I’m beginning to learn that people trust me.  Which is interesting.  Because anyone who knows me will tell you I have a big mouth.  Heck, sometimes even I am surprised by the outlandish things that spill out of it.

Maybe it’s because I have a short attention span.  I love to participate in meaningful conversation – meaningful being the key word.  But when it’s just fluff?  Just noise to drown the silence?  Just repetitive filler because there’s nothing left to talk about?  That’s usually when I make my exit.

And let’s focus on the word meaningful one more time.  I find it ironic that it contains the word “mean.”  Conversation about someone else can only be meaningful if you’re trying to figure out a way to help.  Support.  Understand.  But when it’s just gossip laced with judgement?  That’s not meaningful – it’s mean.  A heartless attempt to make yourself feel better, superior, validated by tearing someone else down.

Now let me clarify – I am not perfect.

I do have lots of meaningful conversations with my friends – conversations that I’m happy to have participated in after they’ve concluded.  I also have mean conversations with my friends – conversations that leave me feeling ashamed and empty.

I try to keep the mean conversations to a minimum because I hate ashamed and empty.  Those are ugly feelings.

It’s often why I prefer to text instead of talk on the phone.  Text conversations hold me accountable.  I have time to think before I speak.  To edit the outlandish things I might say before they spill out of my mouth.  To recognize when I’m being judgmental.  To pause long enough to consider alternative perspectives.  To delete the mean that could easily be forwarded along to cause someone else pain.

That’s not to say I don’t have “my people.”  The carefully selected people I know I can trust with my inner-most thoughts and feelings.  The brutally honest ones.  The unfiltered ones.  The people I can vent to safely to rid myself of the toxic waste.

The people I have painstakingly screened in my own ways.  The ones that have proven to me over time that our conversations are just that: our conversations.

My people can handle themselves in a crowd.  They don’t need to prove it when they know more than someone else.  My people are secure.  They listen when others spread judgemental gossip, and then contribute the unpopular view of devil’s advocate.

My people demonstrate self-control on social media sites.  They do not seek negative attention.  They do not target others with transparent, malicious generalities.  They are not overly dramatic about life.  They understand we all have struggles, and focus their energy on the positive.

My people lift me up.  They don’t bring me down.  My people have my best interest at heart – whether that means supporting my efforts, or telling me it’s time to walk away.

My people are real.  They don’t pretend to have it all figured out.  They are humble when they’re right, and graceful when they’re wrong.

My people are low-maintenance.  They do not expect to be the center of my attention.  They are happy to see me when they see me.

My people love me as is.  Even when I disagree.  Even when I’m cranky.  Even when I’m anti-social.  Even when I’m inappropriate.  My people forgive and forget.

So I guess if that’s the criteria I use to trust my people – maybe that’s how other people choose to trust me.

If so?  I’m honored to be one of your people.