“Trust me. I got this.”
If there is any other phrase that precedes a sense of oncoming dread and mistrust, it’s this one.
If there is a statement that preceded eventual conflict more than any other, we aren’t aware of it.
Trust, when freely given, often operates as a noun, describing a person, place, thing or an animal. In such a context, trust transforms a relationship from one level and moves it into a far more intimate level.
However, in the above statement, trust transforms from a noun to a verb, requiring the giver to transform into a passive actor in their own drama. In such a context, trust transfers control from an active actor, engaged with their own outcomes, to another active actor whose motives may not be—well—trustworthy.
The sender of the phrase is looking to reassure the receiver and, typically, this sentence means that the reassurance is not working.
The professional peacebuilder should probably avoid the transformation of trust from an active noun to a passive verb, unless the relationship that she is building is long-term enough to warrant such a change.
Otherwise, she’s just asking for trouble.
-Peace Be With You All-
Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: firstname.lastname@example.org