Currently, I’m working on a project that requires a total level of trust, and it made me start to think about trust, and how hard it is to earn, and how fast it can disappear. There are so many fake people in the world, who will use and abuse, manipulate and attempt to garner favor at the demise and detriment of others.
There are basically three levels of trust, according to my research. I have summarized from Leading with Trust, and a few other sources.
- Deterrence-Based Trust (aka Calculus-Based Trust)
- Knowledge-Based Trust
- Identity-Based Trust
Deterrence based trust is commonly found in the workplace, and within work relationships.But it is the first step in any relationship. It is the knowledge that one will not take advantage of another for their own personal gain.
Knowledge based trust is a more intimate level of trust, and is usually found at the beginning of relationships with friends and lovers. This means that you have a pretty good idea of the person on a fundamental level, and you can gauge how they will react in situations, and to your quirks. Knowledge based trust is ruled by information and mutual understanding.
Identity based trust is the deepest and most intimate level of trust. You share your hopes, dreams and fears with another, and hope to fuck they don’t squander your heart. You allow yourself to become vulnerable and you know in your heart, soul and mind the other person won’t take advantage of you or hurt you on purpose.
“Only a few relationships move to the stage of trust grounded in mutual identification.
Factors that may prevent this progression include lack of time, energy or desire to make a
deeper commitment to the relationship.” from CMS
I bring this up for a few reasons. I read a lot. (Duh!) and lately, I find myself drawn to D/s (Dominant/Submissive) books. There has to be such a deep level of trust between a Dom and a sub.
I hope to delve deeper into trust and the meaning of trust in future installments, and interview a few other authors who write about, and are possibly into, the lifestyle themselves.
But I digress.
Total Trust with someone is almost impossible to achieve, because you have to let that person see all facets of you. The bad and the good. You have to stand bare in front of someone–soul and heart open, and pray you don’t fillet yourself. Or your partner doesn’t fillet you over hot coals. How many people want to even contemplate a situation where you deliberately put yourself in the path of potential harm?
I think the majority of people hide parts of themselves, even though they don’t think they do. It’s an ingrained response to shield yourself from hurt.
I’ll be honest and say–I know I hide. After some self-reflection, I figured out I share about 85% of myself. The other 15% is terrified that my chosen partner will run screaming from the room, especially with the amount of circular shit that goes through my mind. Random thoughts, and strung together ideas. Criticisms I don’t want to share because I don’t want to alienate my friends. I have to constantly battle to keep my mouth shut. Not everyone wants to hear my unique brand of honesty.
So I hide.
But I wonder sometimes. Why should I hide? Why shouldn’t I share all of myself with someone. Why shouldn’t someone know all facets of me? There are days where I believe that someone would love me for me–and not laugh at some of my absurd thoughts. They would encourage my dreams, bask in my hopes, and help me stave off my fears. They would understand what makes me, me–and they would love me despite my faults.
Six people in my life are at the Identity-Based Trust level. Four of those are family. One of them is, of course my husband.
Six people I trust not to harm me irreparably. And even those six people are at different levels of honesty. :shakes head, sadly:
So the question I am asking you, my fair readers is… Do you think total trust and mutual identification is achievable in a non D/s relationship? Do you think ‘traditional relationships’ could have, or should have, that level of intimacy and trust?
And if you don’t think it is possible, why not? I have some ideas, we can discuss in the comments or another post