Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Trust: Based on Intention or Competence?

Trust is the fundamental value of any relationship. It is the foundation brick of the building of relationship. Many times we hear, read or are instructed not to trust everybody. It is considered a weakness to trust anybody blindly. It brings us to some basic questions, which we need ask ourselves:

  • What is naturally acceptable to me in any relationship: trust or distrust?
  • Is it always desired or sometimes we want to have a feeling of distrust in a relationship?
  • As soon as I answer the two questions in affirmative, a situation flashes in my mind. Sometimes I know that the person in front of me is telling a lie. Even though he is my relative, how can I trust him? This is very general situation in everyone’s life. Therefore the third question arises that what is the feeling of trust and how can I always fulfill it in a relationship?

Before, I move on to discuss the feeling of trust, once again I put forward two sets of questions:

1a. Do I want to be happy? 1b. Do I make myself always happy?

2a. Do I want to make others happy? 2b. Do I make others always happy?

3a. Does other want to make himself happy? 3b. Does other make himself always happy?

4a. Does other want to make me happy? 4b. Does other make me always happy?

The first set of questions is related to mine as well as others intention. While, the second set belongs to the competence. What is naturally acceptable to me in relationship is my intention. Whether I am able to work according to my natural acceptance or not, is my competence. Everybody’s intention is always to make himself as well as others happy. If I am assured about one’s intention, I have a feeling of trust in relationship with him. But usually situation of doubt arises while answering 4a: ‘Does other want to make me happy?’ Why does this doubt arise? If I am assured about my intention, why do I not have faith in others intention? My subconscious mind is quick enough to answer that it is because I am a good person while everybody else is not. Is it really true or we are doing some mistake while evaluating others intention? In fact, most of the times we evaluate ourselves on the basis of our intention while others on the basis of their competence. Hence, we conclude that I am a good person, everybody else is not.

If I am able to differentiate between intention and competence, I find out that although my intention is to make me as well as others happy, I am not competent enough to always fulfill that. Similar is the case with others also. Once I understand this difference, I am assured about others intention and hence, have a feeling of trust.

Intentions wise everybody is same, but there is a difference in competence. Therefore, the next task is the right evaluation of mine as well as others competence and. Having done that, I can fix my program of action with him. If I am more competent, I take the responsibility to raise his level of competence by drawing his attention towards this and facilitating his understanding process. In case other is more competent, I have a feeling of gratitude towards him.

Lack of this feeling leads to irritation, misbehavior and ultimately, to the separation. On the contrary, feeling of trust leads to responsible behavior.


  1. Well, this is another interesting topic to discuss, like your earlier topic. But, I see that the text in the earlier paragraphs deviates away from the title. It looks as though we are discussing about satisfaction again, related to your first topic. But then the idea of ones intention has been introduced in a good way.

    I dont understand how the second set of questions are related to competence, the idea of competence could have been introduced in a more clearer way.

    Then we compare intention and competence and jump to a relationship.

    All in all, a good topic, interesting as usual, but needs a bit more elaborate explanation of your ideas which are very good indeed.

    All the best! Keep Blogging and Keep us reading!

  2. With respect to writing, much better than the last time. Nice topic...and well explained.