Trust one who has tried (Virgil)
To have good friends requires being a good friend. Being a good friend is built on trust. So what does being trustworthy mean? Trust is an elusive component in life, but essential. Building trust takes time, effort and commitment.
- Be there. You have to spend time with a person to gain trust. Someone who hangs in with another however tough things get. Ready with a word of kindness but also practical. Our actions speak so much louder than our words. We must allow our lives to get interrupted at the most inconvenient of times when the person on the phone, or at the door, needs our company.
- Learn to listen. When you are with someone do not allow electronic or any other interruption. At that moment they are the most important person in the world.
- Be honest but with kindness – say what you think. It is amazing how difficult we find it to tell the truth in all circumstances. We make a mistake and rather than owning up we lie. Don’t deceive people or tell lies to make ourselves something we are not. Most of us hate confrontation so rather than express what we are truly feeling, we say nothing. It is so difficult to build a relationship with someone who will not say what they feel. It makes both parties feel insecure.
- Do what you say you will do. If you make a promise keep it or if it becomes impossible say so and apologise. Learn to be efficient – some are better at this than others, but we can all learn to do better at what we put our hands to. Be punctual. Meet deadlines. Be reliable.
- Be loyal. Be someone your friend knows will never betray them. In any and all circumstances you have their back.
- Speak well at all times in all situations. Don’t jump in and say you can do something only to realise you cannot. If you are asked to help and you are unable to, say so. We are allowed to say no.
- No gossip. When people share themselves with us, they must know they will not be talked about when they leave the room. The confidences that have been aired will not be expressed to anyone else.
- Be empathetic. Learning to stand in another’s shoes and see what the world looks like from their viewpoint. It means we can stand with our friend, utter words that will soothe and heal because we understand.
- Choose close friends carefully. Go for quality not quantity. We can befriend many people, but not all people can or should be close friends.
- Learn to say sorry. Take responsibility for all we do including the bad things, the wrong things, and the mistakes. Never blame others.
- Avoid denial. When things happen that disrupt a relationship don’t push it under the carpet. Face what has happened, talk openly and find a way through. If we fail to confront difficulty eventually we will lose each other and the relationship.
- Stay consistent. Hold fast to the values of trustworthiness and don’t allow misunderstanding or unkindness to sway you.
Learning to be trustworthy is a journey. I have made so many mistakes in my life. Every single point I have written about I have at some time done the opposite. However, I have learnt. I continue to learn. I want to be a trustworthy person, an authentic faithful friend, and treat the relationships I have as the treasure I have discovered they are.