Statements such as ‘I don’t trust him too much’, in reality, mean I don’t trust him at all. The ‘too much’ is a softener that we impose upon ourselves to make it a little bit questionable, just in case there is still some hope of full trust.
Trust is a funny non-linear thing, excuse my language. It takes time to build, sometimes at a considerable effort, reaches maturity, stabilizes, but can suddenly go out the window very quickly following even a small breach. Non-linear. Most non-linear effects are associated with the expression ‘it’s not fair!’. That is, not fair that you have delivered A, B and C in a superb way, but you failed to deliver D and your trust drops at the speed of light. Life is not fair (life is not linear).
Trust is built in different ways but, at the core, it’s always a game of vulnerability. Can I make myself vulnerable to Peter and know that Peter will not abuse of this? Can I be wrong and not be told off or penalised? Can I make mistakes and not be sacked? Can I disclose what I don’t know, how doubtful I may be, my questions marks, my homework not done, my declaration of un-preparedness, and still be confident that Peter, or John or Mary will not jump on me, disclose my weakness to others or put me in their black books or simply loose faith in me?
When thinking about trust, I am very binary. Yes or No. I know that anything in between is more an expression of hope (in either direction) than a reality.