(Replying to a conversation about losing faith and trust in humanity.)
NAR: I generally expect people to follow this pattern (perhaps not in this exact order and on the condition that they aren’t stupid)
1. Trust everyone strongly
2. Get betrayed often and badly enough to no longer trust anyone
3. Switch from considering the world in terms of “Trust” to in terms of “Predictability”
Sadist can be expected to be cruel. Personally altruistic people can be expected to be generous. Children can be expected to be children. Most people can be expected to act in their own self interest. Religious people can be expected to start doing weird things once you get near religious grounds, but fairly normal otherwise. People can be expected to side with their family over you almost no matter what. People can also be expected to take cooperation actions within a community if their defecting would jeopardize their position in that community. (And the opposite may be true if the opposite situation exists.)
You also have different areas that you predict people will act in based on their personality. Who can be trusted with secrets, who will be there when you’re sick, who will actually pay you if you do something for them, etc. etc. etc.
Have strong predictions and weak predictions
4. Implement gradients or %s instead of absolutely 0% or absolutely 100%
In each different area a person may be considered predictable in different ways based on what characteristics they have. Most sadists aren’t harmful all the time, they’re harmful when they have a strong desire to be or can get away with it. Most kind people are kind most of the time, but they have human bodies and emotions too so they occasionally fail to live up to their own higher standards. That’s part of being human and it’s okay since you can assign %s for predictability and not freak out into weird absolutes about it.
5. Accept that failure is okay.
The expectation of giving someone 100% Absolute Trust 100% of the time while not getting failed ever in your entire life is absurd. People are human. They have faults and will occasionally fail. This is in the very nature of being human. Except, the wonderful question of: *”So what?”* This doesn’t mean you can’t assign 100% trust to someone and then set up backup plans to save your own ass after you get screwed over.
Learn how to defend yourself physically, learn how to defend yourself emotionally, learn how to fall, learn how to get back up again. You are strong, you are smart, you are resourceful, you will heal, and you will survive.
Trust in yourself and in your defenses so that you can then trust in being able to trust in others, get betrayed, and still be fine.
6. Increase your safety net by quantity and alternative means like community
If you depend on the trust, predictability, and cooperation of 6 unconnected people who you understand pretty well and have high %s of cooperative predictability in, then you can be confident that 4+ will exist to support you even if 1 or 2 fail at any given time. You create a robust setup that can save you and maintain stability regardless of what happens over time.
You can also begin giving back to the community and developing others as human beings so that they can build up healthy perspectives like you have and get past failure modes like always distrusting all human beings in silly ways.