Who can you trust?

On this week’s episode of my radio show, Rise UP with B. Dave Walters, we discussed several questions submitted via Formspring:

“Are some foods naturally healthier than others, or are they healthy because we have mentally conditioned our minds to accept them as healthy? So with the right mindset, I could theoretically eat a lot of potato chips without the adverse side effects?”

“Does it make any difference if I visualize myself doing something from the first-person point of view or if I visualize seeing myself doing something from a spectator’s point of view?”

And one more that I want to talk more about here:

“My entire extended family believes that “You can never fully trust anyone outside of the family.” and that “Family are the only people who will always be there for you.” Are they right? And if not, then how do I deal with people with that thinking?”

As we talked about on the show, this is a surprisingly common belief ; usually born out of some past time when the family was facing some sort of outside danger like wars, political oppression, etc.

The thing is, in the year 2011 this belief doesn’t really make any sense. 

Consider: First, unless you come from a family of Saints, you can probably think of some time when one family member treated another poorly.

Second, think about the times in your life that you’ve known people you absolutely trusted, like teachers, doctors, or even soldiers, police, or security people you were counting on to keep you safe.  What about members of the same church, or community that are lifelong family friends that are ‘like’ family, does this mean they can’t be trusted, either?

What about getting married?  Hopefully your potential husband or wife is from outside your family…unless you’re from the Deep South (just kidding, I’m from Arkansas!)  These people may be friends of the family at some point, but the fact is they come from outside and then join it; does this mean they can’t be trusted?  If only blood relatives are trustworthy, does this make 50% of your family enemy agents?  Can you trust both parents, but they can’t trust each other because they AREN’T blood relatives?

And considering you can only be betrayed by someone you trusted, does this mean that only family can betray you?

The fact is, your family SHOULD be the people you can count on the most, and SHOULD be the people you can trust the easiest, but they are by no means the only people you can trust.  Unfortunately, some people have received the  worst treatment possible at the hands of the very family they trusted, and it was total strangers who helped them get over it.

The idea that ‘family are the only people you can trust’ is really just another form of fear.   The idea is that if you keep people at arm’s length they can’t hurt you, and unfortunately this just isn’t true.  Since all the time you spend worrying is hurting you now.

As for how to deal with this mindset, lead by example.  They didn’t start thinking this way in a vacuum; chances are they were taught this mode of thinking growing up, and because of that their perception of their life experience has probably confirmed it.

The good news is, you don’t have to keep living into it!  The fact is there are all kinds of people out there, some are trustworthy and some aren’t.  The easiest way to deal with is is to “trust, but verify”; give them a little trust, see if they keep it.  If they do, give them a little more and see if they live up to that, too.

One day you’ll look up and you’ll be blessed with the best of both worlds: the family that God sent you, and the very good friends that you’ve chosen to add to it.

What do you think? Feel free to comment down below!

You are great, and I love you!

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B. Dave Walters

Writer, Life Coach, and Talk Radio Host

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