The World Lacks Trust, Why I Trust Others


A few years ago, a friend and I did the trust fall test with each other, the cliche symbol of true friendship. The problem is, I’m such a frail and skinny guy that I nearly dropped her onto the hard tile of my kitchen floor. It ended a lot better than it could have. Too bad this isn’t the sort of trust I’m talking about.

When it comes to trust, it is my honest opinion that I’ve never been harmed due to placing trust in others. Sure, there may have been times where my trust was taken for granted and I was wrong, but was I ever harmed? Probably not.

My upbringing

I actually grew up with a family that was very untrusting. They were constantly suspicious of other people’s intentions and made it a point to try to instill fear of others in me. It never worked.

Despite their best efforts, I became a person who trusts the strangers, the forgotten individuals of the world.

I think I’m a little too trusting at times, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing because it seems like no one in the world trusts anyone else. It’s like honesty, not enough people are honest these days.

Why do we feel like we have to question every situation and never give people the benefit of the doubt? All my life as I was growing up, I hear the same thing when it comes to helping the homeless. “All they want is money for drugs, alcohol, etc.” I’ve never heard any life quote that would be able to persuade me this was true.

When I see someone out in the streets, it doesn’t take battered clothes, skin clearly dirty from the elements, and facial hair for me to finally give them something. No, I give the person who asks me for change the benefit of the doubt no matter how cleanly dressed they are.

I see the happiness in their eyes and their face lighting up when I smile at them and give them a helping hand. I don’t trust because I want to feel good about myself, hell, I don’t even mention 90% of the things I do to anyone (until this post.) I trust because there is no harm in it most of the time. You could only be improving someone’s life. Maybe you’re wrong a few times, so what? Doesn’t mean you can’t trust.

My family’s trust issues

The worst offending case of someone in my family not trusting happened a little over half a year ago before I moved to Arizona. My grandpa and I were at a McDonalds drive-through waiting to order some food. A clearly homeless man who seemed sincere enough came to our window so I rolled it down. He asked first in English if I could buy him a Big Mac because he was starving. My grandpa kept shaking his head, refusing to help him.

The man tried to beg us for food in Vietnamese this time and again my grandpa says no. At this point, I am furious. Why are you not helping this man? He is clearly starving and wants FOOD. He does not want your money “for drugs and alcohol.”

I looked at the man, smiled and told him to wait around the corner. I bought him two Big Macs and his eyes lit up. He had food to eat that night.

Afterwards, I asked my grandpa why he was not willing to help this man. His response? “All he wanted was drugs.” Dumbfounded, I repeated that the man asked for food.

“I didn’t understand what he was saying.” The man spoke in clear Vietnamese. My grandpa definitely understood or perhaps his mind filtered out the words because all he saw was a homeless man. A homeless man who in his mind, just wants money to fuel some disgusting habit.

If only the world trusted more, perhaps everyone would be happier and less guarded. They wouldn’t see through some negative perception filter. Imagine how comfortable the world would feel. Is there any harm that is coming to you from trusting a bit more? I’ve lived a great life and it is only getting better, all while I live life trusting the world. Why not believe in people and what they say?

Of course, this doesn’t mean be a fool

Obviously, you don’t want to be a fool and trust literally everything that falls out of someone’s mouth, but if you can learn to trust just a little bit at a time then it just makes the world that much better.

Make it a point to become more trusting. Don’t be a fool, but don’t be too guarded. The world has enough people who are completely distrusting of others’ intentions, so let’s brighten it up a bit and show people that just because you do not know them on a first name basis does not mean everything about them should be doubted.

Question: So what do you have to lose by becoming more trusting of others?

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Vincent Nguyen is the author of Self Stairway and founder of Growth Ninja, a digital marketing agency that specializes in Facebook Ads. Voted "Most Guapo" five years in a row (lost during 6th year to a hand model.)

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22 responses to The World Lacks Trust, Why I Trust Others

  1. Great Article, Vincent. As a child of the 60s when hitch-hiking was safe and popular, I hitch-hiked often. Rides were easy to get because people really did trust. For years afterwards, especially on long stretches of lightly-travelled highways, I picked up most of the people I came across. And even today, I still remember many of the conversations from the people I picked up and from the people who picked me up. All because of trust. Your article brings back good memories, Vincent.

    • I wonder if hitch-hiking truly is any more dangerous today than it was back then. Surely it isn’t without its dangers, but I don’t think it’s as terrifying as media makes it out to be.

      That’s a great point. You never would have had those amazing conversations and experiences without trust. As long as you are smart with your trust then you will end up well.

  2. Hi Vincent,

    The climax of the article was the best past for me because I was wondering whether you would cover the point of not being fool or not.

    I came to to your blog through and have fallen in love with your blog..What makes your blog special is the fact that most of the articles are from your heart and not for the search engines..

    Also one humble request – if you can go for comments in your own blog other than discuss you can have a little more safety for your blog and comments in the long run..And the irony is that its again to do with trust..


    • Hi Rafi,

      I appreciate you coming by and even stopping to leave a comment. I was very careful to put the emphasis on trusting, but I was also aware others would take it as gullibility.

      It really is all from my heart and I don’t write just to appear on the first page of Google. Even when it comes to that, I’m no fool. 🙂 I’m well aware of SEO but if I were to focus on that, I wouldn’t be writing from my heart.

      I’m sorry Rafi, I’m not quite sure what you mean by going for “comments in [my] own blog.” Can you expand on that?


  3. Vincent,
    It is a ‘free fall’ to give away trust these days. Life’s left hooks don’t make trusting people we know (not to mention people we don’t know) very hard sometimes. But I agree that we can’t give up on trust. If everyone gives up then what? The answer to that question makes me think we have to trust.

    • I tried to make it a point to mention at the end that trust shouldn’t be given too everyone, but instead like what you said it shouldn’t be given up on. I feel like if it’s those situations where trusting someone wouldn’t harm you then why not give it a chance?

      Obviously in a serious situation where trusting someone can make or break something then it should be given a serious thought, but even in smaller situations people are so guarded.

  4. Nice post, Vincent. I still believe that you start with trust first. You have to believe in the good in people (but keep your eyes open!). Usually the cream rises to the top. Great job!

  5. Hey Vincent. I found your website through tinybuddha and I just wanted to say that I really like what your doing here. You have some great articles and your talented writer. Keep up the great work!


  6. An interesting post. I too come from a family wary to trust others. I have made strides to put more belief in others, but sometimes mistrust still turns me off from the world. I like the idea of “fear-setting” mistrust; the damage caused from broken trust is often amplified by the power we give it to negatively impact our self worth. Great stuff!

    • Thanks, Paul. It’s difficult when coming from a family that has such different beliefs than you. I can definitely tell you’re very trusting based off our conversations and just how you present yourself. That’s a great thing and more people need that trait.

      Broken trust is really a frightening thing. I have had some trust been broken in the past, but in the end, none of it really affected me in the long run so I have yet to have that “window shattering” sound. Thanks for reading!

  7. Great post, Vincent. I agree we have little to lose by being more trusting, but I also like that you point out not to be a fool. There are people out there who will take advantage of overly-trusting souls.

  8. Hello Vincent,

    I really enjoyed hearing more about your life experiences. It makes the content and topic real.

    I think discernment (Or our gut feelings) is essential when it comes to trusting someone or not. It’s important to trust people but at times need to be careful to protect our self’s from harm. Great post!

    • I agree, Dan! I find that when trusting people, others don’t look to their gut feelings though. They usually just side with not trusting without truly evaluating or even feeling anything to justify their decision. It seems to be the default mode for them, but I know not all people are like that. Thanks for reading, Dan!

  9. “I trust because there is no harm in it most of the time.” – Absolutely brilliant attitude, I try to do similar things myself, but then there are the people who I don’t have trust in. If they repeat an unforgiving act too many times (3, 4 or 5, I like to think I’m good at forgiving people :P) then I will lose trust…

    Yes, don’t be a fool. I’ve been mocked for having too much trust sometimes, but there’s no harm done to me, and then I think: “Judging me won’t define who I am, it defines who you are” and move on with a smile.

    Again, epic attitude, epic post, thanks!

    • Whoa, I’m surprised that you let it go up to five! Maybe you’re even more trusting than I am. 🙂

      It really does depend on context. Obviously if someone asks to borrow $100 then you have to use your judgment, but if someone asks for food or money you know wouldn’t somehow hurt you then I say go for that trust.

      That’s a great thing to remind yourself of. Thanks, Nick!

  10. Great question. I love your commitment to be more trusting, but I’d also love to see more people commit to being more trust-earning. In a world where many people break their promises (and don’t think there’s anything wrong with that), there’s something powerful about integrity.

    • That’s a good point to bring up, Jeff. Being trustworthy is a great characteristic that is hard to come by. As much as I try my best to trust, there are some people who do not make the commitment to maintain that trust and it eventually falls through. I always look for integrity and even with the initial benefit of the doubt, it is very obvious after the first one, two, or 5 (if you’re Nick,) that there are some people who don’t value it.

  11. Fantastically written article, Vincent. In many ways, I felt like you were speaking right to me because I can’t count how many times I have been told I’m “too trusting.” I think you make a great point that trusting other people doesn’t ever really hurt us. I have found that putting trust in large organizations of people that involve big money can hurt us with their lies. But individual people, no, not really. I see no harm in trusting people and have only seen the positive there. I’m a firm believer in questioning things. And I do constantly question the government, politics, big business, etc because I have read between the lines. But when set apart, individual people, like that homeless man wanting food, are just people and I do believe that people are good and well intentioned at heart.

    • That’s fantastic, Aubrey. Many people choose the easier route and that is to just distrust everyone in general. You have to be skeptical and question things, but that doesn’t mean this applies to everyone down to the individual. I’m glad to hear you’re well aware of that.

      By the way, don’t worry about being told you’re too trusting. You sound like you’re smart enough to take those risks in trusts if the outcome wouldn’t harm you or anyone else. To me, that sounds perfect.

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