Trustworthiness: Blue (adapted from the Josephson Institute)
The other side of trust is being trusted. We are trusted only when others think us worthy of their trust. There are practical advantages and emotional rewards to being trusted that provide incentives to being trustworthy. People who trust us give us greater leeway because they don't need rules and contracts to assure that we will meet our obligations. They believe in us and therefore they believe us, even if what we say is inconsistent with the statements of others and even if what we tell them seems implausible. Being trusted is also emotionally satisfying. It increases our self-esteem and validates our good character. In professional affairs trust is a valuable asset, but in intimate personal relationships it is indispensable. The downside of being trusted is that we must constantly live up to the expectations of others and refrain from competitive self-serving behavior that we could get by with in arm's-length relationships.
Trustworthiness involves four major qualities: integrity, honesty, promise-keeping, and loyalty. Each of these qualities yields principles that tell us how a trustworthy person behaves.
Integrity - Stand up for your beliefs • Follow your conscience • Be honorable and upright • Live by your principles no matter what others say • Have the courage to do what is right and to try new things even when it is hard or costly • Build and guard your reputation
Honesty - Tell the truth and nothing but the truth • Be sincere • Be forthright and candid
Reliability - Keep your promises • Honor your word and commitments • Be dependable • Do what you are supposed to do • Return what you borrow • Pay your debts • Be on time
Loyalty - Stand by and protect your family, friends, school and country • Be a good friend • Look out for those who care about you • Keep secrets of those who trust you