5 Ways to Make People Not Trust You

5 Ways to Make People Not Trust You

Jesus “grew in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52). He lived His life in a way where people increasingly trusted His motives, His decisions, His opinions, and His ability to bring blessing in relationships. Jesus was strategic in this, and great influencers today will be so as well.

In Acts 27 the Apostle Paul was a prisoner on a ship and did not have favor at the beginning of his voyage. His wise counsel was not heard, and it resulted in a disaster. Paul, however, stayed on the ship both physically and in his attitude, so he eventually became the greatest influencer in the situation. He increased in favor after experiencing being devalued and underappreciated.

We can grow in favor,  but we can also grow in disfavor in the eyes of others. There are choices and attitudes which will decrease the likelihood people will want to hear what we say. I have listed five ways below which will cause people to not trust you. I can assure you Jesus and Paul stayed away from these favor-busters.

  1. Use People to Reach Your Goals Instead of Serving the Dreams of Others – Selfish and egocentric people use people to meet their own desires. This can be done in family, in a church setting, or elsewhere. When people feel used and believe we don’t have their best interests at heart, then they have difficulty trusting us. God has called us not be self-centered but to be servant-based influencers who make people better around us. “But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant” (Matthew 23:11).
  2. Don’t Be Authentic But Focus on Your Image – When we are inauthentic and try to project a constant aura of perfection, then people are not drawn toward us. “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5). It is not only God who resists the proud, but people do too.
  3. Be Reckless, Volatile, and Unkind in Relationships – We may justify not being tenderhearted in our connections with people because of our stress, busyness, or adverse circumstances, but it will neutralize the trust others have for us. This will obviously be even greater if we allow ourselves to have angry outbursts. “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath” (Ephesians 6:4).
  4. Never Admit Your Mistakes – “I was wrong. I am sorry. Please forgive me. I have a plan to help me not repeat this behavior.” The heart behind these words will draw people to us. When we are reluctant to take ownership of our harmful behavior, we will not be able to create long-term healthy relationships around us. “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).
  5. Don’t Follow Through on What You Say You Will Do – “But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’, and your ‘No’, ‘No’” (Matthew 5:37). Great influencers develop the habit of only saying what they are committed to following through on. When we declare our intentions only from our emotions instead of from forethought, we will invariably have difficulty doing what we say are going to do. This, in turn, will cause people to “tune us out” when we pronounce our commitments in the future.  

Jesus grew in favor, and so can we. As we avoid this blog’s behaviors and attitudes which hinder favor, we will be on the road toward people trusting us like never before. For more on this topic, listen to my podcast here.

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Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.