Do you give people your trust without expecting them to earn it? You willingly handing over your state secrets, disclosing to them private details of your life that you don’t want your boss or colleagues to know, knowing they haven’t proven their loyalty or trustworthiness to you.
Has a trusted friend or coworker broken their silence, breaking your implied rule of not telling anyone your opinion, committing a self-interested act that demonstrates a blatant disregard for your relationship, acting as if they did nothing wrong.
Developing Trusted and Loyal Friends
If this sounds familiar, then you’ve experienced friends or colleagues violating your trust. Personally, I’ve always been a private person, new friends or coworkers must prove their trustworthiness to me, after reflecting similar values and opinions, showing me they could be loyal to our relationship, as we build a trusted relationship based reciprocity of discretion and loyalty.
I have a close circle of trusted friends that I can count one hand, all of whom I willingly share all the details of my life and respect my need for privacy. Because of my cautiousness, I’m never betrayed by these friends or colleagues, after giving them complete access to my life.
When friends or coworkers violate my trust, I act quickly, assessing any damage that may have been done, taking action on minimizing the effects by containing the leak, distancing myself from the untrustworthy person, removing the responsible party from my circle, determining if I need to confront the person or quietly fade into the background.
While this may sound dramatic, I’ve learned over the years that people must earn my trust, after demonstrating a commitment to our relationship.
As you climb your career ladder, you too must learn when to how and when to give trust, by identifying your own set of standards of trusting people, unlearning to hand over trust to people who haven’t earned it.
Surround yourself with trusted and loyal friends, with people who earn your trust, who demonstrate judgment in interpersonal relationships that also understand discretion in knowing when to keep your secrets.
Be prepared to deal with betrayal without ambivalence by learning how to contain the effects of the betrayal, by being decisive in your actions as you contain the problems caused by the disclosure, acting swiftly to confront the offender, and confronting the person when appropriate.
Be prepared to forgive, if the person becomes self aware of the consequences of their action, displays sincerity in their apology to you, demonstrating they have learned how to be discrete with relationship.
Failing to learn when to give trust in others and deal with betrayal only leads to future errors in your judgment of others.
If you don’t learn how to develop and nurture a close circle of friends, you open yourself up to people using you. While what I’ve described sounds like a lonely existence, it’s not. My circle of trusted friends are people I trust with my life. I have no doubt they feel the same about me.
The Smart Lemming Rules of Life and Career Management series outlines my rules of personal and work success. After reflecting on my personal values, I made this list, realizing values are my rules of being or life management principles. Based on your experiences, I hope this list inspires you to identify your own rules. Here are the rules to my success that may help you over the course of your journey:
- The Smart Lemming Rules of Life and Career Management
- The Smart Lemming Rules of Life and Career Management: Overview of the Pyramid and Its Levels
Level 1: Rules for Our Fundamental Nature
- #1 Find your own spirituality and practice it.
- #2 Know what you want or the Universe (or God) won’t know what to send you: If you don’t know what you want, how can you get to where you want to be?
- #3 Fate or free will? Regardless of what you believe, we all have a purpose to being here. The tricky part is discovering what it is.
- #4 Don’t wait for your future to happen to you, you have to be vigilant in making your future happen.
- #5 Understand your dark side, but don’t give into it or indulge it.
- #6 Aspire to always help and teach others.
Level 2: Rules of Continuous Learning and Modeling
- #7 Watch or read media sources when you need inspiration. Reflect on why you like a certain movie or TV show, so you understand why it moves you.
- #8 Always be learning. Continue learning through books or any source that gives you new ideas on how to approach your work or feeds your passion.
- #9 Become self aware. If you aren’t, then how will you know you’re screwing up?
- #10 Accept responsibility and make peace with your decisions and the consequences of those decisions. They have created the person you are today. The trick is, do you like what you’ve created? If not, then how can you change?
- #11 Keep a lid on chaos. Never let situations or emotions get away from you. Be the calm in the eye of the storm as strength, reflecting confidence for the most vulnerable people in your life.
Level 3: Rules for the Actual Journey
- #12 Stay still and don’t move if you feel lost, so you can find yourself or let the opportunity find you.
- #13 Always be course correcting.
- #14 Surround yourself with trusted and loyal friends. Be prepared to deal with betrayal without ambivalence. But be prepare to forgive (if the person is sincere, I mean really sincere).
- #15 Learn to channel your inner extrovert, if you’re an introvert. Learn to channel your inner introvert, if you’re an extrovert.
Level 4: Rules of Adapting to Environment and Interacting with Others
- #16 Make peace with your weaknesses. We’re not perfect. Even your strengths will turn into weaknesses. The trick is knowing when your strength has become a weakness.
- #17 Master your emotions and body language. Use them strategically in life and work.
- #18 Mentor yourself via the Space Time Continuum. What would your future self tell your present self? How can you get back on track? What have you done well? What more can you do? What would you tell yourself as a child, teen, 20 or 30 something?
Level 5: Rules of Humility
- #19 Never take your success for granted. Always prepare for the worst case scenarios. Be prepared for two steps forward and one step back.
- #20 Be humble. Treat others well, don’t be arrogant, and don’t drink your own Kool-Aid.
Level 6: Rule of Being
- #21 Be compassionate.