I'm mostly an optimist when it comes to people, however I listen to my intuition a lot and will put my guard up more if I get that negative feeling.
I was having this discussion the other day with my friend.
I admit I am probably too trusting. Not trusting in the sense that I would hand over my house keys, kids and money, but trusting in the sense that I look for the good in people. I genuinely believe that the vast majority of people have good intentions and I judge people by how they treat me.
Am I weird if I way I have no effing idea how much trust I put in the general public? I think it changes day to day.
For example I was discussing the area where our office is located with a collegue today.
To get from the train to the office is a walk through an area that is 'non desirable/seedy/dodgy'. The THOUGHT of walking there kinda freaks me (and her) out but when it comes to crunch time I don't feel afraid, don't look at every person like something will happen etc etc.
I don't know if I am on some weird tangent here but I do not think the 'trust tank' when I see/meet someone new is empty and ready to be filled when they are deserving of it. I think maybe there is a midway point where we can give this person a chance - the trust goes up or down. Does that make sense to anyone else?
Hmm no I don't just 'trust' people are benevolent. Some of that is baggage - I've had both 'loved' ones and strangers do me harm. Part of it is an inherent cynicism that has been cultivated by working in the legal profession. When you catch people lying on a daily basis for purely self serving reasons well yeah you start to look at the world differently. I appreciate not everyone's experience as a lawyer is the same.
Sure there are good people in the world. I just think that most people put themselves and their interests first. I don't trust that those interests will be compatible with mine if that makes sense.
I'm pretty cynical and generally pessimistic; I expect the worst in the hope that when it happens I can say "I told you so" and use that to comfort myself. That being said, when it comes to people I'm pretty confident that most people I meet are good. I don't think every random male who smiles at my kids is a pedo. I don't think that every shabbily dressed hobo walking towards me is going to try and steal my handbag. I don't think that a cabbie is necessarily going to try and molest me if I happen to doze off because I'm a bit tipsy. In saying that, I'm cautious. I don't like walking alone after dark, particularly in quiet areas. I wouldn't trust a random with my kids, though I have asked people to keep an eye on one if I have to dash to the loo with another. I try and wear a cross body handbag when I'm in a super busy environment (Royal Show etc).
I've asked a stranger to watch my handbag while I've gone to the toilet. I've accepted a drink from a guy without even considering that it could be spiked. I've left tradies in my house unattended.
It's normal and reasonable and probably downright sensible to exercise caution. I think it's when your judgment of every person or situation is automatically negative and puts you on the defensive that you need to question how rational that mindset is and the impact it's having on your life and the people in it.
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