That's because they trusted no one. That was, in fact, the ethos of every clan from the old country struggling to survive in tenements in downtown Jersey City, New Jersey. The culture was a closed system. The symbol of that was all the folks peeking from behind the window blinds, observing.
Of course their grandchildren, the huge Baby Boomer generation, was determined to change all that. We opened ourselves to therapists, gurus, college acquaintances, professors, casual lovers, co-workers who were actually our competitors, and even employers. Betrayal became the meme, of course. An ocean of salty tears were shed.
Yet, that generational value of trusting still hovers over too much of American culture. It's funny. A member of Generation X I'm coaching in her job search was shocked something she told a potential employer knocked her out of the box.
Trying to frame this in a positive manner, I gently explained to her to treat that as a learning experience. The reality of work and likely most of the rest of our life is: Trust no one. Position and package everything, carefully.
From the get-go, mothers should be educating their toddlers to be their own best public relations agents.