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Posts Tagged ‘How to Know if You Can Trust Someone’

How to Know if You Can Trust Someone

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016
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Contemplating whether or not you can trust someone can be extremely stressful.

Business or investment partners, employees, romantic interests, family, or friends—regrettably, you’re vulnerable to betrayal from everyone close to you, and even those who aren’t.

It’s one of those not-very-pleasant facts of life, but thankfully it’s possible to minimize your risk of betrayal.

This Psychology Today article offers some helpful tips.

The author relays a simple example of how to discern if someone is intrinsically motivated to do the right thing: “Lately, it seems that more drivers are actually speeding up to prevent me from entering their lane on the highway. Since drivers have nothing to gain or lose by being nice, I see it as an indicator of how intrinsically motivated people are to do the right thing.”

Surely, you can think of dozens of similar examples (e.g., how he treats wait staff, or his children in private, and so on), and by observing the subject over a period of time, you can get a good idea of his or her honor.

However, what do you do if you lack the time to observe the person for weeks to figure out if they are fair-minded, even when it’s not convenient, and even when they think nobody is watching?

One option is to hire a private detective or security investigations firm, though it can be very expensive.

Another option is to rely on gut instinct. However, your subconscious fears and defenses color your intuition, particularly while under pressure.

Your first impression may be that a prospective business partner is perfect, when she isn’t, or that a new friend is of good character, when he’s far from it.

It’s too bad that gut instinct isn’t a reliable method to consistently discern a person’s true motivations.

Another way to gauge a person’s honesty and integrity is through my unconventional security investigations.

The ability to trust is a different matter, though if you can’t trust anyone, at least you’re more likely to avoid betrayal.

Copyright © 2016 Scott Petullo