It’s getting increasingly less popular to be trusting. People today tend to err on the side of caution with pretty much everything – new people, new places, new products … you’re advised to ‘be careful’, be wary, have your wits about you, don’t get taken advantage of, make sure you stand your ground, go out in pairs, stash things away, keep an eye out at all times – I’m sure you’ve been on the receiving end of some of these warnings before.
And while I’m not saying there isn’t some truth to these, I do think that a world full of fear of danger isn’t a great place to be. Distrust breeds distrust. If I treat you like you’re going to cheat me, perhaps you will. After all; then you’ll just be meeting my expectations.
I know we can’t be so naive to think that the whole world is full of rainbows, butterflies, and happy, smiling people who are out to help you, but I believe this is a much better way to approach situations than coming in afraid of the worst and expecting to find it just around the corner.
Before flying over to Bangkok recently I would have had to use all my fingers and toes to count the cautions I received – don’t talk to anyone, look out for scammers, stay inside at night, don’t trust the taxi drivers … when I arrived, at first I was even hesitant to smile at people in case they used that as a sign to target me! But you know what? I decided that I don’t want to live that way. I’d prefer to operate on the basic premise that people are good, and if you give them the chance they’ll prove themselves trustworthy. And in just the first few days I received help from complete strangers, hand-drawn maps and directions when I was lost, got advice on places to go, had people help me across busy streets, give me food to try for free, and lots of returned smiles!
Is it still possible that you’ll get ripped off by being trusting? Yes. Could people potentially take advantage of you? Yes.
But ask yourself – what’s the alternative? A life of fearful, sideways looks at those around you? Never saying yes to opportunities in case something goes wrong or it doesn’t turn out to be quite as good as you thought? Better to expect the best than always be prepared for the worst.
You might be amazed at how people value and respect your trust when you give it freely.
Trust your gut, believe that good things will happen, and …