The Issue of Trust

Thanks to everyone who responded to last week’s message. When it comes to sharing family business, it’s always a bit dicey cause one never knows how it will be received. So, thanks for receiving it as it was intended. On to today’s message …

One of the most valuable things I learned from Jonathan, my partner for 10 years, was that everyone can be trusted; you just have to know what to trust them for. In other words, people can be trusted to act out of their fears. Interesting thought, eh?

This lesson comes around more often nowadays due to the intense pace of changes in our world. These changes are triggering everyone’s fears and … they are acting out of them. Case in point–a friend of mine Denise is a landlord. She has a renter Jamie, that may not be able to continue paying her rent because she doesn’t make enough money at her current job to cover all her monthly bills.

Now, Jamie is very talented but suffers from a severe lack of confidence, plus she is stifled by two overwhelming fears. First, Jamie is afraid that she can’t perform the only type of job (waiting tables) that would give her the funds to cover her expenses because she believes her brain doesn’t work fast enough anymore (she’s only in her mid 50s).

Secondly, Jamie believes she won’t be able to make it on tips alone. So, she remains in her current job using credit cards to make up the difference. Eventually that credit will be used up. At that point Jamie will not be able to pay her rent and Denise will have to cover it. Imagine what that will do to their friendship? Denise’s dilemma is what to do? Should she trust Jamie to find another job making enough money, or let go and find another tenant? Denise is torn because Jamie is her friend and she doesn’t want to hurt her by making her move out. Nor does she want to risk losing her friendship.

Jamie has assured Denise that she would never put Denise in that position but how can Jamie back up those words? She doesn’t have any other financial recourse once she runs out of credit.

As I see it, Denise needs to see the situation as it is. Regardless of her good intentions, Jamie’s fears will most likely block her from changing her situation. This means that Denise can trust Jamie to eventually be unable to pay her rent so it is best to let go, risk forfeiting the friendship, and find another tenant.

Denise needs to care enough about herself to not remain in a situation where she could be hurt financially. Plus, she needs to remember that a real friend would care enough about the friendship to not put another friend in such a precarious position.

Everyone can be trusted; you just have to know what to trust them for. What are your thoughts?