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The Greatest Lie Ever Told: You Can’t Trust Anyone but Yourself and Your Family

by | Jul 17, 2023 | Life

He took my $34,000 and ran for the hills.

I paid him to do some landscaping at my house. It all started well. The garden looked great. The trucks rolled in.

At about 80% progress, I never saw him again.

Vanished. Gone with the wind.

I got angry. I complained to my wife that he’d run off with our money. Every time I called him, he didn’t answer. Text messages didn’t get replies either. Then I finally got a hold of him.

“Where are you mate? Bloody hell!”

I found myself thinking “You can’t trust strangers.” Or “If you give an inch they take a mile.” Or “Damn tradespeople, they always rip us off.” This is what society wants us to think. Get angry. Trust no one.

Turns out my landscaper was in the hospital. He couldn’t answer phone calls. He didn’t skip town. No. I just jumped to conclusions like I always do. Silly old me.

The lie that we can only trust family destroys us.

You got burned once — that’s the problem

This article comes from a comment I read online:

Unfortunately, nowadays you can’t trust anyone but yourself and your family. That’s rule number one for me and it has saved my butt several times.

This is a common way to think. It comes from people who get burned badly and then take that experience into everything they do.

I saw it in recruitment. Someone who’d worked the same job for 10 years would go out on a limb and apply for a promotion. They’d get rejected one time and then blame their employer for eternity.

One bad experience became their truth.

But just because you got burned once or had a negative experience, that doesn’t mean that’s how it is forever. Minority cases exist in every situation. Your challenge is to see past them and NOT let them define you.

Not getting what you want doesn’t mean a person or organization is dishonest. It means you have to try again.

Scarcity mindsets destroy lives

The problem with believing you can’t trust anyone is it creates a scarcity mindset. That mindset destroys your access to optimism.

You start to see people and opportunities as negative. You become a skeptic and think nothing works, so you don’t work. You may even transcend into being a doomer.

“America is burning, dontcha know.”

“The ‘Threads’ app is a plot by the CIA.”

“Bird flu will kill everyone.”

That’s what an angry doomer sounds like. Nobody wants to be around a person like that. It’s a lonely existence. And that’s what can happen if you trust no one.

Trust issues are fear in disguise.

An unexpected solution to trust issues

Don’t blindly trust people. Validate.

That’s what I do. I don’t hand over money to a stranger and hope for the best. I do my research.

I google them. I speak to their customers. Or if it’s a job candidate, I speak with former colleagues or bosses. I take a look at their LinkedIn profile. I see how they behave online.

No one’s saying you have to take a leap of faith. This is the internet age. Use it. Use AI if you must to go deeper. In the end you’ll never have all the information to 100% trust someone, which leads to the next point…

Expect people to screw you over and smile

There is a small percentage of the population who will lie.

They have bad intentions. They’re wolves in sheep’s clothing ready to do the unthinkable to your little life. They can’t wait to blow it up.

If you spend your whole life trying to avoid these people, you’ll simultaneously remove most of the opportunities you could have got.

What I do is expect things to go wrong.

I expect to occasionally get shafted. I have a budget allocated to these liars to deal with them. A “got lied to fund” if you will. I rarely need to tap into this fund and bail myself out.

But when I do, I smile at the world. Meeting frauds and liars helps me be stronger. It makes me even better at spotting scams or conmen.

The downside liars cause me is offset by the upside honest people create for me and my family. The same is true for you.

Become a good judge of character

The solution isn’t to say you can’t trust anyone. It’s to become a better judge of character. Become an FBI detective if you must.

  • Learn about body language to spot signs of liars.
  • Pay attention to how people talk.
  • Keep track of facts and don’t be shy to ask people to back them up.

It’s possible to become a better judge of character over time with practice. It’s a skill you can learn.

What the greatest lie ever told all boils down to

Life is full of failure, rejection, negativity, experiments, and risks.

None of us can escape these things. Suffering is guaranteed and the avoidance of it only makes the pain stronger.

If you’re struggling to trust people it’s because you’re living in fear. The cure is to rid yourself of all that fear — not block yourself off from the world and hide in a cave with Batman.

Most people won’t rob you blind.

Don’t live for the exception to the rule. Live for the majority who are honest, and do your best to avoid the charlatans. No risks, no rewards.

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