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Mindset Reality Check on Trust

By Harry Petsanis and Donna McCance

There’s a misguided understanding about the word “trust,” which can negatively affect our mental health and physical safety. Trust is an amazing thing. The problem is that we trust our emotions over our instincts. What we need to trust is our understanding of human nature, not the words, opinions, and rhetoric of others.

The quote “I trust people until they’ve given me a reason not to trust them” isn’t just dangerous, it’s illogical. Blindly trusting someone or something goes against our instincts and common sense about judging safe and unsafe situations. This is a trust based on emotions, not based in reality.

The part of human nature that needs to be understood in the context of trust is the fact that all humans have a self-serving nature. Our self serving nature encourages us to naturally do things that are in our best interests. Understanding that we are all born with selfish tendencies to promote our survival is part of trust based on logic.

We are also born with altruistic tendencies to please others while ignoring or sacrificing our individual desires. Societal conditioning encourages us to trust emotionally, which is a way to control us. When we trust people to be something they’re not and act in a way that contradicts our human nature, we’re choosing to trust fantasy, not reality.

Human nature reveals that people show you who they want you to see, representing something that they’re often not. No matter how long you know someone, most people at any given moment are going to do what’s in their best interest. That creates a situation where someone is perceived to break our trust, when in reality, they’re doing what they determine to be in their best interest at that particular moment.

We’re not saying you’re never going to be hurt when someone doesn’t follow through on what they say they’re going to do or how they’re feeling. But when you trust realistically in human nature, you can at least be prepared and know that people change. They change their minds about things and they have the freedom to do that. Just like you change your mind about things, which you have the freedom to do as well.

Do not put your trust in faith, hope, chance, risks, and wishes. Put your trust in your instincts, common sense and knowledge about human nature. Trust is something you should absolutely have and believe in, but it must be realistic with the understanding that at any given moment, people are going to do what’s in their best interests. When you think of trust in this way, you’ll be more aware, prepared, and most importantly, emotionally and physically safe.

About the Authors

Harry Petsanis is a mindset and accountability coach, philosopher of human nature, consultant, and lifelong fitness and nutrition expert. He is a writer and author, with two published books: “The Truth is A Lie” and “The Logical Path To Life.” His book “The Truth is A Lie” was nominated by the 2019 Author Academy Awards in the "best self help" book category. Harry has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism, with an intense passion for psychology and the human condition. Click here to order Harry Petsanis’s books.

Donna McCance, M.Ed. is a business administrator, licensed teacher and principal/vice principal with over 20 years experience teaching in elementary education and educational leadership. She has a Masters in Education, Masters in Human Services Management, Bachelors in Business Administration and Associates in Business Administration.

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