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Can You (Or Should You) Trust Your Coworkers?

January 23, 2013 by Lady Unemployed

It’s funny. Last week my company held a meeting about the importance of trust within a department.

I clearly struggled to avoid rolling my eyes during this meeting. These days I wouldn’t trust my coworkers to spit on me if I caught on fire.

But I asked myself…have I ever trusted coworkers? What does trust mean?

I do trust my family. I trust that they will not purposely hurt me. That if they do hurt my feelings, that it was not intentional. That they would not want to purposely hurt me, embarrass, humiliate, undermine me. That I can trust them with my wishes, dreams, feelings. To me, that is trust.

There is no amount of money in this Universe to have me feel that type of trust for my coworkers.

But do I trust them at all? Maybe in some ways. I trust that they won’t throw tomatoes when I walk in the door. That I won’t get stabbed in the break room by a difficult coworker. That they won’t push me to the floor when I walk around.

Those things I trust.

I trust they will also talk behind my back, undermine, sneak, and cut me down. I trust that mistakes will be overblown and no one will have each others back.

But is there any other way to feel? Maybe. I just don’t think I’ve found it yet.

How about you? Do you trust your coworkers? Have you ever?


  1. Anthony says:

    Currently unemployed, but in my past jobs I have always trusted at least some of my coworkers. You figure out fairly quick which ones will go to bat for you and which will throw you under the bus. I tend to trust everyone until they prove unworthy of that trust. That leads to gettibg burned a lot, but not trusting anyone is too cynical a way to live in my eyes.

    I’ve had coworkers who covered for my mistakes, defended me (rather than falsely blaming me) when I’ve done my job, and learned my moods enough to pinpoint when something was wrong outside of work and then showed concern and support about it.

    I couldn’t work in an environment where I trusted no one. That’s far too much pressure on myself not to screw up.

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