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14 Surprising Things That Inspire Trust

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14 Surprising Things That Inspire Trust

By Kathryn Williams, DivineCaroline

Trust is an interesting concept. By the time you get to work in the morning, you may have chosen to trust or not trust a dozen people. When you turn on the weather channel, you are choosing to trust the meteorologist. When you leave your jewelry on your dressing table, you do so because you trust the cleaning person who will come in the afternoon. When you count your change at the deli, you are choosing to not trust the cashier. Even spending money requires trusting that the otherwise worthless rectangle of green material in your hand has value.

Trust is what keeps our society functioning. Evolutionarily speaking, we must trust to survive. But it can be a slippery thing. What makes us trust people? And more curiously, what makes us trust some people but not others?

Expectation and Reciprocation
According to the “experts”—sociologists, psychologists, economists, political scientists—trust is based on expectation. To the degree you believe you can expect a certain response from someone, you trust him. To the degree you believe he will reciprocate at some point in the future in some (often undefined) way, you trust him. Of course, past experience—with the person in question or with others—will affect that confidence, but in the here and now, certain behaviors and visual cues can also influence if and how much you trust someone:

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DivineCaroline

At DivineCaroline.com, women come together to learn from experts in the fields, of health, sustainability, and culture; to reflect on shared experiences; and to express themselves by writing and publishing stories about anything that matters to them. Here, real women publish like real pros. Together, with our staff writers, they’re discussing all facets of women’s lives from relationships and careers, to travel and healthy living. So come discover, read, learn, laugh and connect at DivineCaroline.com.

239 comments

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2:37PM PDT on Oct 17, 2012

Nice to have this info put together so directly. Thanks.

9:05AM PDT on Jun 28, 2012

Why is it that the societies with highest level of trust between it's inhabitants are characterized as NAIVE?
To live with trust is a blessing!

5:21AM PST on Jan 17, 2012

If you hear "trust me, I'm a doctor" run for the hills ;-)

5:19AM PST on Jan 17, 2012

Good advice

7:29PM PST on Dec 21, 2011

The last time I heard someone say "trust me", it was a used car salesman in Kentucky. I guess anyone over 10 years old can figure how that worked out.

7:15AM PST on Dec 19, 2011

Thank you... Very true

1:45AM PST on Dec 18, 2011

I've always wondered what's the right level of eye contact... I make eye contact to signal that I'm engaged in the conversation, but always worry that I take it too far and end up creepy... I wish it was something that could be straightforwardly taught.

10:30AM PST on Dec 15, 2011

Facial hair inspires trust? Who would have guessed? The other 13 were pretty straightforward.

7:23PM PST on Dec 14, 2011

I agree with every point - except the one about beards!

8:07PM PST on Dec 7, 2011

interesting

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