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How much do you trust?

It is a question I always have difficulty with. I am a very trusting person but appear untrusting when I answer some of the questions around trust in more detail because I am so truthful.

At the moment you can appear trusting because most people are law abiding citizens who want to be moral and do not want to find themselves on the wrong side of the law. Thus the people you meet now may be more careful with your property and feelings making you feel like they are trustworthy people. All this will change after an event and people that you previously trusted are likely to be people you do not want to trust. Trust is easy to dole out as you have little to lose, perhaps a few items, cash and/or your best wishes. You can afford to take a chance and trust people because the impact is very low. At the worst you get a restraining order on them but for very little cost you can tell what their morals are. I now know several people whose word is worthless. I avoid them now.

A recent example was around extreme sports where someone trusted others with their life as part of that sport. To me that is not trusting someone with your life because they have nothing to gain and much to lose if they let you die. If you died then there would be questions asked, they could very well face prosecution and jail time. It is in their benefit to help you and keep you alive. However, after an event that same person that you trust with your life could very well be in a situation where your life is in their hands. Only this time there will be two significant changes. First of all there will be little or no repercussions if you die and they could have very much to gain. You may have food and water whilst they do not. That will be the true test of trust.

After an event though, friends even family, will be desperate and trust will be in short supply. Trust alone will be insufficient and some sort of relationship will be required. Bonds forced in steel with shared experiences and some sort of balance. There will be no law around to enforce the status quo and thus trust relationships will be tested.

I suspect that there will be few trust relationships that survive an event outside close family. Trust between friends will devolve to a good relationship supported by history but you may not supply them with food and water unless you are certain that you will get something in return.

Thus, the people you will trust will more likely be equals, not people that depend on you. You will control their lives and that will not go down well. You need to ensure that anyone you want to take with you into your BOL is contributing to the relationship on as near equal terms as possible. If you fund it, have all the stores then you will want to manage it and that includes allocating the jobs, workers getting the dirty end of the stick. You may trust them with your stores but like employees there will be checks, If you are equals then the roles are shared and trust will be based on your word rather than an automatic response. Each being responsible for their own stores, family and actions.

Trust will be a hard commodity to earn and will easily be lost but it will mean a great deal more after an event than it does now. Not that long ago trust was a commodity that was very carefully traded although nowadays it is treated with contempt by many who see being trusting is seen as a weakness. I don’t. I see it being part of being human.

The real test of trust is where someone has something to gain, nothing to lose and still does the right thing. So think about who you trust now. Create a situation where they could kill you and take everything you have without any comeback. Could you trust them with your life?

I will be very careful whom I trust after an event, even being a prepper does not automatically cause a trusting relationship. Having a friendly relationship with shared values and certain commonalities sets a good foundation but trust will need to be earned not given. Humanity will be very much in short supply just after an event although relationships will flourish and that will be based on real trust. A trust you may need to rely on some day although something tangible is always a better option.

Build up relationships with people now, especially community type relationships. Don’t fool yourself that making friends will count for too much after an event. Much better to build several close relationships than country wide ones. The country wide are great for learning and sharing less so for the nitty gritty of life. Closer ties will be required then. Ties that can be built up.

9 comments to How much do you trust?

  • Paul

    I know a lot of people but trust no one and have no friends.
    Simple reason, trust and friendship occasionally means someone gets expectations on what you can or will do for them.
    That doesn’t work for me as my first priority is my family and that is often contrary to what people perceive you are willing to offer be that in goods, services, or time.

    Anyway in or after an event the only person you can ever really trust is you and your own.

    Also, if no one “knows” you or your capabilities, they will be wary to try something.

  • grumpy old man

    just a thought who’s going to watch you while you sleep and how long can a family cope being on alert until tension causes cracks?
    when we meet a partner to start alife with we have to trust sometimes we win sometimes we lose that’s life?
    we pays are money and takes are chance?

    • Paul

      Good question Grumpy.
      Who knows how long the tension can be withstood by a family or even small unit but I have a secret weapon regarding standing watch.
      Two sets of razor bladed fur coats i.e. Dogs.

      My whole perimeter defence is built round them. No batteries, can’t be jammed, don’t break down, and won’t take food from non family members.

      It’s a brave (or stupid) person who comes near our camp or home uninvited. Although the dogs sleep in the tent or at the bottom of the bed, they always seem to be able to know if something is “wrong” outside.

      Never let me down to date.

  • Skean Dhude

    Trust is someone you build and isn’t given automatically by anyone who has any sense. Even trust among families is an issue as you can read every day on the news or on the telly, Jeremy Kyle anyone?

    You just need to be very careful whom you trust. Make sure that they are trustworthy for one. A family unit is fine depending on the environment. Formost of us it will be tough.

  • Tommy

    I trust people if I know what motivates them. I trust a waiter to give me good service, because he or she wants a good tip. I trust my doctor to diagnose my illness, because failure could loose his or her job. Understand what motivates an individual and you know how to trust them.

    Post event survival will be at the foremost in peoples minds. As a survivalist you will have a lead on most people. If you can spare a meal for some starving family fleeing the city, you might find that trust rewarded tenfold, or you might not. learn to hone then trust your instincts.

    • Paul

      Problem is it won’t just stop at one starving family or even one meal.
      I’m afraid being “kind” and trusting your instincts wouldn’t be safe if TSHTF.

  • Timelord

    Nothing will be safe PSHTF.

    Humanity has survived & evolved by mutual beneficial co-operation. It dosn’t always work out. There are no guarantees, but expecting to survive by shunning all possible social opportunities will be a hard road. Maybe a safe one or maybe too steep to climb in the long run? Friendship & brotherhood can be forged in the heart of turmoil. Mutual reward can make the difference between survival or not. A wise man would not turn his back on thousands of years of the struggle. Good or bad. There is valuable insight to be gained and turned to our favour. Bon voyage..

  • Paul

    Hopefully PSTHF the world will become a better place BUT the human species is the only species in the world that regularly shafts it’s own kind for some kind of percentage.
    Avarice, and wealth and if it ain’t them then it’s the desire for control over others. Some call that government.

    Some survivalists talk of sheeple (I know I do). A derogatory if not contemptuous description of the masses. A bit arrogant really and a statement of superiority over others. Already you have designated two classes, those who have, and those who haven’t. Rich & Poor.

    Now add a bit of disaster and two things will happen.
    Either the strong will subjugate the weak (heck that’s being done now by our government) or them who “have it” will control those “who haven’t” and in both cases they will both fight to keep what they have and to gain more from what others have. That’s human nature.

    Survival and the rebuild won’t be the Nirvana that some would hope for. There will always be a ruling class, backed up by a warrior class, and below that the sheep which they feed of.

    So survival will be a choice. Join one of these groups and become part of a problem or initially go it alone.
    Sure there will be pockets of decent sharing people left and perhaps, if they are left alone, they will co-operate, meld, and grow BUT they will always have the fear and knowledge that just round the corner are the old world values wolves.

  • Skean Dhude

    Trust will be in short supply during and after an event even for those that have trust relationships now. The situation has changed. After a while it will settle down and then you can build on the relationships that lasted and make new ones. Slowly at first.

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