“You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you don’t trust enough.” -Frank Crane
I had one of the most disheartening experiences of my life when I was 24. Some people I trusted conned me out of a huge chunk of my savings and then dropped off the face of the earth.
Later, I questioned if I was being naive whenever an incident looked slightly similar. I instinctively mistrusted a lot of people, projecting past hurts onto them before they even had a chance to show their good intentions.
It was like everyone was guilty until proven innocent. And worse, I was constantly defensive and bitter. I didn’t want to be caught off guard when someone inevitably disappointed me again.
A couple years back, I found a blog post that offered an interesting perspective on trust. The author described how a cab driver tricked her to steal her backpack, including her wallet and $500 worth of possessions. Her friend concluded that they should trust people less.
But the author, she decided that losing faith is far worse than losing stuff.
She wrote, “Spending $500 every once-in-a-while is a small price to pay to be able to continue trusting people…I consider the loss to be part of the optimism tax.”
It just plain hurts to suspect everyone. It hurts to hold onto past disappointments, as if it’s only a matter of time until other people let you down. That’s not to say we shouldn’t trust our instincts when we suspect we’re in harm’s way. But the world is a far more peaceful place when you believe in people.
Today if you mistrust someone, remember: You tend to find what you’re looking for. Are you more invested in finding reasons to doubt or reasons to believe?
Photo by Alice Popkorn
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