4 Ways to Know if You Can Be Trusted

“I just don’t know too many men I can trust.” This is probably the top excuse men give me when I ask them if they have at least three mature men in their life they can confide in, trust, and rely on.

Yes, every man has been hurt, betrayed, lied to, or mistreated by someone at least once in his life; but emotionally healthy men don’t refuse to pursue future relationships because of it. Having coached and mentored literally hundreds of men over the past few years, I’ve learned a simple truth: A man who has a hard time trusting people is usually a man who can’t be trusted. Ouch! To make sure you’re NOT that guy, here are 4 quick ways to know if you can be trusted by other men.

1. Are you willing to share with them?

Trust in a relationship is usually based on another’s willingness to share his secrets (mistakes, regrets, sins), struggles (fears, insecurities, worries), and scars (trauma, pain, wounds) with you without fear.

When someone is going through a difficult time, they want to know they’re not the only ones struggling. Love is saying “I’ll go first.” So, if you’re not willing to go first by sharing your struggles with someone who’s struggling, then why should that person trust sharing their personal struggles with you?

A person who’s unwilling to share with you is probably a person who can’t be trusted. So if you’re not willing to share with others, then don’t expect them to bare their souls to you.

2. Can they trust you with the small stuff?

When I say trust you with the “small stuff,” I mean, can they trust you to keep even the smallest secret in confidence? Can you refrain from sharing privileged information about the person even if you don’t use his name in the conversation? If others can’t trust you with a little information, then why would or should they give you more?

3. Are you easily offended?

Are you a person who constantly puts others on trial, by accusing them of not liking you, judging you, disrespecting you, thinking less of you, putting you down?

 The truth of the matter is, if you’re a person who is easily offended, it will always be hard for others to build trust with you, because they’ll find themselves spending more time “repairing” their relationship with you rather than “building” a relationship with you. Think about it—how can a person build trust with you if they’re always afraid of offending you?

4. How is your person’s relationship with other men?

The proof that a person can be trusted can always be found in the quality of his existing relationships. Trustworthy people tend to attract others to them because they’re trustworthy. And people typically shy away from untrustworthy people.

Trust is a two-way street.

How are your current relationships? Would the people who are closest to you describe you as someone they can confide in, rely and depend on, and trust with their most intimate of secrets? Why or why not? If the people closest to you can’t trust you (like your children), then why should anyone else?

Trust is a two-way street. If you truly desire to build relationships with others you can trust, then focus on being the kind of trustworthy friend you desire to find.

Sound off: How do you know if someone is trustworthy?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Who do you trust the most?”