Thursday, June 5, 2014

Environments of Trust 4

My last three posts have addressed my feelings and experiences regarding trust characteristics in groups of individuals. To summarize:
  1. Trust environments are recognizable;
  2. Trust environments are definable based on the behavior patterns of individual members of the group;
  3. Trust environments are self-sustaining and self-enhancing;
  4. Trust environments can be changed.
As lame as this may sound, I think effecting a movement toward trust in an environment is so important that it means having to make personal sacrifice.  Avoiding low-trust behaviors that spring up from time to time in high-trust environments is a matter of calling out the unwanted behavior.  In strong, high-trust environments, this process is natural and is often facilitated by the offending party:  "Oh, gosh, that was terrible for me to say, I'm sorry."

But in low-trust environments where apologizing can be dangerous, self-correction is rarely the case.  It takes an individual effort, often at individual peril (not to physical harm, but to group membership).  Small, intentional personal shifts are the only beginning point as trust cannot be legislated.

Self-awareness is the key to these smaller personal shifts.  Someone who may have survived in a low-trust environment/relationship will be able to make a transition into functioning in a high-trust environment.  However it is really, really hard to get someone whose senses are trained to a high-trust environment to get comfortable in a low –trust one.   High-trust environments are like bells – they are very hard to unring.  Friends who all of a sudden get “bossy” and ultimatums are both examples of breeches of trust.  That’s why we’re so offended by them.

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