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Credibility – Galicia Ártabra Digital

Jose Manuel Otero Lastres

According to the RAE Dictionary, credibility is understood as “credible quality” Y “credible” it means “that can or deserves to be believed. To tell the truth, I was expecting a more resounding meaning, not so probabilistic. Perhaps for this reason, if one had to stick only to its strictly grammatical meaning, credibility would not be considered one of the most relevant qualities of people in general and of politicians in particular. And it’s just “to be able to be” either “deserve” Being believed is a minor achievement, which refers more to a capacity of the subject himself than to the result of his vital action of habitually telling the truth.

By this I mean that the fact thatpower or deserve to be believed” does not necessarily imply that the subject in question is always truthful, because there are those who, being habitually truthful, may not be able to get what they say to be true. The reason for this is that, as can be deduced from its meaning, credibility refers to the capacity of the subject who is made to believe and is not inevitably linked to the veracity of the story, but rather to the fact that the recipients of the message, due to the Intrinsic qualities of the speaker create what he tells them.

The key is therefore to generate trust. But trust is almost as mysterious as love and very similar to empathy: it is not known why one trusts others, sometimes excessively, nor why one identifies with them or shares their feelings.

It is not wrong to affirm that, in the initial moments of relationships, the subjects involved start with a sufficient degree of mutual trust. Degree that will grow or decrease depending not only on the behavior of each one but also on how it is perceived by the other. And this because the following two cases can occur: that a person tells the truth and that it is not credible for the other; or that he lies and his interlocutor trusts his words. The difference between both hypotheses lies in the different capacity of both subjects to convince the other; or what is the same, his personal credibility.

At this point, there will be those who consider that credibility is the result of chance. This conclusion, in my opinion, is not entirely correct. There are subjects who, even though they are not totally or habitually sincere, manage to make third parties believe them; and others who, being generally honest, generate shades of suspicion.

“You can’t fool everyone all the time”

Does the foregoing mean that it is no use trying to be credible? Nothing is further from reality. It is attributed to Abraham Lincoln the phrase “you can fool the whole world some time. You can fool some all the time. But you can’t fool everyone all the time.” I completely agree with the former US president. And it is that every time someone lies and makes others believe it, they will gradually erode their credibility, and if they lie out of habit and very regularly, to the point of abusing the credibility of others, there will come a time when that no one will believe it and you will lose all your credibility.

This is what is meant by the phrase “You can’t fool everyone all the time.Lincoln said. In the face of strangers we all start with a quota of credibility, but if the lie is abused, no matter how well it is told, people will discover the face of malice in the liar. And from then on he will no longer believe her. Credibility is like prestige, it is achieved slowly and drop by drop, but it is lost in a moment. And once lost it is almost impossible to recover.

Credibility is essential in politics.

In some professions, such as politics, credibility is an essential value. Politicians must be credible, because they act for the benefit of the majority of citizens, managing everyone’s resources. Therefore, the politician who does not have enough credibility, either because he always had little or because the one he had lost it by not telling the truth, it will be very difficult for him to be voted in the elections. And it is that credibility is based on example, that is why the best way to become believed is to honor and fulfill what was promised, dedicate yourself to doing what was promised before promising it and not doing it.

It is true that when voting, not all citizens are moved by the same impulses. There are citizens who are guided exclusively by their ideology; that is “the set of fundamental ideas that characterize the thought of a person, community or time, of a cultural, religious or political movement, etc.” (RAE Dictionary). There will be others who are more pragmatic and who take into account, above all else, which team is best prepared to defend their interests. There will be those who vote interestedly based on the preservation of their jobs and another large group of those who let themselves be guided by inertia without reflecting too much. Lastly, there will be more than a few who take stock of the previous legislature and vote based on what is most advisable, bearing in mind the situation in the country at that time.

But I don’t think I’m far wrong if I say that, in the next general election, more than in any of the previous ones, credibility will be taken into account. And I think that not a few will take into account the phrase that says Emma Stone in the film Hello: “You’ve sold yourself so many times that no one buys from you anymore.”

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