Defined Words: trust
Let’s walk through the early life of a typical human. You are born into a group that provides food and shelter for you. You do not know these people that work to keep you alive but you soon create characters of these people, usually called your family.
If you grew up in a situation where you never feel in danger from these people, you have no fear synapsed to their characters. An inhibition of fear caused by a logical conclusion is called trust.
You go off to school and meet more children but now there is a split. Depending on how your family raised you, you might be very comfortable interacting with new people. However, talking with strangers may be unfamiliar and therefore scary. Some students will automatically trust each other while students experiencing fear have to learn to forget the fear.
Forgetting fear, like forgetting all things, happens when the neural path representing the possible danger is not stimulated. In other words, if you think that everyone will make fun of your ears and nobody does all day, you’ll forget the fear and replace it with trust that nobody will make fun of them in the future.
If you tell a secret to a friend and they blab, you are no longer certain that they will keep your secrets. That uncertainty will stimulate fear which removes the trust you had in your friend. Conversely, successfully maintaining a secret can earn trust over time as your friend’s fear subsides with time. This is why it takes so long to build trust, but an instant to break it. It’s all about the stimulation and forgetting of fear; forgetting takes a lot longer.
I bring up early childhood because it illustrates the idea that trust can exist and be learned by untrained human brains. It almost seems as though trusting is the natural state once your increasing knowledge conquers your uncertain fears. But somewhere along the way, we switched our natural state from trusting to fearing. We tell our children, “don’t talk to strangers” but that is just a projection of parents’ fears onto their children!
A disproportionate amount of media coverage on a few dangerous people leads us to believe that a large amount of people do not deserve your trust. Parents watching this media coverage will want to keep their children safe, and fear is a very easy way to teach them.
It’s important to remember that we are a social species with mirroring tendencies. “Put out fear and they’ll feel fear, it’s a chain reaction.” Using fear to teach your children to stay safe only encourages them to spread their fear to others. When fear totally consumes a person, any opportunity for trust dies.
You will never be able to remove your fear until you can trust for long enough to forget the fearful neural path. This requires a bit of blind trust to start. It’s going to be tough, and you might get hurt a few times but it’s necessary to remove your fears.
Empathy is going to be your best tool when it comes to trusting people. If you can take on their perspective and you see no reason for that person to harm you, then you can choose to ignore your fears that you might be harmed and trust that person. If you were correct in your empathy, you might just lose the fear entirely and make a new friend in the process.
You are a human which means you can do everything another human can do, with enough practice. Trust in your own abilities and you will surprise yourself to see how much your fear holds you back. It’s an awesome world out there and it’s just on the other side of your fears.