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10 Things Trustworthy People Don’t Do

10 Things Trustworthy People Don’t Do

Trustworthy people aim to establish meaningful relationships with their friends, clients, and co-workers. If you can’t demonstrate compassion for others, then why should anyone care about about you? To become a person who can be counted on, watch out for these ten things trustworthy people don’t do.

1. They don’t participate in office gossip.

Trustworthy people love to have a good conversation, but they refuse to speculate about the life of a friend or co-worker. They know it is silly to make assumptions, because every person’s behavior is influenced by outside factors they couldn’t possibly know about. While they aren’t afraid of confrontations, they won’t speak ill words behind a person’s back.

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2. They don’t repeat secrets they were trusted with.

Trustworthy people know how to keep their mouth shut. They might be tempted to disclose a friend’s secret to another person who is affected by it, but they fight the urge, because they know it is impossible to force a person to open up before they are ready.

3. They don’t wear different masks depending on who they’re with.

Trustworthy people are confident in who they are. They could avoid bringing up certain topics to specific people who would get upset (or just aren’t interested), but they are willing to speak words of truth without filter if their opinion is requested.

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4. They don’t refuse to admit their faults and short-comings.

Trustworthy people accept themselves as they are. Since being vulnerable is a great way to relate with people on a more emotional level, they speak openly about bad decisions, past mistakes, or significant failures that revealed an important life truth that would help others.

5. They don’t pretend to like things they hate just to impress people.

Trustworthy people embrace their unique taste in fashion, sports, music, (or whatever the case may be) without hesitation. While they might follow trends out of curiosity, they won’t pretend to like something just to get another person’s attention, because they know faking your way into a relationship is a childlike and deceptive thing to do.

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6. They don’t pursue a relationship just because they want something.

Trustworthy people treat all people with respect. You won’t see them desperately begging for a favor, because they know that it is best to wine and dine a person before you try to score. They believe they should demonstrate value to another person before expecting to receive anything in return.

7. They don’t make promises they can’t keep.

Trustworthy people keep their word. They know it is silly to complain about being “too busy,” because feeling overwhelmed is a glaring sign that they have accepted too many commitments. To make time for what matters, they perform an honest assessment of how they are spending their day by prioritizing the tasks that offer the most benefit and eliminating the rest.

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8. They don’t judge people while being far from perfect.

Trustworthy people accept all people without question. They understand that it is counterproductive to condemn another person, because negative words are not an effective way to inspire positive action. While they might offer constructive criticism to people who would be receptive to it, they don’t do so in a condescending tone.

9. They don’t steal all the credit for themselves.

Trustworthy people express gratitude for the people who help them. They are confident in their abilities, but they also accept the fact that they would be nothing without the support of those who made their success possible.

10. They don’t think they have it all figured out.

Trustworthy people have no fear of being wrong. They strive to learn something new every day. They might be stubborn about beliefs that have been hardened by years of reflection, but they are also open to the possibility that they don’t have all the answers.

Featured photo credit: Trust/Joi Ito via flickr.com

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Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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