Being Trustworthy Shows Character
by Ron Kurtus (revised 31 March 2004)
People will trust a person who has a reputation of being honest, reliable and responsible. Dishonesty can easily tarnish that reputation can easily be tarnished, such that others consider you untrustworthy. Being considered trustworthy provides benefits from the way people deal with you, as well as your own self-esteem.
Questions you may have are:
- What is trust?
- How can you become untrustworthy?
- What are the benefits of being trusted?
This lesson will answer those questions.
Trust in another person has several meanings:
- Trust means that you feel that the person is honest and will not lie, cheat or steal from you.
- It also means that you can count on the person to do as he or she promised and that the person is reliable.
- Finally, trust in a person means that you feel he or she can be counted on to do something important, will not shirk from duties, and will take personal pride in what he or she does.
An illustration of trust can be seen when you are on a trip, and you stop at a filling station to ask the attendant for directions. You trust that he will not purposely give the wrong directions. You also trust that he is competent and responsible in being able to give correct directions. If he says he has to go in the back to get a map and will return right away, you trust that he will do just that and not take off for lunch.
Being considered untrustworthy
If you are caught lying or deceiving people, they will consider you an untrustworthy character. It is then very easy for that bad reputation to spread. Once others consider a person as untrustworthy, they will tend to be cautious in dealing with that person or may avoid him or her all together.
Doubt about relationship
For example, suppose someone you know had lied and deceived you. If the person apologized and said he wouldn't do it again, you might forgive him. But if he deceived you again, you would have serious doubts about any relationship with that person again. This is a major source of divorces.
Likewise, a person who is unreliable--such as a friend who promises to pick you up from the airport but then never shows up--cannot be trusted to do things. An irresponsible person also cannot be trusted, because he or she does not seem to care about how things are done.
Benefits from being trustworthy
There are numerous benefits from being trustworthy.
Others like to deal with you
People like to deal with those they can trust. You like to shop at a store where you know that the owner or sales clerk will deal with you honestly. Supervisors like to have workers they know will be reliable and show up on time each day. They also like workers who they can trust to take responsibility.
If people trust you, they will like you and give you more opportunities than others.
Feel good about self
If you are honest, do as promised and are capable of taking on responsibility, then you feel good about yourself. You feel that you have integrity and cannot be influenced by negative, outside forces trying to bring you down. You feel self-respect, knowing that you are worthy of others' trust.
Being trustworthy is an admirable character trait. It is being honest, reliable and responsible. Others will respect you more and want to continue relationships and dealing with you. Also, you will feel a sense of self-respect.
Resources and references
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Being Trustworthy Shows Character