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“You can’t trust him” was the heartfelt comment about some obscure politician at one of my meetings. I will leave out the details to protect various people’s privacy, but the subject of trust comes up frequently. It was a memorable event for me because at one point I made a characteristic over-the-top bon mot bomb-statement that one person recognized as being Olympian in bombast and profundity. Usually these often sarcastic quips of mine are cast aside with a cheerful sneer of disgust. Let’s see what you think.

I said, “You can trust people whose self-interest is compatible with yours, and you can’t trust people whose self-interest is hurt in any way by helping you.” Heaps of gems of appreciation were proffered in my general direction, to which I replied, “I really appreciated that because I rarely get praise.” To which someone said, “You get plenty of praise, but you resist it. It’s like the proverbial water off a duck’s back.” I wondered if that’s true, and if my retreating into a tranquil mood about praise or rejection is seen by other people as rejection of them, and a belittling of their considerate support.

With those thoughts in mind perhaps it’s time to review my October 29, 2007 Trustworthiness of Information Chart –

Trustworthiness of Information

Trustworthiness of Information 2007/10/29 – click for bigger image

I have found this chart helpful in judging the kind of information that is likely to be reliable as fact-based and that which is fabricated out of stories that are intended to influence behavior. My bolded statement above seems independent of the chart with scores of TST~9 — 14, as those truths are based more on corroborated facts, and less on individual analysis, as in the TST~5 — 8, and intentional spin of information, as in TST~0 — 4. The low TST numbers have more human motivations in them, and therefore their truths are more dependent on the statements being congruent with overlapping personal needs.

You can trust people whose self-interest is compatible with yours, and you can’t trust people whose self-interest is hurt in any way by helping you.

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