I feel like writing about being a trustworthy person and why it is important who you let into your home, or in some cases like mine, my office. Maybe you might have noticed the theme of the book I recently wrote and published, Be Brave: Uncensored Motivational Quotes that circled on one of the most important patterns that I had observed over the years which is the importance of being a person who can be trusted. I am not talking about honesty or integrity here. This is as simple as can be trusted.
Since I was young, my mum will remind me to learn to keep secrets when friends or people tell me to. And to make sure not to tell the secrets to anyone. If they want to tell other people is fine but the stories must be not from me. Due to that, my friends usually called me as the secret keeper. They know that whatever they told me, I will never in one sentence or one word tell others. Well, it works all along and it helped me to create genuine bonds and friendships with individuals over the last two decades.
The issue that I noticed here is when people just couldn't keep secrets. It is not easy to find one like a friend who could. Over the years since I was 7 years old, I had experienced many situations where individuals I met could not be trusted. Whenever I gave a person a chance, they show me their Joker card. So, usually I will ended up telling "secrets" but considered as am prepared if the secret became a headline of conversations, opinions, and sarcasms.
Now I am in my late 30s, and recently had experienced a life changing moment in terms of friendship with a group of friends I used to hangout with for about ten years. I mentioned this briefly in my latest book, Be Brave: Uncensored Motivational Quotes but I could not write too detailed on that book. Over this two decades being friends with thousands of people, I have never felt agitated or feel like vomiting with anyone for a very long time. The last time someone misuses my trust was when I was 15, with one of my classmates who I used to hangout with. She was one of the reasons I told myself to be careful with people.
So, the misusing of trust by this ex-friend of mine were as simple as when I told her something important for me, "Pls don't tell her first about that t-shirt she gave. I will tell her myself cos I don't want her to feel hurtful." And then the next thing I know was, the girl asked me whether my shirt does not fits me. And if you guys is coming here to shoot me saying how sensitive I am, yes, I am. Because now I am in a phase in my life (after making sure I build my self-esteem and personality for years), I cannot entertain with this kind of idiots and people who are of big mouth. If the person cannot keep a simple secret as this, do you think they can be trusted? Nope. And just so you know, this is only one incident. Within the next 3 months, similar situations happened. One of the most significant one which made me pissed off was when I told her to not tell anyone about me renting a car. I will tell them later. But definitely, the other friend knows in less than an hour. This behavior is consistent. I don't remember her doing this the last ten years because I have never told them my personal secrets and stories which I am glad I did not. And every time I speak or shared my opinions with them in conversations, at the back of my mind, there is this signal telling me to be careful with what I shared which I guessed has been accurate all the time.
So, you may asked what has this got to do with not letting people you don't trust into your home? Simple. Trust your instinct when you are with anyone. For me I think I let this group of friends came to visit my parents' place years ago during a festive season once. And last year when I had my new office, not even a single moment in me telling myself to invite them to my own office. Not even once. I had planned and did invited my 3 close friends, 2 ex-colleagues and they did came. I did verbally invited one of our friends in the group, the girl who bought the t-shirt for us, just because I trusted her. Surprise isn't it? I mean apart from liking her, I trusted her more than these two friends I have been hanging out with for the last 10 years. And other than that, I invited my 2 MSc classmates randomly if they pass-by my office's area. That is all the circle of friends I really feel comfortable with. There were like 2 more friends who I used to hangout with who also 'invited themselves' to my office but I gave many excuses to avoid.
Last week, I saw a post on tiktok about this topic and one of the comments were also like what I have been thinking all this while. It is more of a crime investigation post if I am not wrong or about a friend she let her stay at her home but secretly slept with her husband.
Don't invite anyone that you don't trust into your home. If the person is your friend's friend who would like to drop-by to your place with your friend, but if you are not comfortable you can tell your friend, no. I went to Ottawa for a road trip with J in 2019 and she did asked me whether her friend can join in to stay overnight in the hotel with us. And I told her, no. She and her friend understood. Firstly, is because I don't know that guy. Second, the friend is a guy. Third, for my safety and also her safety. However, during the road trip we managed to create a friendship bond with each other and the guy seems fine and my instinct did not stop me from not letting him stay with us that night. So, I let him share a room for one night and he will go back home the next morning. And I had no issue with that guy or my friend too during that night and after that.
As for that group of friends who I hangout with for about ten years, one night, they invited themselves to my office. Simply like that after a dinner which I had intentionally avoided to attend. Even when I insisted no don't come it is too late (9.30pm), without any shame they insisted on coming. So, this time, after ten years I used my firm demeanor which I don't usually let it out with friends. This character of mine will come out only in professional work settings. I insisted with a 'No, next time'. I know there will never be a next time, (no need for anyone to tell me). Firstly, was because I don't trust them anymore except the friend who gave us the t-shirt who was with them that night. Second, the last time we met was during the two friends' birthday celebration in November. At that time, I could feel the heaviness of the situation with them like I said I felt angry, agitated, annoyed, and feel like vomiting because that feeling of disgusted was too much. I was at that fine line of breaking no matter what, when the trigger is released. I am that kind of person, if I am a loyal friend I will take care of that friendship, but if anyone pissed me off, I will leave out everything and let them hang without even saying a thing for closure. My closure is the same as most people in friendships. Just leave, no need to explain. No need to reply texts. I mean since this is common for a normal friendship, I did the same. If I am still interested in the friendship, I will explain to the person like I had done with a number of my friends who are now my closest. If not worth it, I will leave and block people. It is okay to do this especially if you don't find it worth anymore to talk or discuss. When I tried to justify my actions, I remembered when she told me about how a group of her friends suddenly did not talk to her and exclude her from the group chats. I also suddenly remembered one of our ex-schoolmates who told me about her character. And I also remember one of my ex-squad-mates who did not talk to her. Well, I had to do this because these are the things that I ignored or tried to justify over the years. Since it doesn't change, I feel like for me personally is okay to do this. This is my life. If people want to do this to me, I am okay too. It is their life. I will not stop them to justify my actions with the unpleasant things they had heard about me.
The thing about this is to usually learn to observe and not to ignore what your first feeling about the person or situation is. I had this feeling since the first time actually, and gradually it builds over the years. I kept justifying every actions of theirs and trying to change myself to be not too sensitive. But the issue is not about being sensitive. That is actually the good part. As a human, we should not, okay I can say, I do not want people with that characters to be in my life. Why should I forced myself to let them in when most part of me has been screaming telling me there is something not right?
Because of all these build-up, the last thing that snapped me as always is about trust. Probably, I can close one eye on small remarks like, "Wear dress", "Gain weight", "Get married", repeating vacation stories, talking about other people, do not listen and only talk about themselves, or even their disrespectful attitude towards the service staff which happened always whenever we went out which I still don't get it.
I have to rant in my own blog here just because I need to get rid of these toxic layers. Since now I am in a new better chapter of my life, I would like to get rid of these memories forever. My upcoming books and all that, I am planning to write something which is more futuristic and of more positive vibes that will be based on my research on human behavior in organisations.
Anyway, I really need to talk about trust and how it linked to inviting people to your home and office, which is your sanctuary filled with personal secrets of yours. So, remember this guys. Trust your instincts and act on it. Don't just trust but you try to justify it, and then when you regret about not listening to your intuition, it is because of something else that is much more important to you in your life. For me, the most significant was trust.
S. Sulianah Swift-Kendrick