Honesty and Trustworthiness

In writing, Love to Stay, Adam Hamilton interviewed more than 5000 adults on Love, Sex and Marriage.  Eighty percent of the single adults said they wanted to be married some day. Honesty/trustworthiness ranked as the most important attribute for men age 19-49, the 2nd most important for men 50-90+, and the #1 attribute for all single women.

I’d have said the same thing if Adam had called me: Honesty/Trustworthiness is what I look for in friends and romantic interests. It is heartbreaking when you learn that someone you love has been caught in a lie. It might not be a personal betrayal, but knowing that you fundamentally disagree on a “truth” crumbles the foundation of the relationship.

I’ve always equated trustworthiness with honesty. But Rory Vaden outlined seven ways that we demonstrate “untrustworthiness” in an article in the Sunday Tennessean, Seven Surefire Ways to Lose Other People’s Trust. Rory is the New York Times best selling author of Take The Stairs.

Want to lose another person’s trust?  Here’s excerpts from Rory Vaden:

1. Be selfish. The more you pursue your self-interest, the less I can ever believe that you’ll take mine into consideration. And if you aren’t looking out for me, then how could I ever trust you?

2. Be protective. True trust reciprocates. Yet, if there is something that you have that you are holding onto as “yours” then that means it will never be “ours,” which means we aren’t sharing and we aren’t in this together. If you want my heart, or my money, you need to first share yours.

3. Be ungrateful. Granting someone the gift of your trust is a demonstration of incredible vulnerability. And there is no faster way to cause someone to close off their heart to you then when you don’t acknowledge their gifts and at least their attempts to satisfy you.

4. Be self-centered. Selfish means keeping things to yourself but self-centered means thinking only of yourself. Neither one works for building trust because if we are going to have trust, then I need to know that you are considering my point of view and how the impact of your choices will affect me. Trusting a self-centered person is a voided one-way street.

5. Be passive aggressive. Trust isn’t developed from the absence of conflict but from developing a healthy process for resolving it. Show me you have the courage to work through our problems and you’ll always have my trust.

6. Be negative. Negativity directly destroys our willingness to have faith in another. You can choose to be negative or you can choose to have my trust but you can’t have both.

7. Be incongruent. Seeing someone live out and execute the things they say they will do, over and over again. People with integrity are people who can be counted on because once they tell you they’re going to do something, it’s as good as done. Always follow through and don’t forget that every word and every promise matters.


In Rory’s words: Trust is the great accelerator to all of life’s missions. It is the explanation of extraordinary success between two people and the root cause of monumental failure between two others.

I want to be part of the extraordinary success between two people.



(click below for MP3 file)