven pillars of trustworthy behavior make for a decent blueprint to follow, for a strong relationship foundation.  Stay away from those other guys, they will only tear you (and your trust) down.

Trust me.

xo – t.

If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” – Mark Twain

 

You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.” – Abraham Lincoln

 

The man who can keep a secret may be wise, but he is not half as wise as the man with no secrets to keep.” – E. W. Howe

 

Not only our actions, but also our omissions, become our destiny.” – Abraham Verghese

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