What Does Trust Mean?

A person with a well-cared-for personal brand knows that they can trust themselves and will ask for the same thing from the others around them. The same goes for those who refer to persuasion as an art; trust that the things that are set at the beginning of the communication will be accomplished. A few important things should be noted here. Without the ingredients that I will write about in this article, setting a verbal contract at the beginning of any relationship is not possible. If we are talking about a romantic relationship, then we are thinking about satisfying the need to be loved. If we are talking about a business relation, then we are thinking about the negotiation partner. In any case, if we do not obey these rules, there is a very good chance that any relationship or attempt to convince will fall apart because trust will be eroded further to wrongly communicated perceptions.

Pleased to meet you, Mr. Crab!


Trust means specificity

Let’s take romantic relationships first. Some people get involved in romantic relationships without very clearly establishing, in detail, what each pursues, and “along the way” they realize that in fact, the affiliation they achieve does not satisfy their interests and then they start accusing each other, instead of realizing that each was wrong by not defining very clearly, from the outset, what expectations and availabilities they have. There are some people, especially in romantic relationships, who have an approach of the type: let’s get to know each other first, we see how things are going and we will set everything along the way and consider that answers to questions such as “what is important for you in a relationship?” and “how do you know that you get what is important for you in a relationship?are boring” or “deprive the relationship of spontaneity”. This is a recipe for perpetual unhappiness.

If they are happy people who use such a recipe, it is a simple statistical coincidence, and when a crisis occurs, they don’t know what to do because they don’t have the emotional intelligence required to understand certain elementary aspects in communication and this has nothing to do with age or formal education. Unfortunately, I subjectively state that I have met people who were “emotionally disabled” (even psychologists) aged almost 30, and people who saw through others at 17 years old and communicated at an advanced level of emotional maturity without having learned an iota of psychology in their lives.

In the article “Learn how to communicate your desires” by Patricia Castet, published in Psychologies, issue 1/2007, the Romanian version, translated by Cătălina Cristescu, psychologist Viviana Muşu is quoted, who claims that “If you think that the other person has to guess what your desires are, you behave like a child who thinks that his mother knows everything he thinks“.


Trust means responsibility

Especially in business, a contract provides not only a basis of trust but especially a basis for understanding how collaboration will be achieved. A 2-pages short contract does not instill trust precisely because it does not have sufficient specificity. There are other areas where you allow yourself to see things on the whole, but neither love nor business in the context of establishing relations or affiliations is the right place for the overview. You need to pay attention to many, many details.

Words are like empty amphorae. Everyone puts in them what they want. Only the definition of the word “love” has 256 different perceptions worldwide. The results of the research show that people have 263 different reasons for having sex! Make sure, before trust exists, that this trust is very clearly defined. Any relationship, regardless of its type, implies responsibility, which is on the opposite side of “c’mon, man, that’s OK, too!”.

The responsibility for communication belongs to each 100%.


Trust means persuasion strategy and persuasion channel

When there are people who don’t have trust, this is a cost, due to the extra time and resources dedicated to verifying the information. Each individual has a different persuasion strategy than that of the others and even his/her own, in different contexts. The extremes are naivety and eternal skepticism. A man who thinks naively will automatically believe everything (s)he is told, without thinking, while a skeptical person will not believe even when presented with evidence that supports a point of view contrary to his/her own. Everyone is responsible for finding a persuasion strategy of their own, which would be satisfactory with the external reality. One can’t afford to waste too much time checking just as one can’t afford to risk everything by immediately believing everything one is told.

Trust is communicated through the persuasion channel, which may be different from that of processing information. For example, we know that we process information in four possible major modalities (a specific term used by the neuro-linguistic programming), major: Visual (what we see), Auditive (What we hear), Kinesthetic (what we feel, what we touch, what we smell) and Auditive Digital (what we read, what we reason inside about the information perceived through the 5 senses). The first 3 are modalities, or channels for receiving information, while the fourth is a channel dedicated to further processing and refining communication. Each of the 4 can be a persuasion channel.

A persuasion channel is the one through which the person is convinced that someone is suitable for a certain context or that an external situation is as it is presented in the first place. Most commonly, there are two persuasion channels, i.e. the main one and a secondary one, but each person may have any combination of 1, 2, or 3 channels, or may need information through all 4 to be convinced of them. There’s no point in visually presenting to somebody things, if that person needs to hear certain things in a certain context, or simply needs to read the documentation on that topic to reach a conclusion.



In any case, when you want to build a relationship with someone, so first and foremost, to persuade that person, you have to be careful, most often, about the details, you may not have thought of: the details that are important for the interlocutor, not for you. For this, you need to communicate openly and carefully: how does your interlocutor want to be persuaded? Here is one thing that is very important to be considered.

The author of the articleHow to speak your interlocutor’s language” confuses the persuasion channel for the representation channel in neuro-linguistic programming. These two things have no direct connection to each other and are measured differently. Someone may have a visual preference in a certain context, for example, but they will have an auditive persuasion channel. This means that to transmit information, they will sort by images, pictures, graphic representations, and to be convinced by someone or something, they will need audio information.

In conclusion, the most important trust or confidence, for each person, remains the one in… oneself, in one’s own person, an obvious thing if we were to relate to self-esteem. I was once talking to a couple and I asked him: “Do you trust her?” He suddenly replied: “Of course not! How could I trust her if she doesn’t trust herself!?”. This answer initially surprised me, because I knew they got along well – and they really did. In the meantime, they broke up, and it wasn’t because of any “betrayal” but because of her insecurities. In this regard…

…He who trusts himself acquires the others’ trust.


You will receive the exact amount of trust that you offer.

Marcus Victor Grant

Copyright © Marcus Victor Grant 2007-present Translation by Cristiana Brezeanu of the article “Ce înseamnă încrederea“  published initially by Marcus Victor Grant in Romanian on the 6th of April 2011 on Discerne. Copyright © Marcus Victor Grant, all rights reserved. Originally written in 2007. Updated in 2011. 

The materials on this blog are subject to this disclaimer.

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