The Art of Happiness - Types of Trust


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Proactive trust has its own benefits like we studied in the previous chapter. There are however two types of trust. The types are as follows −

  • Perceived trust
  • Actual trust

Let us now define the two types of trust for our benefit.

Perceived Trust

Perceived trust is the trust that we feel exists in the society and we feel people will return. Perceived trust is hence the trust that we place of other people or institutions to perform certain tasks without taking undue advantage of us. Humans have an innate tendency to think that the world is not such a good place and people around us are not too much trustworthy. That is why, house owners insist on seeing identification cards from tenants to verify their identity. Perceived trust is subjective and depends on person to person.

Actual Trust

Actual trust is the trust that actually exists in the society. It is different from perceived trust and can be higher or lower than perceived trust for each person. Actual trust is not subjective at all.

Our perceived trust tells us that we should not trust people blindly because there is deceit and sham in the world all around. It is highly probable that we may be cheated by people around us. When the perceived trust in a country is very low, then the economy suffers and the population at large becomes unhappy. This is one of the prime reasons behind our unhappiness.

Which Trust is Higher?

The actual trust is generally quite higher than the perceived trust. This is because we misunderstand the level of trust and goodness that exists in the society. Researchers have found that actual trust is always higher than perceived trust by manifolds. People across the world are far more cynical than is required.

This shows that trustworthy people exist in the world in large numbers. Hence, we need to show more of proactive trust to people so that our chances of getting trustworthy friends gets maximized from all angles and we have more people reciprocating our trust and yet, we have minimal chances of being betrayed and hurt. This is the essence of placing trust on people. Placing trust helps us to build stronger relationships with others and at the same time, also helps us to create a circle of better people around us who are there to help us when we need them. This increases the sense of security and hence, we grow happier in life.

The Safe Way to Trust

So, how do we trust people around us without burning our bridges? How do we place trust along with minimizing our chances of getting betrayed by others? There is a safe way to place trust on others. The way to do so is to trust people to the optimum level. We will learn not to trust people too much, lest we get hurt.

How to Trust Safely?

We need to remind ourselves that actual trust is always higher than perceived trust. We need to understand that one action of being cheated does not affect our entire life. We won’t get ruined in life if the person who we trusted violated our trust. Many a times, violation of trust is just a result of miscommunication.

Researchers have found that more often than not, poor people are kinder than the rich people. Moreover, being forgiving helps us to be kinder and be happier. It is important to empathize with those who betrayed our trust and understand why they did so. This way we find the reasons why people betray others. This removes evil feelings from our life and makes us happier and free to trust others again.

This is the secret behind being more trustful and hence, be happy.

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