Trust is in the heart of all human connections and interactions, which is why it’s imperative to focus on building it. Both the simplest everyday encounters and the most meaningful relationships are based on the presumption of trust.
Building trust is an individual process that every person tackles in a specific way, author Peg Streep told Psychology Today. According to her, however, relationships during early childhood years have a serious impact on building trust as an adult.
What does it take to build trust and form meaningful relationships with others? Several important factors will need to be examined.
The Nature of Trusting Trust is a virtue that can either make or break a relationship. We all know that trust takes time to build. This is a process based on patience, honesty, faith and integrity.
When you put your trust in to someone else, you expect something from them. In a relationship, however, your partner could have said or done something that will compromise the trust. In such instances, either you or your partner will end up hurt and unsafe in the relationship.
Building and nurturing trust are both essential for successful, meaningful relationships. In these modern times, social networking, texting, and other forms of virtual communication can greatly affect trust. Allowing yourself to build temptation through such activities is just as easy, as shopping in a grocery store, when you have your list. In the case of virtual temptation, all you have to do is just click that mouse button.
When it comes to trust, there are three important aspects you need to consider. Here’s the breakdown.
Aspect 1: Build Trust
At the onset of a relationship, you don’t normally put your trust lightly in your partner and neither do they. As you get to know each other better, thus trust also builds. There are additional factors that could enable you to identify whether your partner is trustworthy. Stories about your partner’s past will be sufficient to form an opinion. To be able to nurture the trust between you, certain factors should be considered:
· Communicate openly – face-to-face communication is most secure and it allows you to be more open and vulnerable with each other.
· Learn to apologize – apologizing by means of not just saying “I’m sorry,” but also meaning it. We all have our flaws, however, being able to recognize that we have done someone wrong and knowing the impact or the actions will give the apology authenticity.
· Keep your promises – follow through even with the littlest promise you make to show consistency in your actions.
· Forgive – after any apology, there should be forgiveness. Learn how to forgive your partner in order for both of you to let go of the hurt.
Aspect 2: Breaking Trust
Among the three most important aspects of trust, this is the one that can occur effortlessly.
Breaking someone’s trust only takes a matter of few seconds, words and/or actions. Not being able to keep your promise is also a way of losing your partner’s trust.
When you enter a relationship, your word is your bond. It is a form of emotional contract between two people. When you lose your trust in someone else, it breaks that bond. Issues such as physical and financial cheating, as well the inability to keep your promise in any way can break someone else’s trust. Past relationships, experiences and not being able to communicate are issues that need to be dealt with.
There’s an additional factor that contributes to breaking trust – some people have trust issues. These trust issues are an effect of going through bad relationships in the past. Trust issues are a completely different phenomenon that will need to be addressed separately.
Aspect 3: Resolving Trust Issues
Perhaps among all three, resolving the relationship problem that stems from breaking trust could be the biggest and hardest step. Unlike building trust, resolving trust will take a lot of hard work and it will often be very difficult to patch things up and reach the same level of relationship confidence as before.
You’ll be at a crossroad. The attempts to build trust once again will either make the relationship stronger or bring its end. Some couples opt for marriage counselling and therapy in hopes of saving the relationship, while others prefer to leave the relationship and move on. Assessment of individual factors will help you determine which approach is the right one.
Challenges that Stand in the Way of Building Trust In theory, building trust may sound like a simple task. In reality, however, there could be major roadblocks that stand in the way of effective communication and the ability of two people to increase the level of trust they have in each other.
Some of the biggest challenges that stand in the way of establishing relationship trust include the following:
· Withholding some of the truth – many people have dark spots in their past and episodes that they’re embarrassed of. Giving a partner misleading information or a version of the truth, however, creates the right conditions for having the trust broken later on in the relationship.
· No discussion and individual decision-making – when in a relationship, you’re a part of a team. Making decisions on your own will make a partner lose trust in you.
· Having certain expectations without communicating those – your partner or souse cannot read your mind. Clear communication of your expectations is equally important after five days and after 15 years of being in a relationship.
· Conflict without resolution – arguing with each other is a normal aspect of every relationship. If resolution doesn’t follow, however, both of you will feel dissatisfied and anxious about further communication.
Can You Repair a Relationship after the Trust is Broken? As already mentioned, repairing a relationship after the trust is broken challenges many people and they decide to leave. It’s possible to build trust once again but the process will require conscious effort on behalf of both partners.
The first step towards building trust once again is recognizing the hurt and its scope. Dismissing the feelings or trying to minimize their importance will never lead to the repair of trust. The hurt will linger on the inside and eventually, it will lead to an eruption of emotions.
In order to deal with the problem, you’ll also need to have your partner recognizing their contribution to the loss of trust. If either one of you refuses to acknowledge responsibility, you’ll have a miniature chance of repairing the broken trust.
You will also need to learn how to trust yourself, to express your feelings better and recognize your individual needs in the relationship. This kind of awareness is the key to finding happiness and balance as a part of a couple.
Building trust isn’t easy and keeping it in your relationship at all times is going to be an even more challenging task. Remember one thing – human beings make mistakes, including human beings that care deeply about you. If you and your partner are willing to put work in the process, trust can be rebuilt and it could potentially become stronger than in the beginning.
By Dr. Syras Derksen