Trust is like a fine crystal goblet. Once we have this goblet in our possession we are responsible for its care, regardless of how we received it, regardless of whether we thought we wanted it.

Sometimes someone hands us this goblet as a gift. Trust bestowed in this manner is an act of faith, which is belief not based upon proof. Some goblets must be earned. We may or may not be aware that we are earning them.

Some trust goblets are more fragile than others are. Some are not as opulent as others. Some may be hidden from our view. Some are intensely personal. Still others come to us with unseen flaws in their construction based on other experiences.

If the goblet of trust is damaged, regardless of how badly we may feel about it, the damage cannot be ignored. Fixing it is an option. If we try to repair it, however, the cracks in it usually will show and it will be weak in the area of the damage. It might be better to start over with a new goblet. We may have to earn the right to own that new trust goblet. Some people simply will hand us another one they fashioned with the power of forgiveness.

It is interesting that not only do we have little control over what someone's goblet looks like or what flaws it may have, at times we also have little control over whether it becomes damaged. Some will hand us their goblet and consciously or unconsciously knock it over just to see if we will catch it before it hits the floor. Others will hand it over with no instructions for care, assuming that we know what to do with it because they know.

Expectations have a lot to do with establishing a trusting relationship. Letting someone know what to expect from us as well as letting the person know what we expect is a good place to start, whether the relationship is personal or professional. Unclear expectations play a major role in misunderstandings and undermine personal motivation.

Expectations may change over time, especially when behavior is conflicting. Not knowing what to expect causes many of us to fill in the blanks for ourselves, based on either what we want or what we don't want, what we fear or what we anticipate, or on what our experiences have been, depending upon other factors in the relationship.

For some, simply stating our expectations can be a huge task. What makes the task difficult is that we may risk being disappointed by the response or being placed in what we believe is a vulnerable position. Another reason may be that we have not taken the time to determine exactly what it is that we do expect from situations, events, or other people. It is often easier to describe negative expectations than positive ones.

Often we know what we do not want to experience more than what we do want to experience. That perspective may trigger such statements as "I'm not sure what I want, but I'll know it when I see it."

A good place to begin may be to determine what we expect from ourselves. If we have already done this, examining whether those expectations are based on treating ourselves with dignity and respect, being true to ourselves, or whether they are expectations that have been imposed on us by the values of someone else, may provide some insight and awareness.

This exercise may seem like it takes more thought, time, and attention than we have available. In comparison, we might think about how much thought, time, attention, and care a glassblower takes when creating a fine crystal goblet. Trust bases start within, as does everything we offer to others around us. We can only give what we first own.

Have a great day and be good to yourself. You deserve it!


Author's Bio: 

Gail Pursell Elliott, "The Dignity and Respect Lady"©,
Speaker, Author, Trainer, and Consultant, Gail is founder of Innovations "Training With a Can-Do Attitude" ®, located in central Iowa, USA. She presents refreshing and positive management and human relations seminars based on people treating each other with Dignity and Respect, No Exceptions. Gail is a nationally recognized expert on mobbing and bullying in schools and workplaces and is author of the book School Mobbing and Emotional Abuse: See It – Stop It – Prevent It with Dignity and Respect; the weekly e-newsletter Food for Thought, and is coauthor of the book Mobbing: Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace.
Contact Gail through her website: