This blog was written by a Thumos community member, and I (Jody) and proud to share it....

We are born with a desire to be connected and valued by our family, friends, and brothers. Have you wondered what keeps that from being reality? There are many reasons, but TRUST is critical to those outcomes. What keeps me from trusting another man or him having trust in me?

Psychologist’s have identified the following components of Trust and describe it with the equation:

Trust = (Reliability + Connection + Credibility) / Self Orientation

Trust is situational in my life, but the 4 key variables are relevant, yet dynamic for me and seem to come up frequently in my relationships.

Here’s the deal, the more Reliable a man is, the more Connection I have with a man, and the more Credible a man is to me, the more trust I will have in them. On the flip side, the more Self Oriented a man is, the less I trust him.

To understand the variables and interactions on Trust, let’s define each component. Refer to previous Daily Bread’s as several of these topics have been covered in more detail.

Reliability is defined as the consistency that a man will deliver what he commits to. Reliability is also influenced by the quality and proactiveness that he delivers.

Connection is defined as the depth of understanding and vulnerability a man has with another man.

Credibility is often based on pedigree, education, accomplishments, capability to influence, and capability to articulate a logical message.

Self Orientation is often more complex to explain as the definition you find in Webster’s doesn’t do it justice. It is more than being concerned primarily with oneself. Men, who are considered successful by societal or corporate norms, may not be self aware of their self orientation. This can be a blind spot for many men and needs to be unpacked. What does Self Orientation look like? Here are a few examples. In a conversation, the pronoun “I” will be in every other sentence. There will be a lot of advocacy of personal position, rather than inquiry to understand others views. Is there a question about a hidden agenda? Men pick up on these signals quickly. This can significant impact trust and keep men guarded around you. What a lost opportunity for everyone.

At times in my life, I was very self oriented as I was striving for that next position at work or trying to excel athletically. I wasn’t self aware about my self orientation and the impact it was having. My reflection is that during those times, while I was climbing the corporate ladder and getting great feedback from my bosses, I did not have many deep trusting relationships in my life. I have learned to maintain a low self orientation, but the old habits are sometimes present and I do have to often check myself. I now have accountability partners who are willing to be honest with me in this area.

If you desire to be connected and valued, reflect and optimize the trust equation variables each day.


1) Considering the 4 elements of the equation, rank each one from highest to lowest.

2) How do you feel order impacts trust within relationships with your Family, Friends, and Brothers?

3) Optional – Ask men in your small group, to give you feedback on the order you ranked and for examples of how you role model good behaviors and areas of opportunity. This question is more applicable to men who know each other fairly well vs new visitors.

Here are the key insights that came out of the Thumos Inner Circle Zoom call:

  • Busyness is impacting reliability, which is impacting trust.  Learn to say no or say 'let me think about it' vs always saying yes.  Let me think about it creates space, which can provide a better response.
  • Expectations are pre-meditated resentments
  • How can we talk about trust, without also talking about forgiveness?
  • Self orientation = others perception of you or "it's all about me"
  • As per self orientation, others define it for us
  • Connection is a multiplier of trust
  • Like money in the bank, with deposits and withdrawals, trust can be the same way.  It may be ok to not call a man back if the relationship is strong and has been in place for a while.  
  • Your word is your bond.  
  • When trust is broken, go connect to fix it ASAP.
  • Trust in yourself.  Self trust matters.  It comes from within by setting and achieving goals.  It creates self strength and keeps us grounded (or low self orientation).   BACK TO DAILY BREAD

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