I'm reading a book called "The Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss and the main character Kvothe said, "A lack of trust leads to dislike," and then I thought of all the people I do not like, and I realised that I do not trust them all. This is obvious, but still, I have never really made this correlation before. From this quote, I proceeded to think about trust, relative to my life and I was accosted by many questions and realisations; even now.
Do likeable and attractive people stimulate our trust for them? Do our trust for them actually reflect their real trustworthiness or do they merely behave in a way that suggests to our mind that they can be trusted? What came first: trust or like/ distrust or dislike? And, what are these behavioural cues that make us trust or distrust people? Is this quote a load of bullshit?
The Merriam Webster dictionary states that trust is a "firm belief in the character, strength or truth of someone or something," a belief in the reliability of a person or thing, and to my surprise, everyone I have ever disliked, felt slighted by, distanced myself from, or scowled at the mere thought of, gave me the impression that they can not be trusted! People I dislike are people who have made me feel uneasy, by being unreliable to me in many different ways, but mainly by making me feel unable to depend on them in some way or another. It's probably why I generally dislike flighty and shallow people.
This is obvious. Lack of trust does lead to dislike. It is just that, I have never correlated a lack of trust with dislike, so explicitly. This would mean that products we like are due to the fact that we trust them, sure but why do we trust them? Do I like Mercedes Benz because of the design or is it because I find the brand reliable? If it is the latter, and I suspect it is, then it suddenly dawns on me why marketing and branding are an important industry, because for products to be bought, they need to be liked and to be liked, they need to be trusted!
That is why we go through tons of priming, to make us trust certain things just by looking at them, for the benefit of some, and detriment for most. It is how certain facial features, certain complexions, and certain body types are liked more than others, for example, if we see an overweight person, we have been primed to distrust them, because there is a belief that to be overweight, one does not care about one's health, one is sloppy and a destructive human being with no self control. Similarly, as a society, we trust masculine humans over feminine humans, because we have been primed to associate masculinity with strength, protection, provision which are all things that make us feel safe. Heck, men are even deemed immune to gossip, holding grudges and more harmonious than women who are apparently always gossiping and bickering. But here we are living in a bellicose world ruled by these very men, so what is the truth?
What a conundrum. What a mess!
Sure, if you have actually done something to make me not trust you, then my feelings of dislike might be justified, but what of complete strangers that we recoil from without having said one word to them, and those to whom we open up for no apparent reason? It is these prejudices that we must challenge within ourselves, and the reason why we should always question our feelings for people, especially negative ones, but question all feelings because opening yourself up to a wolf you trust will leave you not in good stead.
The sad fact is that trust can be falsely engineered, and there is no real correlation between trusting a person and a person being trustworthy. Some people have not done anything, but because they behave in a shifty manner, due to their own demons and whatever secrets they have, they just end up repelling people. A person can present themselves in a way that makes you trust them, and conversely, a person can present themselves in a way that makes you not trust them.
Now, I have to wonder, do the people I dislike, because I do not trust them, deserve my dislike, or am I suffering from some subconscious drive as a result of being primed into disliking them? Of course, I knew I had prejudices, but I wasn't thinking of them in the context of trust. Well, it has only been a week of this line of thinking so I am not sure, but at least, I am certainly questioning myself a bit more.