How to Trust Without Getting Hurt
With the fact that the Millennial Generation is the most untrusting generation ever recorded, this week, Lexi and I wanted to answer the question, “How to Trust Without Getting Hurt”.
Trust is what bonds us to other people and allows us to feel safe so we can be vulnerable enough to connect.
Usually people fall into one of two groups…they either give trust at the beginning (allowing someone else to choose whether to honor it or not), or hold it back, making others “earn” it.
Problem with broken trust is you’re just as pissed at yourself for your bad decision to trust them as much as you are at the person (or institution) that betrayed you.
Understanding all of these points, I wanted to talk about Why Millennials, in general, are the most untrusting generation of recorded history and how you, as an individual Millennial, can authentically “trust” in today’s upside down world without ending up getting hurt in the process.
To set the stage, I want to mention a couple of good articles about Millennials and trust.
Big Think article by Paul Taylor: “Millennials are the Most Cautious Generation We’ve Ever Seen”
Taylor posits a few theories about why millennials are the most cautious generation Pew has ever seen.
A large share of young adults are non-white and/or on the lower end of the socioeconomic scale. This places them in “an attitude of vulnerability” and causes them to act more carefully because they’re not well fortified to deal with the consequences of misplaced trust.”
It has to do with millennials’ time spent online. Millennials understand that you have to take everything you see online with a grain of salt; not everybody is as they present themselves. This reality breeds distrust.
Has to do with how much social horrors, coupled with the ways millennials were raised, contributes to their wariness: “Millennials came of age at a time of global terrorism, of domestic school shootings, Columbine, 9/11, a lot of pretty horrible things that are particularly disturbing to parents. The worry about strangers online, online predators and all the rest… There is a kind of an everybody gets a trophy quality to the way millennials have been raised. You’re precious. It’s a mean and difficult world. I need to protect you. Which may then be picked up by the children raised this way as you better be careful, you better be wary.”
While these are only theories, Millennials’ general aversion to risk as factual and evidenced.
Simply put: millennials have watched a lot of people get burned over the past seven years. Their parents have fought foreclosures and debt. Divorce rates have led to a lot of broken homes. Millennials have come of age during an era where the promise of success more resembles a fleeting chance. There’s been unending war, escalating political partisanship, and growing economic inequality. In many ways, millennials feel they’ve watched their cultural inheritance get squandered away by the political elite.
So perhaps the question could be phrased not so much as “why are millennials distrusting of others?” but rather “what reason do millennials have to be trusting at all?”
Another great article was from the Washington Post, titled, “Millennials Don’t Trust Anyone. That’s a Big Deal”
The article states…
There is a feeling that the safety net is gone. In political terms, the conviction that honest brokers simply don’t exist leads people to seek sustenance from those who affirm their points of view. They watch the same TV shows, listen to the same radio stations, shop at the same places and live in the same neighborhoods as people who believe like they do. Interactions with people with whom they disagree and entities such as Congress or the news media dwindle. Suspicion rises. Distrust becomes pervasive.
The Key to Trusting without getting hurt is: Perspective
The reason we feel the hurt is because we chose to believe in something that ended up not being real. And,