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People always say, especially elderly people, 'trust nobody', means we have to distrust anyone first before assessing his trustworthiness?

I am a professional. Generally, friends and relatives advise to trust no one in life. I am always concerned with that advice. I believe I do not have the knack of knowing hidden intentions of other people. This talk suggests we should ourselves become trustworthy. Can we be trustworthy to someone we may not trust. at least yet?

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    Oct 3 2013: Why could you not be trustworthy? That someone does not know you or does not trust you in no way prevents you from being trustworthy! Many people are trustworthy even though a stranger doesn't realize it.
  • Oct 9 2013: The question and the comments are so very sad to me. Do people do things that hurt other people? Yes, of course they do. But, we have allowed ourselves to devolve to a land of no internal ethics, no sense of obligation to do the right thing by other people. Ayn Rand and the thinking behind game theory - all do whatever you want screw the other guy and the heck with tomorrow or the consequences has led us to this place. People are not currently trustworthy. So how do we fix it? Do we continue to tell people to assume the worst from the start? Do we really tell people to use game theory in their marriages? (We have game theory was used as a form of marital counseling for about a decade before people realized it was a disaster!) There are things very wrong in our society. Becoming part of the problem by becoming cynical and bitter will not fix it and it certainly will not make you any happier. Learn the balance. Trust, but don't be a patsy. Love because in the end that is really all there is. Learn from your hurts, don't live in them.
  • Oct 6 2013: I agree with the notion of elderly people to trust nobody, because it is usually that they have plenty of experience in being cheated, scammed or swindled. I am not sure that the notion of self-trust would protect you from such scams. Many people, young or old, trusted themselves to calculate the unreasonable profit for them in a scheme told them by some scammer such as Madoff. Even though the motto of "don't believe something which is too good to be true", but many people will still do it because of their greed and self-confidence. This kind of cheating games actually exist in emotional dealings too. In this kind of swindle or cheating games, the trustworthy of yourself; the victim of the swindle, has nothing to do with the possibility of being swindled. The so-called trustworthy in yourself should actually mean that you have the wisdom of seeing through such cheating schemes without the help of others.(that's not so easy.) The real solution is to not trust anybody, until you can verify the trustworthy of the scammer by someone you know, with experience AND is knowledgeable on the subject matter on hand. (a good authority on the emotional games would be "Ask Dear Abby"). This is similar to the time and tried "letters of reference" system in the business circle. Even that is not necessarily 100% proof.
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      Oct 6 2013: I agree with you, Bart, that the reason this advice may come more often from the elderly is that they are more likely to have had the experience of having been swindled. Generally speaking, people who have been swindled themselves or had their trust betrayed should be more likely to warn others. I agree with you also that self-trust likely does not protect you from being victimized or reduce your likelihood of being a victim.
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    Oct 6 2013: When I was young I heard this from my elders. Like all advice received from demented old people, I ignored it. I mean don't all the young think that they are smarter and stronger and do things that the previous generation failed?
    Now, that I am an elder, looking at the valueless stock that a broker promised would allow me to retire comfortably,
    the time share in Cabal, that now bills me $10,000 a year for a week.s use, that I can't even give away... the list goes on and on. Was I trusting? Oh, yes. I was on every conman's sucker list for many years.
    Here is what I say, "Trust Nobody" and even after you assess his trustworthiness, don't trust him.
    Look around...
    Spouses cheat on spouses,
    Moral Religious Leaders with dark sides,
    And don't get me started on politicians, they are worse then used car salesmen....
    "Oh", you say, " you are just a cyclical old man"
    If you could count the knife wounds in my back, you would probably give me some consideration.
    So, As the sign in my local store says "In God we trust, all others pay cash and we check for counterfeit bills:"
    Good Advice.
  • Oct 4 2013: Maybe we should look to game theory such as tit-for tat etc.
  • Nov 2 2013: In conclusion on my thoughts, I'd say that challenge that person, if they let you down they are not trustworthy.
  • Oct 11 2013: Trust is something that we give and unless you give it to yourself first you will never know when someone else is trustworthy. Once you give your own self trust you will understand that at times we fail our own self. Being able to move on when we find we are not trustworthy of our own trust sets us up with the proper perspective in which we can judge other peoples trustworthiness. Trust is something I give to the people I encounter in my environment and is also one of the ways that I can share of myself with my environment.
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    Oct 9 2013: TRUST is the first step toward anything good, anything worthwhile and anything valuable in life. Some of the best guidance on this topic is:
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    Oct 9 2013: Don't expect anyone to "trust" my advice. No trust issues here... either except it for what it is or ignore it. I don't care, I'm a curmudgeon..
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    Oct 7 2013: Trust Nobody, that is the advice from us old guys. Let me put this in perspective. About 6 years ago, the big bankers were playing fast and loose with mortgage loans in the hundreds of billions, They felt covered, after all, the US congress put out the word that "everyone regardless of race , creed or ability to pay.... had to buy a house. Well, the banks tanked and it cost everybody to fix it. Lehmann Brothers was sacrificed and Bernie Madoff went to jail. Well, that covered about 10 % of the cost, but what about the rest. Nothing, even the Government agencies that are supposed to looking out for us were out to lunch... and we all paid the price. Trust Nobody.
    Now, there is a new Federal Health Care Insurance Program, It's not even started yet and 4 of my primary care doctors have quit and I get a new one according to the HMO in December. Why? One actually told me, he was leaving because he can't make a living now and it didn't look good for the future.. Trust Nobody.

    We got a Federal Government that never saw a problem that couldn't be made worse by throwing a ton of money at it.
    I got no problem paying taxes for supporting the Federal Government, but do they have to waste so much? We got whole Federal Departments to take care of Housing, Education, Welfare spending billions and there are more poor, homeless, uneducated people then ever.... Trust Nobody.

    Here is my advice to young people today... Trust Nobody. Live below your means, home school your children,
    including teaching them personal discipline. fund your needs, let go of your wants. To hell with keeping up with the Jones. Save for you future, no one else will help when you're old. Trust Nobody. Never loan out your money, even to family, especially family. If you help a family member, it must be a gift. Trust Nobody. If you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth, get a pre-nupt.

    Trust Nobody!!!!
  • Da Way

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    Oct 7 2013: People, by nature, change with time. One day if you develop dementia you won't even be able to trust your own memories.

    I think I can trust someone, but not unconditionally and definiitely not forever.
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    Oct 6 2013: Trusting one's own self can be guiding principle .........
  • Oct 6 2013: When I think of trust,I would like to quesiton myself:if I trust myself or not?how much do I trust myself?When I convince them I feel trust actually from myself ,the result can come naturally.
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    Oct 5 2013: Well, if this is what people tell you, then they put you and themselves in a paradox situation, which can not be solved.

    But if their advise was, not to trust anybody, then solutions become possible and it was on you to find them.
  • Oct 5 2013: Have you ever told a lie to someone and they believed it? Then you turn around & tell that same person a truth and they don't believe it?
    There in lies the heart of the issue!
    People would rather believe a good lie then the truth! We see it all the time from ads on TV to our governments- we get lied to and believe the lie!
    The older generations have the knowledge to see this and the wisdom to react to it!
    Do you know someone who will tell you the truth no matter what? If you do, ask that person how many friends they have. You might be surprised to learn that they have few friends. The folks who tell the truth (no matter what) are NOT trusted by the untrustworthy, cause they don't want to hear the truth.
    I NEVER trust someone I first meet. I used to until I got burned too many times.
    Truth & trust go hand in hand!
  • Oct 4 2013: Trust is relative to the individual who is to, or not to, provide it. Furthermore, true trust is the ability to trust and rely on all people, from the seemingly most to least trustworthy. The real trick is overcoming personal ignorance and foolishness, else you run the risk of walking yourself into problems and issues that could have been more easily evaded. Trust is belief, belief is validity, validity is truth-know what is true to you and you will know what you have trust in.
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    Oct 4 2013: A central theme of the Taizé community in France is that they are on a "pilgrimage of trust on earth". They endeavour to live that out by reaching out in trust to various communities of people across the world.
    Living in a very rural part of a country that is both linguistically and culturally quite different from my own, and where there is plenty of opportunity for miscommunication and misunderstanding, I regularly remind myself that I am also on a pilgrimage of trust on earth. It's often the only way forward.
    Indeed, since the normal "rational" assessment of any situation is pretty well impossible, I have to reach out in trust. But I, as an estrangeiro, am also being trusted. I have been taken advantage of a couple of times, but generally an attitude of trust is reciprocated. After all, it's a pilgrimage ...