Trust in friendships is a fickle thing. For some people, it’s easy to trust others. For people like myself, there’s a brick wall that needs to be torn down before trust can be established. In my case, that can take years. I may not develop a lot of friendships, but those I do have are very dear. I know that I can tell these people things without finding out later they’ve blabbed it to others. They also know that I’m fiercely loyal when it comes to such things, so they’ve nothing to worry about.

But the hardest part is always that first step, especially in an online environment where things you can type can be sent to just about anyone. I freely admit that I don’t put all of myself out there. People get to see a lighter, more frivolous person. My friends, especially my close friends laugh, “No wonder everyone thinks you’re nice.” I have to explain to them why that wall is a little thicker, a little higher for people online.

A few days ago, my husband asked me if I had seen something someone posted. I told him, “Oh, I hid all of her stuff and removed her from following me.” He asked why, since she seemed so harmless to him. I then told him about all the times things were said to her in private messages, only to have her turn around and tell the other person or someone else you just happen to know. Do you know how awkward it is to have a friend from one social site tell you a story their friend told them and it’s the exact same thing from a different social site that was told to be kept underwraps? This is exactly why I’m a bit weary of DMs, IMs and Skype. The topic often turns to gossip, which I want no part of, even in face-to-face settings. This is why most of my IMs or DMs are with guys. They don’t gossip as often as the women who IM or DM me.

We all have friends that we can trust to a certain degree. The one friend you can trust to always make everything about herself. The one friend you can trust to have a shoulder to cry on. The one friend you can trust to always find some way to get into trouble. The one friend you can trust to know just what to say, but more importantly when to say it.

And even though that first step into a deeper friendship can be scary. Keeping that trust in someone can be hard. I know. That’s why I let friendships go. I’ve stopped trusting them and the wall was rebuilt. But it’s really great when you get there.

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  • vicster
    The four words you never want to hear from me, if you're my friend, are "I don't trust you." Once that happens, it's pretty much all over with.
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