JUMPING DARKNESS PARADE: EYAL INSTRUCTS US TO TRUST WHO PEOPLE ARE, NOT WHO YOU HOPE THEY ARE
Raise your hand if you’ve got trust issues.
I’m sure that at least ten thousand of you readers raised your hands. And I’m sure that those of you who didn’t are either living in denial or just have figured out the key to trust. I think I figured out the key to trust, and while it’s one of those “Easier said than done” types of things, at least I have it now. It makes sense to me.
Have you ever had a friend who stabbed you in the back? I’m sure you have. Check out this situation from when I was nineteen. I’m sure this is fairly typical, but it doesn’t diminish how terrible it feels. I had a girlfriend. We were in young love. I then went off to college and tried to keep it going with her. She visited a few times. We had a fantastic time the first time, but a horrible time the second. Bad vibe central. Anyhow, I started to suspect that something was amiss. When I got home for Christmas break, I realized that my intuition was right-on. She had been sleeping with one of my very best friends.
Back in those days, I had a circle of three best friends. We were like brothers. So it was a complete shock to the system, and really fucked me up. It definitely could have led me down the path of never trusting girls, friends, or anyone for that matter. But I didn’t want to turn into one of those bitter fucks that carry all their baggage with them everywhere they go, and so I decided to examine the situation further to see what I could learn from it. How did I not see this coming? Why was I so trusting?
Well, the problem isn’t that I was trusting. The problem is that I was trusting in the completely wrong way. You see, this friend of mine had a habit of getting with taken girls. He was definitely a scumbag in that department. He did this to most of his friends, but in his words, “They didn’t count because they weren’t part of our circle.” So I trusted his words.
What I learned from this experience is that the only thing you can trust is for a person to be who they are, not who they tell you they are. If the person is scummy and a backstabber, don’t trust some fantasy that their character will change for you. Don’t trust that you are somehow exempt. Trust in people’s natures.
Another example I like to think of relates to animals — domesticated animals in particular. Many people feel a sense of trust and comfort with their dogs. They don’t imagine that Lil’ Benji would ever turn on them. Yet pets do turn on their owners. Animal experts always remind us that animals are not humans, and what sets an animal off may not make any sense to us. And why should it? We’re not the same species! So my take on it now is this: No, I don’t trust that my German Sheppard will never turn on me. What I do trust is that he will act like a dog no matter what ,and that I have to choose how I will interact with him accordingly.
And this concept applies to all areas of life. You can trust in people. Just trust in them to act like themselves. Don’t trust them to act like you hope they will act. How you hope they will act is in YOUR head. How they will act is THEIR choice, and you have no control over it.