This is a unique and powerful book. It is a record of a series of conversations with Christopher Howard on masculinity, sex, addiction and relationships. In them both Chris and myself opened ourselves up in a very personal and revealing way. We held nothing back and explored what it is to be men.
The answer seems to be that they do not need to do anything. The key to trust is what you do yourself and how you view other people. Your ego can destroy your ability to respect others and can fool you into thinking that you are right and the other person is wrong—therefore untrustworthy.
"When people honor each other, there is a trust established that leads to synergy, interdependence, and deep respect. Both parties make decisions and choices based on what is right, what is best, what is valued most highly." —Blaine Lee
The interesting thing about trust is that it is dependent on a mutual relationship. It is easy to think that it is something you invest in someone else when they show that they deserve it. On the contrary, it is something you give another person without expecting anything in return, but when it is freely given it can be returned in amazing ways.
Recently I have had cause to face this situation head on and, as a result, I have had to re-assess my personal relationship with trust.
I am part of a group of men who meet regularly to share their experiences and support each other in the work that they do. A man in the group did something that I felt broke the circle of trust within the group. What he did is not relevant, what is relevant is my reaction to it.
I became upset and locked horns with him. He, understandably, stood up to me in a confrontation. I stepped back to let go of the confrontation but effectively accused him of breaking the circle of trust in the group. I then proceeded to suggest changes in how the group is conducted to 'restore a sense of trust' in the group and ensure that what happened could not happen again.
This seemed, to me, to be a clear and sensible way forward—but was it?
On reflection, I think not. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the situation, I showed no respect for the other man and continued to accuse him in a passive-aggressive way while seeming to step back and let go of confrontation.
To honor another person is to respect them and show that respect to them and others. Honor (or honour in British English) is an abstract concept entailing a perceived quality of worthiness and respectability that affects both the social standing and the self-evaluation of an individual.
My treatment of this man did not honor him and stripped him of worthiness as seen from my eyes. This denied him any respect from me and made that situation public.
So leaving that situation behind how can trust be created and respected within a group of people, and specifically within a group of men?
There are three simple actions that you can take to create trust and respect.
Respect: "To treat people in the manner in which you expect to be treated. To show consideration for another person's feelings and interests. An attitude demonstrating that you value another person."