Trust is one of the most precious commodities in life. Whether it is your partner, co-worker, friend or loved one, trust is hard to attain and easy to lose. In the world, trust can be gained through a convincing commercial, persuasive conversation or word-of-mouth. When it comes to relationships, trust is far more fragile. Although it may take effort, trust can be rebuilt. Here are a few things to help you as you begin to rebuild trust in a relationship.
Be Vulnerable – This may be the last thing a person may want to do. In particular, for those who may be affected by a breach of trust, being vulnerable is a big ask. Some may think that being vulnerable means allowing others to treat us unfairly. In reality, being vulnerable doesn’t mean you are asking to be walked on, it is allowing yourself to give the other person another chance to be seen and heard. Vulnerability is lowering the drawbridge of your heart and allowing the other person to communicate with you again. As you consider your own relationship, think of any ways you may have shut them out by not being vulnerable with them.
Assume the Best – One of the unintended consequences of broken trust is that people may not assume the best in the other person. Assumptions may be necessary, but many times it can lead to pain and more mistrust. When we begin the process of rebuilding trust, it is important to assume the best in the other person. This will help you be able to hear what they have to say.
Be Honest – In relationships, especially in situations where trust is compromised, honesty is crucial. Honestly brings everything to the light. As best as you can, honestly share your feelings and encourage the other person to do so as well.
Slow Things Down – Just as relationships take time to build, so does trust. Take time to slow things down, patiently giving the other person the opportunity to process and communicate as they need to.
Express Past Hurts – In many relationships, you may not have the ability to allow yourself to build trust on your own. This may be the result of past hurts or trauma in your past. Making the effort to express past hurts in your relationship can help you build your trust once again.
Communication – When trust is lost, communication will become more and more distant. There are many reasons why communication is lost. From trauma, to misunderstanding and everything in between, communication is a skill that requires practice. Wherever you are in your relationship, communication is one of the best ways to improve trust. For more info on communication, see this resource.
Listen to What They Have to Say – Communication is two-way street. Inasmuch as it matters to express your frustrations, trauma and personal conflict, it is just as important to give the other person the opportunity to speak. As you listen, give them ample opportunity to share what is on their heart. Many times, as couples listen to each other, trust can have the chance to grow once again.
Growing in any relationship will take effort. Every relationship will require mutual trust and communication. As you build on your trust, you will find that your relationship will grow stronger over time. This is the glue that will hold you together, so take care to protect the trust in your relationship.