One characteristic of a trustworthy person is authenticity, which means being true to one’s personality, spirit, and character. When a person is authentic, you can feel it. They’re telling you it as straight and directly as they can. This doesn’t mean that their reality is the end-all, be-all reality, or that what is true for them is true for you, or anything like that. But you know that you can trust them to be authentic and honest in accordance with their individual perspective. When you see someone being true to themselves over a period of time, you can trust this person to act authentically when you interact with them.
Another characteristic of a trustworthy person is honesty. While expecting people to be 100 percent honest all the time about all things is a tall order that may not be completely fulfilled, the higher the level of honesty, the more you can rely on the information that they share. These people will do their best to report what they experience or know. They’re not going to give different stories. Even though people change and what they say will be subject to moods and shifts in perspective, they are not going to tell you one thing one day and another thing the next. They are not going to be deceitful. If they make an infrequent mistake and lie out of fear, they will come clean and apologize.
People who are trustworthy respect who you are. When a person respects you, they are kind and considerate. Their respect is a sign that they are willing to do right by you, that they have your well-being front of mind. Signs that someone does not respect you would be if they treat you in a way that is a negating, condescending, or mean. And that lack of respect should be a clue that this person is likely not to do right by you.
Their level of emotional intelligence can indicate how trustworthy a person will be. A person who has a low emotional intelligence is likely to act in ways that are harmful when there are challenging situations in your relationship. If you trust someone who has low emotional intelligence with emotionally sensitive material, you are very likely going to end up feeling let down or betrayed. It may not be that the person is untrustworthy in the greater sense of the word, but more that they are not to be trusted with certain delicate situations.
There is no perfect person out there. Every person, if you know them long enough, will let you down in some way. Sometimes this will happen because they made a wrong choice, sometimes this will happen because they just see things differently. It is not a lack of flaws that makes a person trustworthy—it is their willingness to own them and make things right when they have a negative effect on others. Expecting perfection will leave you trusting no one. Expecting integrity will lead you to the right people, time and time again.
Even more important than learning the cues for whether someone is trustworthy is learning about what it means to really trust ourselves. When we trust ourselves—when we know how to do right by ourselves, when we know how to care for ourselves—we not only make better choices regarding the people in our lives, but we also recover more quickly from the bumps and upsets along the way. Learning to trust ourselves—not just in our judgment of others but also in our willingness to take care of ourselves in the wake of less than ideal choices—is key to becoming stronger, more resilient, and making better choices in the future.
For more about trusting take a look at my article >>> “Trust Yourself!”