Two reasons I automatically trust you

I would trust this cat.
Now this is a trustworthy cat.

If you look around, the world seems like a big, scary place full of stalkers, crazies, and people out to take advantage of you. Plus a few Nigerian princes who really really want to give you a fortune.

With all the people you meet online and in real life, you need a quick way to determine who is trustworthy and who is lying about wanting to give you an inheritance from a great aunt you never knew existed.

I have a simple system for deciding who to trust that has very rarely let me down.

1. I trust you if you love cats

Anyone who loves cats is automatically my friend. Logic tells me there are probably some nasty, untrustworthy people who are crazy about cats, but I can’t bring myself to believe it.

If your best friend is the furry sort, you’ve been chosen by a disdainful little deity with more sense than most people.

If you’ll happily sleep falling out of bed so you don’t disturb Mr Whiskerson, you understand the importance of putting someone else’s needs before your own and you must be a decent person.

If you type with one hand half the time because Patch is sleeping across your other arm, you understand you’re not in charge of your day and I know you’re an easy-going type.

If you love cats, I’m happy to assume you’re my kind of person.

2. I trust you if you love my favourite books

Dragon heads
You can trust these guys. They’re buried to the neck–they’re not going anywhere.

Reading a book I love takes me to the world of the book. I live there for the duration of the book, and when I return to the ordinary world I feel bereft.

Meeting a person who loves the same world is like travelling to the other side of the planet and meeting a person from my high school. No matter how little you used to have in common, you’re instantly friends.

I know it sounds crazy, but I think there’s something to it. How often do you love a book that portrays world views you vehemently disagree with?

If you’re anything like me, not too often. We like books that (subtly) make arguments for things we already believe.

So isn’t it reasonable to think people who love my favourite books are likely to agree with a lot of my world views?

Don’t answer that, but I think so.


How do you decide who to trust?


Edit: For a hilarious take on the opposite, Reasons I distrust you, hop over to Anna Kaling’s blog.


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Author: A.S. Akkalon

By day, A.S. Akkalon works in an office where the computers outnumber the suits of armour more than two-to-one. By night, she puts dreams of medieval castles, swords, and dragons onto paper.

21 thoughts on “Two reasons I automatically trust you”

  1. I dont have any cats but I love my dog! Does that count? I think you are spot on about people who like the same books. I’ve never met a fan of Patrick Rothfuss I didn’t like!

    1. A dog? I knew there was something suspicious about you. 😉 And Patrick Rothfuss? Don’t get me wrong, his books are excellent (okay, I’ve only read the first one), they’re just not my thing. I wanted to like them, but the MC wasn’t a person I wanted to hang out with for the length of a book.

  2. I like the way you think. I’m not sure if I would say ‘trust’ right off, but there is definitely something about finding specific core similarities with another person (or stranger). The book thing works the opposite way too though. I knew this girl who I just could not find anything in common with. She was a complete oddity to me. Then she revealed that her all time favorite book was a book that I HATED, and I mean, REALLY, REALLY, HATED. The book was terrible on so many levels, and as I listened to this girl rave about it, I realized, ‘you and I will never have anything in common.’ It was a strange experience, haha.

    1. You’re right, “trust” might not be the best word for it, though I’m certainly more inclined to trust them.

      That’s hilarious. I can see myself thinking that too if someone raved about a dreadful book. 🙂

  3. I lose on point 1, but how about point 2? If you drop a few of your favorite titles, we can get to the bottom of this conundrum! Great post, hilarious as usual.

  4. I knew someone was going to ask me about my favourite books. 🙂 Here they are:

    David Eddings: The Belgariad, The Mallorean, The Elenium, The Tamuli
    Katharine Kerr’s Deverry series

    Okay, none of those are books, they’re all series, but now you what will make you my best friend. 🙂

  5. Absolutely yes to the cat thing! I always feel that if they can not only cope with living with small furry tyrants, but love them for it, they must be okay. Books is a harder one for me, because I really struggle to chose a favourite myself, but if you read more than the bestseller list and for the love of it, it’s high points from me…

  6. Good points! I’m definitely inclined to like anyone who loves animals and books. I’m not terribly picky about which animals and which books – I love all creatures (even the big hairy spiders even though I’m scared to death of them) and I enjoy various genres in literature, so I can relate even when someone’s tastes differ from mine. Likes animals + likes books = we can be friends.

    1. Spiders! I now think you’re very peculiar.

      You must have more friends than me. I’m always suspicious of dog people. I’m pretty sure they secretly want to be worshipped (though maybe we all do…).

  7. I’m ashamed to say I don’t know any of your favourite books – I’ve seen some of David Edding’s books at my local library, but never got around to reading them. I was always too busy with Terry Pratchett. I have a cat and a dog, so I suppose I’m semi-trustworthy? Anyway, thanks for the laugh!

    1. Terry Pratchett is pretty distracting. I don’t think I can hold that against you, but a dog? Really? I hope you always take the cat’s side when they fight.

  8. You have a talent for expressing ideas simply, clearly, and with irrefutable logic. I couldn’t agree with the above point more.
    As to how I trust people…I suppose it has to do with showing you’re a good person. If I see you do something, anything, that doesn’t serve your own best interests, but that of another, then I trust you. With my life? Not quite yet, but you’ll have some leeway in my book.

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