A Matter of Trust

by Al Smith

guest blog post by Nancy Davis

For a very long time, I had issues with trust. I questioned everything I was ever told, not because I wanted to be contrary, but because I didn’t trust you were telling me the truth. I never believed anyone who told me they loved me. I was sure you just wanted something, and would be gone once you got it.

I had been given misinformation about so many things as a young woman that I grew up to be an adult who trusted no one. This is not a great basis for living. I felt the world was cold, hard and uncaring.

I was wrong. I was the one who was cold, hard and uncaring. I cared little for my fellow man, but tragically I cared even less for myself. I felt I could not put trust in anyone after growing up with repeated beatings and relentless verbal abuse. I had become a product of my upbringing. I was treated in an abusive way, so I became hard and abusive as a result. Because I never trusted anyone, trust was never given to me. I felt totally alone in the world.

When my way no longer worked, and I needed to find a new way to live, I was truly at a loss. Could I ever change? How would I ever learn to trust anyone, let alone trust myself? I had to start small. I began to trust that others would show up when they said they would. I began to see that not everyone lied about everything, some folks were pretty honest. I began to tell them small details about my life and see if those facts got around or not. Once I saw that not everyone was a gossip, I began to open up and trust more.

Then something odd happened. The pendulum swung too far in the other direction and I trusted too many people. I was telling too much, and getting burned in the process. I had the mistaken notion that since I needed to trust, I was going to trust everyone with everything.

What a disaster. Not everyone is trustworthy. I learned a painful lesson.

Trust is the hardest thing to gain, and easiest to lose with good reason. Do you trust everyone? Of course not. That would be a foolish thing to do. We start by trusting people slowly, and allow that trust to develop over time. What an amazing feeling to trust someone and have them trust you back. I began to earn trust by doing simple things. I got a part-time  job and became responsible and trustworthy by showing up and doing the right thing.

I got promoted and given the keys and combination to the safe. I remember calling a friend, terrified I would be tempted to empty the safe. She reminded me I was no longer that untrustworthy person. She went on to tell me that it was a normal response to being given that much trust. I proved myself to be worthy of that trust. I was finally trusting others and getting that trust back. I came full circle.

Do you trust others?

Nancy DavisAbout Today’s Guest
Today’s guest is Nancy Davis, a marketing and sales professional who lives in Bergen County, New Jersey. Nancy is known for her blog, where she writes about hope and the pursuit of happiness. She describes herself as the type of person who made really bad choices in life, yet she’s learning from those mistakes and hopes to inspire others to not make the same missteps. According to Nancy, there is always hope, and her goal is to show us that if she can come through seemingly impossible situations and have a better life, then there’s hope for all of us too.

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Bill Dorman November 3, 2011 at 8:56 am

More times than not trust is given freely until someone does something to betray that trust. A lot of times it is the little things we use as our barometer like did you show up when you said you would, did you do what you said you would do and this gives us insight on how far we should go with it.

Even though it makes you vulnerable and you can get burned I think it’s best you have a trusting nature; it’s just a good way to live life.
Bill Dorman recently posted..My personal quest for 10,000


Nancy Davis November 3, 2011 at 4:51 pm

I have definitely gone back to trusting more than not trusting. Once I do lose trust in someone it is gone for good and really tough to get it back. Some folks are easier to trust than others too.

It is better to trust than to not trust and that seems to sometimes be a bit of a struggle for me.
Nancy Davis recently posted..Nice Folks Do Finish First


Al Smith November 3, 2011 at 9:13 am

Thank you Nancy for writing such a great post and being my guest. U Rock Girl ! Great topic. Trust. I think we have to become trustworthy ourselves before we can truly trust others or expect others to trust us. I know back when I was younger and in the crazy days of partying, I was not too reliable. I let a lot of people down. Now that I have grown up (a little) and am living life by a set of principles, I find it easier to trust and be trusted. And yes, sometimes we get hurt, but like Bill said; “It’s best to have a trusting nature.”
It’s not only a good way to live, but the right way to live.

Thanks again Nancy. So grateful for you. Big Hug !



Nancy Davis November 3, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Thank you for having me Al. I am so grateful that you asked me to participate.

You are right, we have to become trustworthy before trust can be given. Now that I am living a better life, I find that people trust me more and because I trust myself I am able to give that trust to others.

Big hug back!

Nancy Davis recently posted..Nice Folks Do Finish First


Lori Gosselin November 3, 2011 at 9:15 am

Hi Nancy, (Hi Al!) Don’t you just hate that pendulum!? It swings one way – too far – and then the other way – also too far! It takes a while to settle it down and find the perfect balance. Then that balance becomes something to maintain :o
I trust others with things I should trust them with. I remember hearing Gary Zukav saying something to the effect that trusting others is a faculty of trusting yourself to be able to handle things. It’s all about ourselves. Go figure on that one ;-)
Lori Gosselin recently posted..Do You Long for an Easier Life?


Nancy Davis November 3, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Hi Lori!

That balance is so hard to get right isn’t it? Trust always does come back to us. When I was living a dishonest life, I was not able to trust others because I was not trustworthy at all. Nowadays, that is not an issue as much.

Nancy Davis recently posted..We Are All Clark Kent


Betsy Cross November 3, 2011 at 9:32 am

You’re born alone, you die alone. If people want to mess with you then it’s on them. Trusting and getting hurt is manageable. It just takes time to heal.Not being who you were meant to be can never be overcome by anyone but you. And that’s going to take a lot of a “devil may care”attitude.


Nancy Davis November 3, 2011 at 4:58 pm

It does take time to heal when trust gets broken. I guess for me it depends too on what happened. It is manageable and sometimes the best I can do is learn from it and move on.
Nancy Davis recently posted..Nice Folks Do Finish First


Kaarina Dillabough November 3, 2011 at 11:14 am

Trust is something that’s earned and learned, although I must say, I generally trust until given reason to mistrust. Now that doesn’t mean that I entrust all the bits and pieces of me, but I DO trust my gut and my intuition. I allow the gut-check to guide me on what, and how much, to trust and share. It really rarely fails me.

My phrase to my children has always been “I trust until given reason to mistrust”, in terms of allowing them to spread their wings, grow, flop and fly…and deal with life honestly and with integrity.

I like Bill’s line, which is very similar: “More times than not trust is given freely until someone does something to betray that trust.” Great post Nancy, and great guest series Al:) Cheers! Kaarina
Kaarina Dillabough recently posted..What I learned during my Week Off the Grid


Nancy Davis November 3, 2011 at 5:04 pm

If I meet someone new, I do a bit of a “gut check” as well to see how much I want to trust them. Times like that I do let people in slowly.

It is that balance or trusting not too much or not enough. Some days I get it right and sometimes not.

Trust is such a delicate thing, and yet it can really bend on some occasions too!
Nancy Davis recently posted..Leave Your Ego At the Door


Craig McBreen November 3, 2011 at 12:11 pm


I think you earn trust, as you’ve stated, by doing small things. Being on time, telling the truth and not joining in with the gossip-hounds. If you work to stay positive (I know it’s hard), show humility, apologize when necessary, and simply treat people with respect, these practices will bring trust, and respect.

There will always be people who try to bring you down, but you just need to push through and remain positive. Like Betsy said, “If people want to mess with you then it’s on them.”

Like you mentioned in your post today, “Nice Folks Do Finish First.” Totally agree with that.

When it comes to trusting others, I usually go with my gut. I’m still not sure if I trust this Al guy though ;) :)

Nice post and way to roll this series out on a daily basis, Al!
Craig McBreen recently posted..You can’t argue with Seth Godin


Nancy Davis November 3, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Hi Craig,

You know, it did not dawn on me until you pointed it out how those posts kind of go together in a way. Trusting yourself leads to right actions, right actions lead to respect and feeling empowered.

The more I trust myself, the more trust I can put in others. I always start small and can trust more as I see the person is trustworthy. I also can totally pull back if I see someone is a gossiper and up to no good.
Nancy Davis recently posted..Nice Folks Do Finish First


Ameena Falchetto November 3, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Trust … hmmm … I actually don’t trust many people. It’s hard to live like that sometimes but to be honest it saves for a lot of heartache in the future.
Ameena Falchetto recently posted..Does size matter to the solopreneur?


Nancy Davis November 3, 2011 at 5:15 pm

I trust people, but very few do I trust if my life depended on it. Then the number drops quite a bit. I think that is healthy. To trust people with everything for me would be to invite more heartbreak and who wants that?
Nancy Davis recently posted..Nice Folks Do Finish First


Claudia November 3, 2011 at 3:07 pm

Beautiful post Nancy…Bill seems to have come up with the perfect line today…”More times than not trust is given freely until someone does something to betray that trust.” And then, repairing broken trust is a huge task…one that sometimes never gets accomplished. For me…I err on the side of caution…it’s not that I don’t trust others…it’s just that I don’t want to give them an opportunity to betray trust. So, I tend to keep to myself more..it’s less risky that way ;-)
Another winner Al…keep ‘em coming!!
Claudia recently posted..We Did the Monster Mash – Imagination and Halloween


Nancy Davis November 3, 2011 at 5:22 pm

Repairing broken trust is tough. Many times i have abandoned friendships because the trust was too broken, but it depends on what happened too. Some situations are not so severe, so there can be a return to the friendship, but always much more guarded.
Nancy Davis recently posted..Free At Last


Barbara November 3, 2011 at 6:46 pm

lovely post, Nancy, you trust us to share your most painful experiences with us. Thank you!

I think we are born trusting, we trust our mother to feed us, to put cloths on us, to keep us warm and clean, to comfort and cuddle us. We are born geared for survival.

Only later through our experiences wie learn that not all people deserve being trusted. That some will lie to you, some will gossip about you, you will experience verbal or even physical abuse – how to deal with that? Maybe by shifting this intuitive trust to yourself behause you know you can take care of yourself, you can be trusted in your job and you have friends and family who love and respect you and you return these feelings.

And be happy for the pendulum’s swing, we need it to cherish both poles, I would not want to be a flatliner, would you?
Barbara recently posted..Lemon


Nancy Davis November 3, 2011 at 6:56 pm

Hi Barbara,

You are so right. We are born totally loving and trusting. We are born to be social creatures. Then something happens and we lose that trust in others and we question everyone and everything.

Even the pendulum is better than a flatline. I agree. I try to stay in the middle, and not get too down on myself if I am swinging from side to side a bit.
Nancy Davis recently posted..Nice Folks Do Finish First


John Sherry November 4, 2011 at 8:49 am

Boy, do I recognise my older self at the start of your post Nancy. I was the cold, harsh person that blamed everyone else for being like that so, truthfully, life was a mirror beaming back my behaviour at me. Which I didn’t like..so I changed it. Now I trust 3 main elements so that I’m happy – 1) other people who I’ve got to know, 2) life in that it’s never designed to hurt me/us and 3) myself, to simply be who I am because it’s enough. Trust is a must! Lovely article, honest, and informative, and very true, thank you Nancy.
John Sherry recently posted..Why ‘No Pain, No Gain’ Is Killing Your Sports And Possibly YOU!


Nancy Davis November 4, 2011 at 10:10 pm

I really love those three elements you outlined John. I especially like the last one because if I cannot trust myself, I have nothing.

Thank you so much for the comment John. I really do appreciate it.
Nancy Davis recently posted..Daddy’s Little Girl


Stan Faryna November 6, 2011 at 5:39 pm

God bless you, Nancy. I’m praying for you.

Hold on to hope, humility, and gratitude – no matter what happens. They will see you through when life is tough.
Stan Faryna recently posted..One Christian’s Letter to Occupy Wall Street Protesters #OWS


Nancy Davis November 7, 2011 at 9:10 pm

Thank you very much Stan. You Sir, are one cool cat :)
Nancy Davis recently posted..I Am Not the Police


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