Visual metaphors: Trust


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We show trust by shaking hands, and by looking people in the eyes. Open body language: “Trust me.” Closed: “I don’t trust you.” Blindfold exercises are popular at team-building sessions. Blind trust is dangerous, though. You could get stabbed in the back.

We don’t trust rickety things. We trust solid ones. We used to trust institutions. Now, maybe not so much. Some are more trustworthy than others. No one trusts a used-car salesman… But for some reason, we trust celebrity endorsements, suits, anything printed, charts, and precise numbers (even wrong ones).

We don’t trust poisonous things, or cats around cheeseburgers. We trust puppy-dog eyes and babies.

Contracts are usually a good idea, because you should trust but verify.

Trust is like launching yourself into the air, hoping that your partner will catch you… but you’d better have a safety net too. A good one.

Trust is like a crystal vase that’s hard to fix when it’s broken, like a bone that heals but will never be the same.

This is part of my Visual Metaphors series. Like it? Suggest other terms you’d like to see!

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