Tune the Trust-O-Meter

I’m a vivid dreamer.  So shame on you, Lifetime TV, for inspiring last night’s scary dream.

Lifetime’s advertising of the made-for-TV movie, The Craigslist Killer sucked me into watching the drama unfold.  (Tip:  DVR is the way to go – there were over 40 minutes of commercials.)

Without spoiling the ending of this award-winning spectacle of cinematography (cough), the story is about a top medical student at Boston University who leads a double life.  Life 1: top of his medical class, engaged to be married, sometimes humorous, clean-cut average Joe.  Life 2: demented killer who finds his victims on Craigslist and steals their panties in the process.

The unsuspecting fiancé had no idea she was about to marry a psycho.  Poor girl. 

Aside from jump-starting my nightmare, the movie got my daytime mind thinking about trust.  What is trust, really?  And, how acute are our natural instincts about it?  I know a few people who got burned from trusting someone, and are definitely suspect of trusting anyone…ever again.  So, trust is a big, huge, gigantic topic when it comes to our personality BACKBONES.

After thinking about this for a while, my opinion is that trust is tied to both knowledge and predictability.  If I trust something or someone, it’s because I’m pretty darn sure that what I think will happen, or what that person will do…is accurate.

Trusting patterns is pretty easy. 

For instance, I trust that my cat will beg for a treat when I get home from work tonight.  Why do I trust this fact?  Because she always begs for a treat at 8PM sharp.  It’s predictable. 

When it comes to people, trust takes on a completely more complex dimension.  The element of truth enters the picture. 

The better I know someone and the longer I know someone…the easier it is to know if I can trust them.  If I can trust that their actions will be predictable…  If I can trust that the words that exit their mouth will be consistent with their actions…  If I can count on them…  Believe in them…. Know that they mean me no harm…

For low-stake interactions, I think the natural instinct is to trust (does this dress look good on me?).  However, when the stakes are raised (honey, why were you out so late last night?), the quicker we are to analyze the accuracy of our trust-o-meter. 

How trusting are you?   Has your trust ever been betrayed?  


10 responses to this post.

  1. I did set my DVR to record that movie, but I haven’t watched it yet. Looked interesting.


  2. I’m one of those “I’ll trust you til you prove I shouldn’t” people. I can’t think of a specific time it has backfired but I know it has.

    And you actually have me interested in watching that Lifetime movie now. LOL


    • Hi Tina. Nice to see you here as always! DVR the movie, because there were a lot of very long commercial segments. Lifetime, the channel for women, did a good job of freaking out half of the female population with that movie – way to go Lifetime!!


  3. I’m so with you when it comes to trusting people.

    “When it comes to people, trust takes on a completely more complex dimension. The element of truth enters the picture.”

    I’m very much like a cat when it comes to trusting others. I follow my intuition. Nine times out of ten it’s usually right.

    Sounds like a GREAT movie, Tracy!


    • Meooow Ron! I like the cat comparison. I agree that most of the time our intuition is correct. The stats say over 5 million people watched that movie on its first airing, and I was one of them. I love being a statistic. 🙂


  4. Posted by Andie on January 5, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    Since I could write a book on Trust-that is how important it is to me, I will limit my comment here to trust in other environments besides personal relationships. In the work environment, I am not so sure anyone will ever earn my trust or that my feelings in the workplace go that deep anymore. I am a what-you-see is what-you-get type gal and I tend to listen to people’s words in conjunction with their actions. Sometimes it is necessary to tune out people’s words. Afterall, what’s the old saying, “talk is cheap”. Show me what you got-don’t just tell me about it. I am very observant of people’s actions, their body language, and what’s in their eyes, and when things don’t make sense it is probably a lie.

    Your reference to last night’s movie made me think of all the people you see on the news after some psycho killer has done the unmentionable. We hear neighbors of the villain interviewed on the news and they frequently say things like, “he looked so normal, I really didn’t pay attention to his comings and goings”. I always wonder…really? Did he really seem “normal” to you? And what is your definition of normal? How do we ever really know for sure? As a woman, my guard is up. I think it is only wise to be aware of what you feel in your gut and as “they” say, when the hair on the back of your neck stands up-pay attention and get yourself out of there! I say, trust is huge and we should all trust ourselves a lot more than we probably actually do. My advice…we all need an internal trust-o-meter and we should all put it to good use and pay attention when the meter veers to one side and like you said, pay attention when a pattern forms.I also advise you to watch a Disney movie the next time.


  5. Yes, a Disney movie is probably a good suggestion. I missed Beverly Hills Chihuahua when it was at the theater last year. But, I do have trust issues with small barky dogs. 🙂 Good point about needing to trust our instincts. Thanks for the comments Andie!


  6. Trust is an interesting issue. Am I a trusting person? For the most part I’d say, yes. Certainly, the longer you’ve known someone, the easier it is to trust them. On the other hand, I don’t jump in with both feet. I like to proceed with caution until I get to know the person. Sad but true, there are those out there who are not trustworthy.


  7. I used to be naive…now it takes much to earn my trust, and if I’ve been betrayed, it takes even longer to get it back. I expect truth which fosters trust, and I am crushed when I find someone is not who I thought they were. I might forgive, but I learn from the experience.


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