Updated: Nov 14
It's wonderful to experience a calm, secure sense of belonging. We'd all like to enjoy it more often. But, even if we try to filter it out, we’re surrounded by damaged trust. Damaged trust between any two people, or across a team or group, severely undermines what we accomplish, how we feel, and how we behave.
We all know what it's like to lose trust in a team member, friend, or perhaps a family member.
When this happens, the relationship is easily damaged—or even lost.
Damaged trust is frustrating. It disconnects us. The same thing happens with our organizations and institutions. When we lose trust in them, we're quick to look for alternatives. Damaged trust makes us feel vulnerable and keeps us on defense. It may even feel like CYA is part of getting dressed in the morning!
There are four things every human being needs
Trust is at the very core of our human nature, that immutable, driving force programmed into our DNA. Human nature also accounts for our need to belong, be understood, feel valued, and achieve trust. These primal needs create powerful expectations that never subside. When they're not met at some level—or worse, when we're unable to pursue them at all—it has a detrimental effect on our relationships, as well as our mental and physical wellbeing.
Human nature is the problem
Human nature connects us all, across continents, cultures, and even time. It's helpful and just plain smart to remember that human nature, is...
Enormously powerful—in one way or another, it’s responsible for your emotions, thoughts, feelings, behavior, and definitely your relationships.
Unforgivingly constant—and so inflexible that it will dish out real, and sometimes painful consequences if you aren’t paying enough attention.
Human nature has always remained more myth and mystery than fact. You're like most of us, if you're not sure what the difference is between feelings and emotions, or if you don’t know where they come from. That can keep you confused and off balance about…
Why people sometimes don’t act like you expect them to
How feelings—yours and theirs—can so easily get out of control
Why some people bully, intimidate, or engage in subtle political behavior
How to create dependable trust, or regain trust when it’s been lost
The upside here is, the more you know about human nature, the more you're able to grow a community of trust and belonging around you.
Human nature is the solution
Because human nature is so constant, it can be expressed as what we refer to as Natural Laws. Not just clever aphorisms or well-worn rules of thumb, but unflinching laws. They never, ever change. This works in your favor.
Once you seriously understand these laws, everything becomes more predictable. For instance, the sequence of how emotions, feelings, behaviors, and relationships unfold doesn’t change.
When an experience you’ve shared with one or more people doesn’t end well, you can use this sequence to diagnose the problem. Decide what has to change, and the next time, the outcome should be more to your liking.
In order to understand this better, you might compare the laws of human nature to the laws of physical nature. At some point, everyone learns about physical nature—at least enough to know that nothing ever goes up when you drop it!
So, let this sink in… Trust, in human nature is like Gravity, in physical nature. With each one, when you take a hard fall you know it’s going to hurt…you just don’t know how long it will take to heal. Sometimes, things don’t heal.
Things we can do to raise the level of trust in the world around us.
The best of everything happens within our relationships. And, the currency of relationships is feelings and emotions. So, it follows that we can all…
Take stock of our own human ecosystem. This is the context we share, with the opportunity to benefit from our connections to others.
Learn to be accountable for our share of how our connections experience trust and belonging, which includes the expectations for being valued and understood. You may have already discovered that the best chance any of us have for getting our own needs met is by helping others get theirs met.