Unless you want to have contentious relationships for the rest of your life, it’s smart you focus on your trustworthiness.
You see, in most functioning connections, whether business, romance, platonic, etc. trust is almost always at the foundation.
And when you break it, it’ll be a major hole to dig yourself out of.
So if you have trouble being trustworthy, you’ve come to the right place.
Similarly, if you somehow come across as deceitful, even though you aren’t, perhaps we can shed some light on that too.
In this article, I’ll take you through the textbook behaviors of untrustworthy people. If these items sound familiar, then you know change is necessary.
Let’s get to it!
1) You’re consistently dishonest
Here’s a no-brainer. If you’ve been caught in lies multiple times, this will invariably impact your credibility as a person–whether the falsehoods were small or not is pretty much inconsequential.
The way I see it, when it comes to your run-of-the-mill lying, omitting the truth, or withholding information, you typically have one or two passes before the other person really catches on.
And when they do, it’s unlikely your relationship with them will ever be the same. So always strive to tell the truth; your reputation and relationships are at stake.
Think of the notoriously polarizing, corrupt politician. People might have a disdain for such a figure because they can see through their clear-cut deceit.
These “public servants” might ruthlessly flat-out lie to the public, while remaining deceptively earnest and stony-faced.
They might say one thing, but their actions are inconsistent with those words–all the while swindling a few bucks and clinging to power.
There’s a reason why some politicians are so polarizing–and it has a lot to do with their respective records of dishonesty.
Bottom line: saying one thing but not backing it up will rightfully create doubt in your sincerity.
2) You have broken confidentiality
When someone tells you something in confidence, and you share that information with other people, then this can be troubling–a testament to your carelessness and/or lack of reliability.
You may not be signing a legal non-disclosure agreement after your friend tells you secrets about their boyfriend or girlfriend, but it’s understood: you’re a friend, therefore you keep that information to yourself.
Do this enough times, and not only will people see you as untrustworthy and a bit of a gossip queen or king, but you’ll alienate them too.
I’ll admit that I’ve been guilty of this in the past.
My friend Rachel confided to me some very personal admissions about her boyfriend, who also happened to be a friend of mine (I introduced the pair.)
One night after one too many glasses of Pinot Noir, I foolishly blurted out a bit of this knowledge to him.
Now I can say with relative certainty that my intentions weren’t filled with malice, but still, the damage was done: I was irresponsible and breached my trust with Rachel.
This opened a floodgate of drama–and for me, an uphill battle to salvage friendships.
Though I won’t go into too much detail, I’ll say that after this series of events, I am now extra cautious about the things I disclose, especially after a few beverages.
3) You have a tendency to flake
Nobody likes a flake.
When you say you tend to say you’ll be at the party, then don’t show up enough times without valid reason, it’ll be hard to rely on you, and for good reason.
I’m sure we all know someone like this.
They’ll cancel plans at the last minute, leaving you feeling irritated, hurt, with a bad taste in your mouth–things that can quickly transform into distrust.
Similarly, when you have the habit of disappearing abruptly, ignoring messages and calls and being essentially unreachable, you’ll start coming across as lacking in dependability and consideration—and down the line, you’ll lose people’s trust as well.
4) You’re a bit self-centered
Once you develop a reputation for being self-centered, deceit won’t be far behind.
I mean, when someone is all about themselves, always putting their own interests first, without considering other people, can we really trust a person like this?
The right answer is: probably not.
The latter is especially true when you aren’t particularly close.
So if you tend to be a little self-centered, you might want to ease up on the narcissism–your interactions will likely improve considerably.
5) You evade accountability
It’s no state secret: nobody is perfect. Not even Beyonce.
Extreme circumstances aside, nobody reasonable will permanently condemn you for having shortcomings.
So, owning up to your mistakes is always the honorable thing to do. It speaks volumes to your character and integrity.
But if you refuse to take responsibility when you’re at fault; seeking to instead deflect blame onto others or periodically conjure up ridiculous excuses, expect to disenchant a few people.
And someone who actively evades accountability? Well, it’s not rocket science, others might consider them generally untrustworthy as well.
My ex was like this.
Towards the end of our union, we’d often get into some really heated fights.
Occasionally, I was to blame and would make amends accordingly.
But other times, she’d clearly be in the wrong, yet would almost never take accountability.
Instead of simply saying ‘sorry’, she’d still maneuver to fault me for our issues–remaining so stubborn that there would be no peace until I swallowed my pride and apologized, even though I was not to blame.
Tedious, I know.
When this became a pattern, our relationship eroded.
I lost trust in her, not in the sense that she’d cheat on me or steal or anything like that.
I lost trust in her ability to take accountability, which as you might be aware, is a big deal in any relationship.
If you want to enjoy fruitful associations in this life, then prioritize the virtue of trust.
Nobody wants to have to constantly be on their toes when you’re around. This sort of defeats the purpose of the relationship, platonic or otherwise.
So if being trustworthy doesn’t quite come naturally to you, don’t fret. Change is never out of the question.
Ultimately, with enough will and awareness, you’ll get to where you want to be.
But remember–as great as it is being honest to others, it’s equally as crucial to be honest with yourself. You got this.