Good morning, I hope you had a fantastic weekend and I trust that you’ll have a great week. And that’s an interesting topic, Trust. I’ve spoken about it before, but it’s more salient and relatable when coupled with Expectations and Communication. Everyone always says, “Trust is earned.” Well, yes and no. Trust IS earned, yes, but Trust is also given. You have to give trust at some point, it’s not like if you’ve gone 3 months with no lying or exaggeration or embellishment that you are to be trusted. This is a delicate balance, and it’s held in-tune via expectations and communication. The ability to be 100% transparent with your significant other (and friends, and family) is unparalleled in importance. What I always try to tell people is, “If you can’t tell them about it without lying or omitting things” you probably shouldn’t be doing it. Trust is a hard beast to tame. But as a great friend and sometimes mentor told me; “We as a society don’t trust enough, in the sense of [relationships or] even in our friendships we don’t give our friends the benefit of the doubt, or accept people for who they are. Especially at a certain age and especially women. [They] are highly skeptical, analytical and mistrusting. And [they] need to do a better job of having faith…” I really like this this thought/sentiment and it leads to things like Expectations and how they are communicated as they apply to Trust. Expectations themselves can also be a detriment to many relationships. Expectations being set to high make a person always the “bad guy (or girl)”. Setting low expectations gives the impression or feeling of a lower value for that relationship. Have realistic expectations for people. “You can’t make a tiger change it’s stripes” so stop trying. Instead, accept that tiger for what it is and either choose to have it in your life as that tiger, or choose not to. But don’t expect that Tiger to turn into a Zebra. It’s not going to happen. Set the expectations that you have for that tiger, and be realistic about. A tiger eats meat, don’t expect that it’s going to turn into a vegetarian for you. This is unrealistic. And the setting of these expectations and clarity on then comes down now to communication. Be clear with people that you’re in a relationship with about what you want and what you expect. (This is definitely directed more at women than men in my experience). Don’t assume, don’t let others assume about you. Be honest, be forthcoming and communicate!! When you communicate clearly and directly, expectations will be set, understood and well-founded in your relationship. When expectations are realistic and shared they enable people to live up to those expectations (and often exceed them) and in doing so, build/earn trust. Trust is a structure built with a frame-work of Expectations on a foundation of Communication. Be honest with yourself and be honest with others. Love yourself and allow others to love you. Trust yourself and allow others to trust you. Be Real. And most of all; Much Love and Smile On.