Commitment Part 2: Social Trust (#3)
Updated: Aug 23
In this episode, Daniel and Andrew talk about what it means to be committed to people besides yourself, how vulnerability is important, how to use tools like gratitude, and a number of stories about their personal experiences.
Brene Brown and Vulnerability: https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_the_power_of_vulnerability?language=en
Study on Trustworthiness: https://www.statisticssolutions.com/what-is-trustworthiness-in-qualitative-research/
What the heck is Hygge? https://www.developgoodhabits.com/hygge-living/
Pearson's Law: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTsr33Uc84E
Daniel: [00:00:04] Welcome to the dead by tomorrow podcast. My name is Daniel winter and my cohost is Andrew Monroe. And each episode, we're going to explore topics that are too important to wait until your last day on earth. As we introduce each topic, we encourage you to remember that some tomorrow will be your last.
So each new day could be your final chance to really learn.
Andrew: [00:00:25] Hey guys, this week, we're going to be talking about commitment, but this time on a social level, thanks for listening. And we're looking forward to connecting with you. Yeah.
Daniel: [00:00:38] Andrew, should you care what people think about you?
Andrew: [00:00:40] That's a tough question and it's a yes and no answer. So no, you shouldn't care necessarily what people think about you because you should be true to yourself. If you believe a certain way, act a certain way, you need to be who you are.
Daniel: [00:00:56] Only God can judge me. Yeah, exactly.
Andrew: [00:01:00] Now that said. The yes, part of that is also there. you need to be able to trust people around you. Your reputation is really important whenever it comes to your friends and your family and your loved ones and even society as a whole, your social trust value is incredibly important.
And what people think about you. We'll open certain doors of opportunity that would otherwise not be there for you if you have a bad reputation.
Daniel: [00:01:28] Yeah, I agree. I think that concept of social trust is really important. it's something that we are all contributing
Andrew: [00:01:35] to
Daniel: [00:01:36] through our actions, through demonstrating trustworthiness and it's, especially within the United States, it's actually something that's on the decline as a whole.
So if you think about. our society, there's this idea of it's this lawyer culture, you feel like everybody is a little bit out to get you. If you mess anything up, somebody is going to probably Sue you got to make sure you have all your insurance in order and all that.
And that speaks to this lack of social trust. This lack of an idea that your fellow neighbor has your back and you can trust. Yeah, any person to do the right thing. And so you tighten up and allow and people that are close. Okay. So if you had to guess, which countries nations do you think, rate highly on the social trust scale?
According to the world value survey?
Andrew: [00:02:30] So I studied abroad in Japan, so I almost always assumed they're doing better after having spent time there, everything they seem to do is better off than us. If not them. maybe
Daniel: [00:02:42] Costa Rica,
Andrew: [00:02:43] they seem really happy.
Daniel: [00:02:44] Okay. So you're saying that anybody lives, who lives on an Island trust each other more?
Andrew: [00:02:49] I wouldn't go that far, but at least some of them Caribbean, Spanish, speaking on senior, pretty happy, except for the Dominican Republic. I don't think they're very happy.
[00:03:00] Daniel: [00:02:59] okay. So the actual answer, which probably shouldn't surprise anybody. Is that it's the Norwegian nations.
Andrew: [00:03:07] Yeah, the course.
Daniel: [00:03:08] Yeah.
they have that secret to happiness is that who got living and a part of that is that they, you just have a trust for each other, then each other's back. And there's not this. Stress or this anxiety about interacting with other people. And so if you compare them, you know that about 60% of Norwegians say that others can be trusted.
And then on the other end of the scale, maybe not quite the other end, but coming in about half as much would be us at about 30% perspectively. And that's, from around 2007, there haven't been studies done since then. Which if you think back to Pearson's law probably means that it's not growing.
If we're not measuring it,
Andrew: [00:03:58] if it's not measured. It's not recorded. It's not growing. So we're probably on the decline. And we see that everywhere. Honestly, I know in the past few years, even, it seems like people are less trusting. there was their study while we're talking about, articles like that I looked up for this episode, because this is a social commitment episode.
And it talked about implicit trust and the whole lawyering up kind of mentality where, Oh, I'm going to say skate by, on this technicality where I made a promise to you. But if the person weren't exactly right, I don't have to keep that promise. That kind of mentality is really hurting us a lot. Yeah.
People don't understand like the implicit commitment to someone. If I'm your friend. I don't have to tell you, I'm going to help you move. You just know that if I'm free and you ask for help, I'm going to help you. That's where real social trust comes in. If I know that you're going to be talking other people and I didn't tell you, Hey, promise not to talk about this thing or promise to speak well of me and talk about my book.
I wrote in that kind of thing. If I have to ask you for that kind of commitment, we've already lost. It's the implicit commitment where you have relationships with people that matters.
Daniel, what are some of the benefits for being trusted? Do you think.
Daniel: [00:05:28] Yeah, there are definitely some huge benefits to being trusted, feeling like a commitment will be honored. And the biggest one probably in my life would be in marriage. So the marriage relationship, obviously, one person is committed to the other.
Hopefully they're committed to each other. And was in that commitment there.
Andrew: [00:05:50] Comes
Daniel: [00:05:51] a safety for vulnerability. And so vulnerability, I, if you've never heard Bernay Brown talking about vulnerability, [00:06:00] absolutely. Look up her, a Ted talk, being vulnerable with someone being able to be vulnerable with someone is a building block for so many other, what she calls light emotions.
love happiness, creativity, innovation. All of that starts with vulnerability. And I believe that commitment creates a place for vulnerability to flourish. If you feel like the person that you are opening up your heart to is going to stick with you, regardless of whatever it is that you're sharing, whatever it is that you can unpack.
You feel that safety to go ahead and lean into that vulnerable space. And so that's what marriage has looked like for me, just feeling like no matter what skeletons I unveil in a closet, no matter, what demons come up from the past, this person is going to be there and is going to work through that with me.
And I've got somebody that I can open up to there. That's something we'll also talk about a little bit more in our part three, going into commitment in the workplace and, having a leader that is committed to you, that will open up that space.
Andrew: [00:07:14] That's awesome. I love Renee Brown. I had a friend of mine who recommended that vulnerability, Ted talk, and it was pretty life changing.
I have watched it probably six or seven times now. I don't even know how many people like to manage to watch it. I played it at the office and made the entire company watch it back when I was at Plains. And I probably watch it once every few months. It is really good stuff and really interesting.
So I'm glad to hear you're also on board with it.
Daniel: [00:07:44] Yeah. And even this podcast is another example of that, right? this takes some level of creativity. And if I didn't feel like there was this mutual commitment that we had to each other, I wouldn't feel safe saying, Hey, I want to try this out or let's do this.
I know be worried that you might say, Oh, that's ridiculous. That's stupid. Why would you, do you even think that and with bail and the whole thing, but, and is there is that level of commitment, that level of. A mutual understanding that makes it all possible.
Andrew: [00:08:20] Absolutely. It's it? Shame is what she talks about.
And. That's what it comes from is we're afraid of that rejection. If we don't trust somebody, that's because we think they're going to shame us for something that we put forward, Hey, let's do a podcast. let's get real with each other. Let's open up. It's scary to open up. And so I'll be like, Oh, you're a gross person inside.
I don't want to be there. It hurts. And that's what we're all really scared of. And most of our day to day relationships with other people is we don't want that. People to not accept us for who we are, which goes back to your original question. Yeah. you shouldn't necessarily care what people think you need to love yourself and care about yourself.
But you [00:09:00] also need to open up to people and let other people love you for who you are. You trust people to do that. And it's really hard if you don't build that trust with them.
Daniel: [00:09:07] Yeah. Yeah. You're going to have to be vulnerable with people that aren't committed to you. That's part of the process and defeating that shame monster.
But our whole point in tying vulnerability and commitment is that commitment can create that fertile soil to make vulnerability. A lot easier and a lot safer.
Andrew: [00:09:28] Absolutely. When we praise, please practice safe vulnerability out there, guys.
Daniel: [00:09:40] what are some tools that you use to help you stick with your commitments to others? So it's
Andrew: [00:09:45] funny you asked that because I actually was just talking to a friend of mine the other day, who she's going through some stuff. And whenever I'm trying to make a commitment, whether it be, to a friend or even on a personal side with fasting or anything like that, one of the best tools for me is actually a gratitude practice.
All look at the hardship that is following through and I'll turn it on its head a little bit and say, Hey, this is something that I chose to do. I am making this promise and this choice, and I need to be thankful for the fact that I can do that. I'm not being forced. Anything here. I am choosing to limit my own freedom.
Through discipline and trying to make something happen from it. And that's really cool that we can have that opportunity. So keeping that in mind and being thankful for that opportunity to suffer a little bit, to limit myself, for a greater good, almost it's really powerful getting me through some of the hard parts.
Daniel: [00:10:44] Yeah, I think it builds on this idea of discipline. you start with discipline to self and then that, so it goes into, staying disciplined to others. and like you said, just being grateful that you have the opportunity to do that you have the choice to do that, and then trusting yourself that whenever you made that commitment, you had the foresight to see this is going to be a good thing.
This is something I should honor. And trusting yourself, being grateful for it. I think all of that ties in together.
Andrew: [00:11:15] Exactly. Now I could go on gratitude, talk for a really long time. So we'll have to save that for another episode down the road, but for now, what about you? Do you have any maybe principles that you follow through or you're committed to, you've promised yourself that you will make in relation to other people, you have marriage obviously, but what about something that applies to somebody that's not married or.
Maybe a married person, but to your friends.
Daniel: [00:11:41] I think the thing that I try to remind myself of is that commitment it's really an all or nothing sort of thing. So if I only follow through when specific conditions are met or if I only do it 80% of the time, [00:12:00] that makes it really tough to be trusted because anytime I say yes, I'll do that.
You'll naturally be asking yourself, okay, is this the 20% of the time that Daniel is going to flake out or have some sort of excuse come up or something along that line? And I just know how important it is to me, for others to follow through on things. And so I just apply that, that golden rule, Of, treating others the way that I would want to be treated and applying that empathy of well, how would I feel if somebody. Said they were going to show up and they didn't, is it just bringing in that empathy and that love for others and reminding myself that, okay. It might not seem like a big deal to me, but remembering that's be a pretty big deal to somebody else.
And if I can't be trusted with, the small little thing of saying, Oh yeah, I'll. I'll come pick you up on time. if somebody's going to really mess around, trusting me with a major part of their life.
Andrew: [00:12:58] no. That's how it goes. It's the small parts lead up to big sums. and that's something we talked about and the, as yet unfinished book that we're writing another story from there, actually on the social trust level that we also write about is when this happened to me in real life at the bar.
I was with my cousin and a couple of girls that were hanging out with us and they invited me to come do something on Friday. And I was like, Hey, I already have another commitment. So I just told them, no, I can't join you guys. I can't do it. And they were like, Oh, you're such a flake, Andrew, you suck. And my cousin was there and this was really cool because I didn't think he had noticed this aspect of my life, where I was also doing that commitment, focused, social trust building.
And so I'm being called out for almost the opposite of it. When it was a really important thing to me. And he actually came to my defense and he was like, Hey, Hendra is one of the most committed guys to this. if he says he's going to do something, or if he says he's going to be there, anger is going to get it done.
He's going to show up for you. So don't give him crap because he's telling you know, that is who he is as a person. This is exactly the opposite of what you're trying to. Rag on him for it. And it was really cool to see somebody else that wasn't just me and my ego saying, Hey, this is something I'm doing.
It's making an impact on other people and how they,
Daniel: [00:14:17] yeah, I think an important point from that is being willing to say no to something upfront. If you can't follow through on it. I think that's another huge aspect of setting yourself up for success is don't agree to something. If you're not going to follow through on it.
Even if somebody is going to be upset about it, just be honest, be upfront. And then you're going to have a much easier time, not over committing, right? Like we talked so much about commitment. What about over commitment? If you can follow that practice. Yeah. It's going to ruffle some feathers, but you're going to actually be able to follow through on the things that you say you're going to follow through on.
Andrew: [00:14:53] Yeah, absolutely. A lot of this has to do with making a conscious effort. You decide [00:15:00] if you are going to. Agree to something. If you are going to go hang out with your friends and you tell them you're gonna hang out with them, you've agreed to do this. And so you have to do it now. And that's part of the lifestyle that we're trying to talk about here.
The mindset is being more focused on what you're agreeing to and what you're not agreeing to saying no, when it's either something you really don't want to do, or it interferes with who you are as a person or what you want to do and not doing it. Or if you do say yes, Even if that day comes along and you don't want to do it, you still have to go it's that trustworthiness.
And if you can be authentic with what you say you're going to do, then that translates to this higher social trust, which we're both agreeing here is an important thing. Your reputation is really important. And even if you say no a lot, when those yeses come along and you stick to that. Yes, that's awesome.
Daniel: [00:16:00] Can you ever trust somebody again, once they broke, broken a commitment
Andrew: [00:16:03] to you? For me, that's really difficult. I struggle with trust anyways, for a lot of people, but once somebody has broken a commitment or a promise to me, or even themselves, if I see somebody saying, Hey, I'm going to go to the gym. And then they don't.
I'm like, you're untrustworthy. You can't follow through on something that matters to you. How can, I think you're going to fall through with me. And I'm probably little too jaded on this because I might be a little too cognizant of the tally there. But for me, it's really hard that said I've made efforts to try and, learn to trust people that are making that commitment to me down the road.
But I don't know if you can ever get back to that untarnished trust you had with somebody before, a cataclysmic. Break or breach of your trust in them?
Daniel: [00:16:55] It's pretty cynical.
Andrew: [00:16:57] Yeah. I would not say it's a strength of mine, but in the attempt to be vulnerable and honest and authentic, it's a part of my personality.
I just have a problem with that and I'm working on it, but we'll see where we go with it. There's actually a story kind of related to that. When I was 10, I wanted a tape recorder for my birthday. And the reason why my single desire for my birthday was a quarter was my parents kept, Oh, see many things they would say, Hey, we're going to take you to the movies.
We're going to do X, Y, Z, whatever it was we're going to do. And then they wouldn't do it and that'd be like, Hey, you said we would do this thing. And they'd be like, Nope, I never said that. And it crushed my trust and my parents and my solution was requiring my parents. And some 10 year olds shouldn't be worrying about his parents, that he should be able to trust his parents.
And. Not want to spend, so to say his birthday wish on being able to [00:18:00] catch his parents in their lives. And I don't know how much that messed me up as a kid, but I can't imagine it to be a lot of good. that's an example of what maybe why I have trouble now with people breaking promises to me.
Daniel: [00:18:14] So for me, as far as trusting people that have broken a commitment, the piece that. Helps me get past that sometimes it's this idea of giving somebody the benefit of the doubt, wherever I can. So maybe somebody didn't follow through on a commitment didn't follow through on something they said they were going to do.
Maybe they did have a really good reason or there's something happening under the surface that we're just not on the level to get into. And so that's one thing that can help with that. Now, again, if it's happening repeatedly, if there is a trend. That's a different story, but, if you're ever struggling with somebody who didn't follow through on something, take that benefit of the doubt approach, at least for the first time, or to give them the opportunity to earn that trust back.
I think we owe it to others because we would want them to do the same for
Andrew: [00:19:06] us. Absolutely. Now you're making me feel bad, but yeah, that's definitely a really good tool that whole assuming the best of somebody's intentions. And assuming they aren't being malicious. That's definitely been something that's really helped me in the past.
Thanks to you honestly, that was your idea that I've co-opted and passed around other people and it's been really helpful for me. So I probably should have applied that to my trust issues as well.
Daniel, what does any of this have to do with being dead by tomorrow?
Daniel: [00:19:42] Yeah, that's a great question. So if we think about commitment to theirs, what that breaks down to is really the legacy that you're going to leave. So if you were to die tomorrow, definitely a popper popular question is what would you do tomorrow is your last day on earth.
But another really important question is what would you want people to think of you and being able to honor commitments, being able to follow through on that? that should be top of mind of things that you would want to leave as far as the legacy, somebody that followed through on what their word was.
Andrew: [00:20:17] Thank you for that. That's all the time I've got today, guys. So thank you for stopping by. This was dead by tomorrow with Daniel and Andrew, as your hosts, we really appreciate you listening and look forward to connecting with you next time. Our challenge for you today is to try and find. Sometime this week or this weekend to practice one of these tools that we offered and work on committing to your friends, family, and loved ones tune in next time.