Brits are inherently untrustworthy people, a new study has revealed, with the average adult in the UK only trusting four people.
Researchers who polled 2,000 adults found the typical Brit claims to have around 15 friends through work, university and childhood – but only really trusts four of them. The report also found the circle of trust usually comprises just two immediate family members, as well as their partner and one best friend. Amazingly, a staggering 54 per cent of adults admitted to having issues with trusting people.
The research also showed adults feel most at risk of being betrayed by a friend, followed by someone they work closely with. Adults put most faith in their partner with six in ten voted them as most trust-worthy, followed by their best friend and then a parent. Interestingly, only two per cent would put trust in their boss, with one in twenty who said they trusted their mother-in-law. Age was a factor for a huge eight in ten who said they trust fewer people as they get older, due to having less patience with time-wasters or just losing touch with good friends they had.
Lucy Findlay, managing director of the Social Enterprise Mark CIC, which commissioned the study, said: ‘’It can be hard to trust when you’ve been let down in the past. This can apply not only to personal relationships, but to strangers we meet and companies we deal with day-to-day. To put your mind at ease, only give your time to those that are loyal and respectful towards you. Listen to your instincts – and when someone betrays you, it’s important that they prove themselves to you before you trust them again.’’
The most common reason a person has felt betrayed was by having their secrets blabbed – as almost four in ten said they’d had this done by someone they considered a friend. Others confessed they ditched a supposed friend when they flirted with their partner, weren’t available in a crisis, or borrowed money that was never returned. One in 20 said someone in their lives became untrustworthy when they made comments about their parenting, whilst others ruined a friendship by not showing up to a wedding or birth of a child.
When it came to being secretive, adults were most guarded over their sex lives, with four in ten who said they wouldn’t discuss bedroom matters with anyone but their partner. One in three would never chat to others about troubles in their relationship, whilst 65 per cent said they’d only discuss money matters with those they truly trust.
Sadly a huge 54 per cent of adults polled said they have issues with trust. Four in ten confessed to being cheated on by a significant other, whilst a similar amount said they’ve had relationships end when their partner couldn’t be trusted. And the lack of trust even extended outside the social circle, as two in three adults stated they have no faith in the government. Over four in ten said they don’t believe in celebrity gossip, unethical businesses or company bosses with inflated salaries and over half said they find banks to be dishonest, whilst brands linked to tax avoidance and large supermarkets were also deemed undeserving of trust.
Lucy Findlay added: ”This survey shows trust is in short supply. And if people find it hard to trust each other, how much harder is it to trust businesses? And with good reason, as we’ve seen from the many recent examples of financial misconduct and fat cat salaries. Social enterprises are all about accountability, transparency and fairly distributed profits. In other words they’re ethical businesses, committed to caring for both people and the planet. The Social Enterprise Mark is your guarantee of this.”