Reliability vs. Trust – How Are They Different and What is More Important?

I find it quite interesting that when you look up the words reliability and/or trust, that they can be considered synonyms for each other although their actual meanings are rather different. I suppose reliability can be a form of trust and vice versa but I will explain to you how they vary and my perspective on both.

Often times when you ask a person, what is most important within a relationship or friendship, the first thing that comes to most people’s minds is trust. I find that answer to be a valuable one but I mean, isn’t that a given? By that I mean, does anyone want to be with someone who they do not trust? I didn’t think so. At the same time, I recognize that people immediately give this response because there is no denying that it is an important quality and it is not always easy to find someone you can trust. It is also a very popular and generic answer, so why not go with it? A reason why I personally do not respond with trust as one of the most important factors is because I can control how much trust I have in an individual. We all have the capacity to control the levels in which we trust people–it is our personal choice at the end of the day. I can choose to trust someone to keep a secret or I can choose to not tell the person at all. I can choose to trust someone to be loyal to me (aka not cheat) or I can choose to not trust that person to be loyal in which I would not choose to be dating that person as it is against my moral code and values. My point is that trust is something we give to someone if we feel the person has earned it or we feel the person to be a trustworthy one.

When I look at the word reliability and determine whether a person is deemed as a reliable person, I associate this more with a person’s consistency and stability. Does the person show up to an event when they say they will or even show up at all? Does the person follow through with the things that they say and do? I find that this is a quality that we have very little control over in a person as someone is either reliable or they are not. Sure, someone can be reliable some of the time and sometimes not but then I would say that person really cannot be labeled as reliable unless it is a good majority of the time. It is for this reason when I am asked about important qualities I look for in a friend or someone I am dating, reliability is my number one answer. It is such an underrated quality yet so significant. I want someone who is reliable and I know I can count on (if not all the time, at least 9 times out of 10). Personally, I do not have much tolerance for people who are flakey, unpredictable, and who simply are not there as needed.

Everyone has their own set of values and standards when it comes to the type of people we want to attract into our lives. We should always be seeking people we can trust as that is a basic emotional necessity that goes without saying but we should also be seeking people who are known for their reliability.

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