A recent Pew Research study found that 64 percent of people think Americans’ level of trust in each other has been shrinking over the years. But cultural trends aside, you may be making people lose their trust in you all on your own. As fun as it may be to gossip, if you find yourself starting sentences with, “Don’t tell so-and-so I told you this, but,” you’re likely not convincing other people to confide in you. According to experts, an easy way to make people trust you less is by sharing other people’s confidential conversations they’ve had with you. Read on to find out what else makes you untrustworthy, and for more behaviors to avoid, This Is the One Habit That Makes You Seem Less Confident to Others.
If someone tells you a secret, they expect you to keep it. “Often times we have to rely upon one another based on some degree of faith,” explains Kristina de Bree, a licensed marriage and family therapist based in California. When you share someone else’s secret, you’re betraying their confidence—but you’re also letting the person you’re telling know they can’t count on you either.
Of course, sharing other people’s secrets is not the only reason someone may not trust you. For more ways you may be unknowingly making people trust you less, keep reading, and for more habits to avoid, People Don’t Trust You If You Text With This Punctuation Mark, Study Says.
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Bree says another big habit making people trust you less is inconsistency. If you always produce “different behavior and results each time” you do something, people often don’t know what to expect from you—which makes you seem untrustworthy. And if you’re wondering about the trust level of your favorite stars, discover The Celebrity Whose Political Opinion Americans Trust Most, Survey Says.
Failing to practice your own advice
Ever heard of practicing what you preach? While many of us may be guilty of dishing out advice we don’t even follow, we might not realize how it is affecting our relationships. According to Stephen Light, a certified stress management coach and co-owner of Nolah Mattress, “people that fail to practice any advice they give look like liars.” Even if the advice is sound, the “fact that they can’t do it themselves is a significant reason for trust issues to resurface,” he says. And for advice you should steer clear of, check out these Relationship Tips That Are Actually Terrible Advice.
Avoiding straightforward conversations
Achintya Kolipakkam, a content creator for etiquette website Elegance.Tips, says that people are not likely to trust others who “tell half-truths or use spin, avoidance, and weasel words.” According to Kolipakkam,”Deliberately opaque or evasive communications offers a different kind of transparency—one spotlighting intentions or character.” And for more useful content delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Using language that makes you seem unconfident
Word choice matters. Andrew Taylor, director of Net Lawman, says people often get called out for untrustworthiness when they use language that makes them seem unconfident. “If you use language that isn’t confident—like you are giving yourself a constant out or not fully committing to an idea or a belief—then this is a surefire way to stimulate distrust in others, regardless of how confident you may be in an idea,” he explains. And for language you should avoid, check out these 5 Words That Will Make You Sound Less Confident.