March 4, 2021

The Trust Spectrum

Trust. As we discussed last week, either you have it or you don’t, however there is a spectrum of trust. That is what I want to talk about today.

The trust spectrum is a “simple” concept but as it is with a lot of simple things, just because it’s simple, doesn’t mean it is easy.

The initial trust spectrum is set up by how your brain was developed as a baby. I may go into more detail on a future blog about how this happens but for now, just know it happens when you are a baby.

Everyone has a certain default of how much they trust others. Some people can trust too much and some don’t trust enough. If you just meet someone and you are able to tell them your entire life story, you may trust too much. However, on the flip side, if you have a friend that you have known for years and they have shown that they are trustworthy and you never really open up to them on any real level, you may not trust enough.

Finding the balance will be important. Understanding where you are on the trust spectrum is important too, that way you can adjust as needed. Also, remember that everyone has their own trust spectrum so just because you are in a healthy place on the spectrum doesn’t mean others are.

I am a big fan of Diane Dotson. She has created something called  She uses the analogy of a 3 legged stool. Saying that we need 3 real healthy relationships in our life to be balanced, and each requires trust.

  1. Relationship with God
  2. Healthy relationship with others
  3. Relationship with your true self

Something to consider here is where are you on the trust spectrum with each of these three relationships? Do you trust God? I believe it all starts and ends there. If you don’t really trust God, how can you trust yourself or others?

Also, take a few moments to consider where the people that are part of your core group (Relationship Bullseye) are on your trust spectrum, if they are very low on it, maybe they should not be in your core?

I want to share an experience I had when I went through an emotional intelligence training a few years ago. They did a “game” helping you become aware of how you trust, or don’t. Basically, you had to walk around the room, going from person to person and telling them if you trusted them or not. Keep in mind, I had just barely met any of these people. How could I have enough information to know if I trusted them or not? I believe part of the game was also to become aware of preconceived ideas of how we trust or don’t trust someone based on how they look.

One friend that did the same training told me that when she played the game out of the approximately 50 people in the room there was only one person she could say she trusted. My friend is a white woman in her mid-forties. The person she trusted was a black woman in her late 20’s. My friend told me the reason she decided she could trust her was because she had on a shirt that mentioned “firemen”, alluding to the fact that she might actually work for the fire department.

As we are talking about trust I think being aware of how we “judge” others based on external things, while they can be good indicators, may not be the best way to determine trust.

On a personal note, I am including a couple of photos of me and my God-daughter, Sarah. When she was a baby we built a bond and over time it grew. I believe she trusted me as best she could as a little baby which allowed that trust to grow as she grew. One of the happiest memories I have of her, and in life in general, is when I was able to walk her down the aisle on her wedding day. Her dad had passed away a few years before. I was truly honored that she trusted me enough to have me be the person to give her away to her husband.

My questions to you this week: are you aware of where you are on the trust spectrum? How has this affected your life? Especially when you consider the three relationships (God, others, yourself)?

Coach Dale


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