Can we trust nobody?

Use this forum to discuss the January 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, Emotional Intelligence At Work: A Personal Operating System for Career Success by Richard M Contino & Penelope J Holt
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Sushan
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Can we trust nobody?

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This topic is about the January 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, Emotional Intelligence At Work: A Personal Operating System for Career Success by Richard M Contino & Penelope J Holt

Most of us persist in self-destructive habits that confound us, repeatedly stubbing our toe and making the same avoidable mistakes over and over again. We may take colleagues and friends at face value, believing we know them and can predict their actions, only to be blindsided and betrayed by behavior that we could not see coming.
(Location 149 of Kindle version)

Taking anyone or anything at face value will bring as harm more than benefits. But when it comes to friends and colleagues, we have a bond with them that will make us believe in them or have faith on them. But this author tells us not to take anyone at face value, or in other words, to be cautious even with our friends.

Should we live in fear of backstabbing from our close ones? Can we trust nobody?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
Neil Wallace
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Re: Can we trust nobody?

Post by Neil Wallace »

Trust ultimatey is a probability game.

To exist as a social animal we have to form probabilistic assessments of harm/benefit from those near and afar. People come unstuck when they simply blindly apply 100% benefit likelihoods to all according to naive assumptions about human nature. They may often then swing to a 0% trust ideology of misanthrope.

People will often tend to revise these ratios up or down as and when experience gives more concrete data - or go off and live in the forest and calculate their chances there.
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Re: Can we trust nobody?

Post by LuckyR »

Neil Wallace wrote: January 6th, 2022, 1:30 pm Trust ultimatey is a probability game.

To exist as a social animal we have to form probabilistic assessments of harm/benefit from those near and afar. People come unstuck when they simply blindly apply 100% benefit likelihoods to all according to naive assumptions about human nature. They may often then swing to a 0% trust ideology of misanthrope.

People will often tend to revise these ratios up or down as and when experience gives more concrete data - or go off and live in the forest and calculate their chances there.
Exactly. But where one chooses to treat the (best guess) probabilities reflects on our fears. If you fear being misled, you act more cautiously than you predict you need to be. If you fear being viewed as mistrusting, you act more trusting.
"As usual... it depends."
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Re: Can we trust nobody?

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Hopefully we have to trust those people that are in some kind of vincinity of those who are dear to us. A world with no trust , is a lost world where social behaviour is then reduced to zero effectiveness. We are not in the world of afortimes like in the film conan the barbarian whose father said in the film:

For no one - no one in this world can you trust. Not men, not women, not beasts. This (pointing to a sword) you can trust.

If not nietzsches argumentation in his book will to power will become more real than we could imagine and nihilism would be the overwhelmingly strong principle.
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Re: Can we trust nobody?

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My takeaway from the first 25 pages. Trusting others is necessary in order to work and succeed together, but we must take care to trust our instincts (listen to what "out gut" is telling us about other people) and/or confront others when necessary (avoiding conflict also causes problems)

I'm thinking about the story of Danny and Johnathon (page 7 in the book) - it looked like Danny was sabotaging the company, but Johnathon was able to confront him - they were able to talk about the problem and then create a new business plan that was beneficial for both parties.
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Re: Can we trust nobody?

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anonymous66 wrote: January 7th, 2022, 9:49 pm My takeaway from the first 25 pages. Trusting others is necessary in order to work and succeed together, but we must take care to trust our instincts (listen to what "out gut" is telling us about other people) and/or confront others when necessary (avoiding conflict also causes problems)

I'm thinking about the story of Danny and Johnathon (page 7 in the book) - it looked like Danny was sabotaging the company, but Johnathon was able to confront him - they were able to talk about the problem and then create a new business plan that was beneficial for both parties.
The author also has this to say (p.44)
"Trusting someone before they have earned it is unwise, but assuming that everyone we meet is untrustworthy is needlessly cynical. So, what's the appropriate strategy? Good BEQ suggests we simply resist forming an opinion about a person's character or personality, until we see how they act over time, and in different circumstances. This won't be easy at first It requires living with the anxiety of suspending judgment instead of relaxing into a false sense of rapport and trust."
Last edited by anonymous66 on January 10th, 2022, 7:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Can we trust nobody?

Post by LuckyR »

My rule is that people's behavior is predictable if you understand their motivation. Thus for folks I know well, it is predictable under which circumstances they can be trusted. For strangers or those I don't know well, my rule is: trust but verify if the issue does not involve money, distrust if it does.
"As usual... it depends."
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Re: Can we trust nobody?

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Neil Wallace wrote: January 6th, 2022, 1:30 pm Trust ultimatey is a probability game.

To exist as a social animal we have to form probabilistic assessments of harm/benefit from those near and afar. People come unstuck when they simply blindly apply 100% benefit likelihoods to all according to naive assumptions about human nature. They may often then swing to a 0% trust ideology of misanthrope.

People will often tend to revise these ratios up or down as and when experience gives more concrete data - or go off and live in the forest and calculate their chances there.
Experience make us what we are. As you said, some people believe in others first, with no conditions or precautions. But when someone harm that trust, such people may turn into fellows that will trust nobody, and it too can be an issue when building up social interactions and connections. But for self-protection I think the latter behaviour will be better, though it can cost one's happiness.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: Can we trust nobody?

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LuckyR wrote: January 7th, 2022, 2:44 am
Neil Wallace wrote: January 6th, 2022, 1:30 pm Trust ultimatey is a probability game.

To exist as a social animal we have to form probabilistic assessments of harm/benefit from those near and afar. People come unstuck when they simply blindly apply 100% benefit likelihoods to all according to naive assumptions about human nature. They may often then swing to a 0% trust ideology of misanthrope.

People will often tend to revise these ratios up or down as and when experience gives more concrete data - or go off and live in the forest and calculate their chances there.
Exactly. But where one chooses to treat the (best guess) probabilities reflects on our fears. If you fear being misled, you act more cautiously than you predict you need to be. If you fear being viewed as mistrusting, you act more trusting.
Any decision that a human makes will reflect not only his/her fears, but also the knowledge, experience, beliefs, current mood etc. And I think that is a way that human are different from beasts. If you feed a dog, it will swing its tail and completely trust you. It will never think that you will hit it the next moment. But similarly if you give food to a stranger for free, for no reason, he will definitely have suspicious thoughts about your motives.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: Can we trust nobody?

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detail wrote: January 7th, 2022, 1:31 pm Hopefully we have to trust those people that are in some kind of vincinity of those who are dear to us. A world with no trust , is a lost world where social behaviour is then reduced to zero effectiveness. We are not in the world of afortimes like in the film conan the barbarian whose father said in the film:

For no one - no one in this world can you trust. Not men, not women, not beasts. This (pointing to a sword) you can trust.

If not nietzsches argumentation in his book will to power will become more real than we could imagine and nihilism would be the overwhelmingly strong principle.
I think what Conan's father said has a great value. You can completely trust only what is fully under control of you. Even a king cannot trust all men in his kingdom, but he too can trust his sword (given that it will not break), because it will do exactly what the king wants till his grip is on its hilt. But over no human the king can have such a control, so he cannot have such a trust on any human either.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: Can we trust nobody?

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anonymous66 wrote: January 7th, 2022, 9:49 pm My takeaway from the first 25 pages. Trusting others is necessary in order to work and succeed together, but we must take care to trust our instincts (listen to what "out gut" is telling us about other people) and/or confront others when necessary (avoiding conflict also causes problems)

I'm thinking about the story of Danny and Johnathon (page 7 in the book) - it looked like Danny was sabotaging the company, but Johnathon was able to confront him - they were able to talk about the problem and then create a new business plan that was beneficial for both parties.
The story you mentioned is about a junior confronting a senior. Luckily the senior fellow chose to listen to what his junior had to say, and he accepted the need to change. Seemingly the junior fellow was lucky. But how many seniors in today's business world will tolerate a junior's confrontation? And a change based on such incident will be even more rare. OTOH, how many employees will find the courage to confront their employer?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: Can we trust nobody?

Post by Sushan »

anonymous66 wrote: January 9th, 2022, 3:07 pm
anonymous66 wrote: January 7th, 2022, 9:49 pm My takeaway from the first 25 pages. Trusting others is necessary in order to work and succeed together, but we must take care to trust our instincts (listen to what "out gut" is telling us about other people) and/or confront others when necessary (avoiding conflict also causes problems)

I'm thinking about the story of Danny and Johnathon (page 7 in the book) - it looked like Danny was sabotaging the company, but Johnathon was able to confront him - they were able to talk about the problem and then create a new business plan that was beneficial for both parties.
The author also has this to say (p.44)
"Trusting someone before they have earned it is unwise, but assuming that everyone we meet is untrustworthy is needlessly cynical. So, what's the appropriate strategy? Good BEQ suggests we simply resist forming an opinion about a person's character or personality, until we see how they act over time, and in different circumstances. This won't be easy at first It requires living with the anxiety of suspending judgment instead of relaxing into a false sense of rapport and trust."
Seemingly the author has contradicted himself. First he tells assuming all that we meet as untrustworthy is cynical. But then he tells that good BEQ suggests resisiting forming an opinion about people until we study them for some time. So in other words the latter part suggests not to trust people until we get to know them well. So we should not trust anyone that we do not know. And I see a practical issue in the latter statement. For how long should we study a person in order to form an opinion on him or build some trust on him?
Last edited by Sushan on January 19th, 2022, 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Misspelled word (contraindicated instead of contradicted)
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

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Re: Can we trust nobody?

Post by gad-fly »

Sushan wrote: January 19th, 2022, 1:09 pm
anonymous66 wrote: January 9th, 2022, 3:07 pm
anonymous66 wrote: January 7th, 2022, 9:49 pm My takeaway from the first 25 pages. Trusting others is necessary in order to work and succeed together, but we must take care to trust our instincts (listen to what "out gut" is telling us about other people) and/or confront others when necessary (avoiding conflict also causes problems)

I'm thinking about the story of Danny and Johnathon (page 7 in the book) - it looked like Danny was sabotaging the company, but Johnathon was able to confront him - they were able to talk about the problem and then create a new business plan that was beneficial for both parties.
The author also has this to say (p.44)
"Trusting someone before they have earned it is unwise, but assuming that everyone we meet is untrustworthy is needlessly cynical. So, what's the appropriate strategy? Good BEQ suggests we simply resist forming an opinion about a person's character or personality, until we see how they act over time, and in different circumstances. This won't be easy at first It requires living with the anxiety of suspending judgment instead of relaxing into a false sense of rapport and trust."
Seemingly the author has contradicted himself. First he tells assuming all that we meet as untrustworthy is cynical. But then he tells that good BEQ suggests resisiting forming an opinion about people until we study them for some time. So in other words the latter part suggests not to trust people until we get to know them well. So we should not trust anyone that we do not know. And I see a practical issue in the latter statement. For how long should we study a person in order to form an opinion on him or build some trust on him?
No. He is not contradicting himself. He is talking common sense, instead of inviting you to take a leap of faith. Be cautious, and be wary, says he. Keep an open mind. Take time to study. Don't assume the worst, as doing so is cynical. How long should we study? This is what the book is about. Assume worse, assume waryjump inaskin
QuestionAll+Nothing
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Re: Can we trust nobody?

Post by QuestionAll+Nothing »

Trust is Given, its never taken you must be willing to trust and submit even if its by force. If someone tells you to drink some water that unknowingly is poisoned, yet says if you don’t I will harm you through death. Then you are still giving him your trust but through other means (Fear). The concept of nobody from etymology is someone of non-importance but I don’t know if the question is about others or anyone meaning yourself. Yet you will always trust somebody even if it’s yourself. Trust is an exchange for loyalty on non loyalty.
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Re: Can we trust nobody?

Post by Neil Wallace »

Sushan wrote: January 19th, 2022, 12:45 pm= It will never think that you will hit it the next moment. But similarly if you give food to a stranger for free, for no reason, he will definitely have suspicious thoughts about your motives.
A naive child is essentially like a dog - zero distrust particularly after a benefit. When concepts come in they can massively distort true probability. They are trying to poison me with the free sandwich because I read about such a case on a news website in 1974. Reason is to try and use facts to get more accurate predictive models of reality.
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