Several years ago, Charlotte and I were at dinner with several friends. I realized at the end of our evening together that I had felt very relaxed throughout this dinner. We talked, laughed, and told stories. There was a certain ease about the evening. It dawned on me later how special the evening really was. I realized that I had been with people who I trusted.
I value friendships where deep trust exists. This kind of trust does not typically happen overnight. It can take months and even years to develop. When deep trust exists in friendships, it is very special.
Of course, I want to be in the presence of people who are trustworthy. The place to begin, however, is by making sure that I am a trustworthy person myself.
So what are some qualities of people you can trust?
1. A trustworthy person is genuine. When you get to know this person, you realize they have no hidden agenda. This person is not trying to use you or manipulate you. Rather, this person has a certain authenticity about her.
2. A trustworthy person is reliable. You can tell this person your honest thoughts and feelings and not be concerned that this person will then report to others what you really think and how you feel.
3. A trustworthy person is safe. This person does not desire to hurt you. He is not crass or cruel in his remarks to you. He is not attempting to manipulate or control you.
4. A trustworthy person is not constantly critiquing you. Perhaps you’ve known people who are constantly critiquing others (and of course other people fall short.) This kind of person is not always evaluating and judging you.
5. A trustworthy person will eventually put you at ease when you are in her presence. After all, because of this person’s character, you are able to enjoy this person’s presence without wondering how this person will take advantage of you.
To be in the presence of a trustworthy person allows you to experience grace. So where does one begin? Begin by behaving in a trustworthy manner with the friends that you have right now. In doing so, you have given them a generous gift.