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  • Larry Payne

Trust and Trustworthy

What is this quality we call “trust?” In the realm of our relationships, a basic idea is relying on the other person to behave in a way that benefits us. Dr. John Gottman, world-renowned psychologist, proposes this idea in his book, The Science of Trust. We trust a person who consistently acts in ways that safely help and promote our interests. We trust a friend who checks on us after a rough workday. We trust a spouse who discusses all financial transactions for mutual agreement. A trustworthy friend is one I know will be there for me, choosing to advance my wellbeing (Gottman, Science, 176).

When my wife had surgery and was hospitalized for more than a week, friends and family showed up to help. One spent the night with her to give me a break. Dozens checked by phone or text on her progress. Others came to visit for her long recovery. Food showed up at our front door for days. We trusted these people, then and now, because they acted for our wellbeing.

Listen to more about trust:

(Photo by G.DeGermain on

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