I remember the time when I was in school and had the same friend for 7 years(let’s call him AG), or maybe I should say, only friend till I was in 7th standard. One can say that the friendship was so good that I never found a reason to make another friend, but I know its not true. The reason I had only one friend is because I had trust issues. Now, one can argue that how come a 10 year old kid has trust issue. Well, let me know if you figure that out, I couldn’t myself.
The reason I got to know that I have trust issues is when my friend changes school and I preferred being alone rather than making another friend. This was when there were no mobile phones so being in touch with someone in another city was not possible. This loneliness really impacted me mentally and academically. Obviously I was not able to share this with my parents and siblings as they can never understand that. The only response they have to every issue is to concentrate on studies.
That friend rejoined our school after two years and we were back to solid friendship. We can trust each other and I use to share my problems with him, I still do. We had our share of fights as well, both verbal and physical. We have actually beaten each other on streets and became friends again. Somehow this made me think that this is what friendships is, you don’t have to be in contact continuously to remain friends and you can share your deepest secrets as well.
Fast forward to corporate, I made another friend(let’s call him AK). I trusted him by sharing all my insecurities, fears and problems and he did the same. Eventually, there we clashes and he used all my secrets against me to put me down. It was brutal, not because what he said was not true, but because my prior experience in friendship taught me that “Secrets are meant to go with you to your graves“. This incident made me question everything, The trust was lost. Did he really gain anything by doing that? May be he felt a little good about himself by making those comments. May be he felt big by making me feel small. May be he thought that he has won and I lost. But was it worth it? The damage it did to my self-esteem and the ability to trust anyone was beyond repair. He just used it as a commodity against me. Ironically, I was the one who handed it over to him in the first place.
I tried thinking about it rationally, isn’t it how the world really works? Countries use intelligence and information as a leverage against each other. In the 50s-60s, USA wanted India to become their friend and use it against USSR. As India denied that proposition and became allies with USSR, USA chose Pakistan to become their allies and started using it against us. We trusted them with so much and what did we get in return?
To trust someone or not is really something one has to decide. The important thing is to question if its even worth it?