Gayle considers herself a trusting person but says that quality has caused her problems in the past—like when people try to use her trustworthiness for personal or professional gain. Linda Stroh, a business professor at Loyola University in Chicago, researched the topic of trust for four years and published her findings in the book Trust Rules: How to Tell the Good Guys from the Bad Guys in Work and Life. Linda shares some of her findings with Gayle and gives a few tips to those who are struggling with trust issues.
Trust Rules is designed to help you analyze the confidants in your life and determine whether or not they are trustworthy, says Linda, who interviewed more than 300 people of all ages and walks of life. "My research has shown me that a huge piece of living your best life is surrounding yourself with people who are trustworthy," she says.
Linda shares a few questions she says you should ask yourself when determining the trust of a friend or co-worker:
Does this person have a history of trustworthy behavior?
Is this person likely to respond in healthy ways when something goes wrong?
Does this person admit and learn from mistakes?
Taking your time when deciding who to extend your trust to is important, and Linda says you need to remember that building a trustworthy relationship is not an overnight process. "We all want that magic wand and we all want to know immediately whether we can trust someone or not," she says. "Trust is not that simple concept that we would like to think it is."