“He who does not trust enough, will not be trusted.”Lao Tzu

It’s hard for a thinking person to be trusting. Constantly analyzing situations results in a sort of generalized skepticism not conducive to putting your own well-being in the hands of someone else. But a lack of trust in others is a sign of a deeper problem of empathy; if I can’t take a risk with someone, be it trying to advance a relationship or sharing a secret, it’s usually because I can’t see myself in their shoes. Not trusting others can stem from a narcissistic inability to see through the eyes of others.

Just as we want people to trust in us, it’s good to take risks and trust others. The best-case scenario is a long-term meaningful friendship/relationship. The worst-case scenario is you move on to someone else. I’m always surprised how liberating this is, though it is scary. If you’re around people who catalyze your own lack of trustworthiness, find some new people. It’s daunting at first but ultimately far more rewarding than settling.

But by the same token, approaching people with a general cynicism and lack of hope isn’t healthy. I’ve found that cynicism is a vicious cycle, and once you’re in it, very difficult to get out of due to all the layers of contradictions, ironies and insecurities involved.

Trust without expecting to be trusted back. Your non-acknowledgment of trust will lead to a natural attitude and will make you naturally more charismatic and trustworthy than if you were constantly worried about how you were coming across in terms of authenticity. True authenticity– and true trustworthiness– means never questioning your own integrity and remaining true to your convictions.