In Others’ Words: Choosing to Trust Others

Quote  about trust by Labute 1.29.14 There comes a time when you have to decide: is this thing between you and another person a relationship or not?

I’m not just talking about romantic “do I or don’t I love this person?” kind of relationships. This question comes up as friendships are formed too.

And yes, the beginning of relationships make me nervous. Do I or don’t I? Am I all in — or am I playing it safe, guarding my heart, protecting myself, keeping my options — and the exit door — open?

Remember that “he/she loves me, he/she loves me not” routine — and the whole time the person is pulling the petals off the flower, one by one? That’s what it feels like when you decide to risk loving somebody … and they don’t love you back. Or, worse, they betray your trust somehow.

You went there … you trusted someone … and you were hurt.

No wonder relationships make us nervous. They are the ultimate risky business.

We risk ourselves for the sake of relationship — revealing the tender, wounded parts that we’ve protected because maybe, just maybe, this person will understand. Maybe, just maybe, this person will be safe.

And sometimes we discover a friend. Or a lifetime love.

And sometimes we discover we were wrong.

No matter what … the nervousness or fear, the hurt … we are made for relationships. Why? Because we are made in God’s image and he is a God of relationships. If he wasn’t, why does he desire reconciliation with us? (2 Corinthians 5: 19-20)

In Your Words: What makes you get past the nervousness and decide to trust and “go there” in relationship with others?

Trust: Risking for the Sake of Relationship Click to Tweet

The Risky Business of Relationships Click to Tweet

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  1. January 29, 2014, 8:27 am   /  Reply

    Trust none, for oaths are straws, mens’ faiths are wafer-cakes…

    So said Shakespeare.

    I have a hard time trusting people, and usually keep them at some remove. Part of it’s based on past experience, but there’s a darker aspect.

    I don’t really understand why anyone would want to be a friend to me. I grew up thinking I had little to offer (this was heavily reinforced by those who raised me), and that the only reason a person would want to be close, in any way, would be to gain some advantage.

    And this skepticism about others’ motives has served to drive away potential friends.

    Too late for me, but I’d offer this thought – cherish the friends you have, nurture the relationships, and tell yourself – every day – that you’re worth knowing.

    Laugh often, and laugh with others, because shared mirth engenders trust.

    Show up when a friend’s hurting, and stay, in silent support.

    Trust yourself and your heart – because that’s the starting point in trusting anyone.

    • January 29, 2014, 8:43 am   /  Reply

      Wise words, Andrew.

    • January 29, 2014, 8:48 am   /  Reply

      Andrew, never sell yourself short! And NO–it’s never too late! You’re a bright light in the writing community and a champion for Christ. I think you have more friends than you realize. (Here– *handing you a gluten-free, sugar-free donut* And it’s chocolate!)


      • January 29, 2014, 1:22 pm   /  Reply

        Cindy, thank you. You’re right that it’s never too late, and I’ve gotten so much from all of you – these contacts have kept me going through days that have been a bit hard to bear, physically.

        The gluten-free sugar-free chocolate doughnut is great! Thanks!

      • January 29, 2014, 1:31 pm   /  Reply

        I agree with you, Cynthia!

    • January 29, 2014, 1:30 pm   /  Reply

      A lot of hard-won wisdom, my friend.
      Trusting yourself … well, that’s important. But we first learn who we are from our family — if our family is trustworthy. And that is not always the case. Sometimes we have to back away from who we think we are — who we were told we were — and discover the truth. And then learn to live that out.

      • January 29, 2014, 4:09 pm   /  Reply

        That truth eventually does set us free, but we have to go at the chains with our fingernails, sometimes.

  2. January 29, 2014, 8:47 am   /  Reply

    Great thoughts here, Beth. When taking those first steps in a new relationship, I tread with caution. It seems like in the interactions, finding something in common, a bond begins to grow. I guess I feel my way into the early stages of a relationship, watching, observing entrusting a small bit of myself and seeing what’s done with that. As I find it safe to trust, I do. Usually, it works out, but sometimes it hasn’t.

    Finding something to laugh about, to share about, to share empathy with, these things can be the building blocks to trust in a friendship. But again, not always. 🙂

    • January 29, 2014, 1:31 pm   /  Reply

      I love sharing laughter with another person.
      To me, it is the first step of trusting another person — laughing with them — not at them.

  3. January 29, 2014, 8:56 am   /  Reply

    Oh, Beth! How I love this post!

    I adore people–and sometimes, I may “put myself out there” too soon. I enjoy talking to folks, loving on them, and sharing Christ through me.

    Yes, sometimes, I’ve been wounded. As I’ve matured in my faith walk, I try to recognize that when folks hurt others it’s usually a reflection of some deep issue they’re dealing with and less about us. Still difficult to take though.

    • January 29, 2014, 1:32 pm   /  Reply

      Yes, we all have wounds … and lies and fears because of those wounds.
      It’s when we find a community where we are safe, wounds and all, that life changes. That we change.

  4. January 29, 2014, 9:17 am   /  Reply

    Wonderful, honest post, Beth. I love it.

    For me, I have a deep-down need to surround myself with people. It’s taken time for me to come out of my shy-kid shell, but now I’m more able to speak to people and really relate to them. I choose to love people and let them make their own choice about loving me. Sometimes I get burned in the process, and that takes time to overcome (tears are my friends in those moments). Once I reach the point of acceptance that it happened again, once I become stronger for it, I tiptoe (or plunge) out there again, making more friends or strengthening the relationships I already have. Living in fear is not fun, so I choose to live life the way God wants me to: with love.

    Blessings and love,

    • January 29, 2014, 1:34 pm   /  Reply

      Agreed: living in fear is no fun. And it’s lonely too.

      • January 30, 2014, 10:47 pm   /  Reply

        Definitely lonely. It’s like living detached from the people around you, even though you’re right there with them. At least that’s how it was for me with my fear of water. That fear just takes over and I couldn’t connect with people so well in those moments.

  5. January 29, 2014, 10:18 am   /  Reply

    Today at 7:42 AM

    Yes, true relationships are so much better than pulling flower petals. I can generally see the good in others and not be put off by the small stuff that isn’t really them. But it’s humbling and affirming when we “mess up” or wobble and find true friends holding steady like a warm cheery fire to help us remind us of who we really are, while disregarding who we’re not. For me, that’s a greatly appreciated blessing and solid gold foundation in the bedrock of lasting relationships.

    • January 29, 2014, 1:36 pm   /  Reply

      The affirming of true friendships — the “I love you no matter what” safety of lifelong friends … nothing else like it.
      And those too, reflect Christ to the world.

  6. January 29, 2014, 12:55 pm   /  Reply

    “And sometimes we discover a friend. Or a lifetime love. And sometimes we discover we were wrong.” That sums it up beautifully. It’s very hard to trust once deeply hurt. I struggled with that after my divorce. And I think I probably still will when God brings perhaps another “someone” along. But if I don’t trust “all in”, the “all in” blessings will never take up residence in my heart. Thanks for your lovely post, Beth. So needed, my Friend.

    • January 29, 2014, 1:37 pm   /  Reply

      One of the things I know about you, Donna — you are an “all in” kind of person. You radiate it.

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