You can build, bend, break and borrow trust. You can rebuild it. It comes in different breadths and depths. You cannot hold it, absolutely measure it or buy it.
We each have our own philosophy around trust (if we think about it at all). Trust often means different things in different situations.
And when the chips are down (under stress – work, relationships, health, point-in-time…), we sometimes reserve the right to doubt the trust we've put in people.
In business, my trust is cautiously given but constant. In personal relationships, my trust is absolute and unwavering. Sometimes it gets battered and bloody a little but it heals; I'm there for you.
My philosophy is that few folks are truly evil or mean-spirited and deserve a chance to prove themselves.
When trust is wavering, my knee-jerk reaction is to wait for the other party to assure/re-assure me, cry "mea culpa" or to be indignant that my support may be questioned. That's just pride; trust means vulnerability. Vulnerability means I have to put my pride aside and keep working through the crisis at hand instead of being wounded.
That's really tough to do. Vulnerability and trust are cornerstones of relationships. It is hard to stand exposed and alone when the storms are raging. But trust is important, so we remain determined to build or hold trust.
There is no one right way to do it. Conversation. Openness. Fragility. If my gut – our second brain – is churning, I take the risk that I can rely on the folks who have offered. Sometimes it doesn't work out but if I don't take people at their word (and I can't yet read minds), it's all I've got and it's a decent start.