Throughout my life, people have often described me as being naive. If someone decided to make up a silly story to tell me and I believed it, they would laugh that I was so gullible. I used to be ashamed when someone tricked me into believing them. But here’s the thing: being naive is not a bad trait.
Think about it. Why did I believe you in the first place? The only answers (probably) should be because a) you’re an authority figure or b) I trust you. If you’re an authority figure and you lie to someone who believes you anyway, then you’re an asshole. But if I trust you enough to buy into your ridiculous story and it turns out you were lying for fun, who’s the real loser here? Not only do I end up embarrassed, but you show your true face to the world.
Being a trusting person may not be the safest way to live your life, but it’s genuine. Of course, with time, everyone should learn who deserves immediate trust and who doesn’t. But when you’re dealing with a friend or family member, you shouldn’t have to screen their information. If you swear to me you saw an alien in your back yard I will testify in court on your behalf that it happened. I don’t think that makes me anything other than a true friend.
I once had a friend call me to tell me about how he failed his driver’s test and how annoyed and upset he was because of it. I patiently listened and offered my sympathy and then the next time I saw him he laughed and said he made it up. He had passed and gotten his license. He laughed like it was so funny that I believed him. That same friend came out to me a couple years later and asked how I never realized he was gay all those years. I said, “Well, I asked you point blank if you were gay and you swore to me you weren’t. You’re one of my best friends so I believed you on your word. Fuck me, right?” He was speechless for a second and then thanked me and apologized. I didn’t think it was fair that I was the one to be made to feel stupid. Trusting people isn’t (always) stupid.
It’s a good thing to trust people automatically because the only person who would readily assume a person is lying is someone who lies. A person who can’t even imagine someone lying for no reason is a person who has never lied for no reason. It just doesn’t occur to them. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing.
Don’t let people tell you you’re weak because you trust. It may be a vulnerable way to live, but continue to live your life with an open heart and know that those who are closed off are the ones suffering, not you. You do you.