Do you seem to keep those you love at arm’s distance?
Are you unsure just how to repair the damage of past mistakes in your marriage?
Does it sometimes feel as if you and your spouse aren’t playing on the same team?
The basis of any healthy relationship is mutual trust. Trust provides security, allowing you and your spouse, loved one, or coworker to rely upon one another. It cultivates an attitude of teamwork and interdependence in your family, life, and even your workplace. If you struggle to let others close to you, if you are unsure of how to make amends for poor choices, or if you and your spouse refuse to depend on one another… you may have trust issues.
Thankfully, trust CAN be built!
While fostering a strong marriage may be vastly different from developing parental bonds or advancing a business partnership, the patterns that form trust in each circumstance remain the same. Ultimately, YOU hold the power to establish trust through actions and words.
The Building Blocks of Trust
These 5 core habits are sure to build a foundation of trust in your relationships:
- Regularly acknowledge your loved ones and convey your gratitude for them.
- Before taking on new responsibilities, make sure you can follow through.
- Consistently honor the promises you have made.
- Show courtesy to those around you.
- Speak honestly, even when faced with difficult conversations.
How to Restore Trust After Disappointment
While it is important to pay attention to your intuition, if you err on the side of skepticism, such instincts may hold you back from developing healthy relationships. Similarly, past disappointments and betrayals can often plant a seed of doubt in present relationships. Such distrust, when left unchecked, can hinder romantic love, family connections, and even practical bonds in the workplace.
If that describes you, it is important to recognize that the bulk of people with whom you interact are trustworthy. When given the chance those closest to you would likely prove themselves honest and dependable.
However, part of being human is making mistakes on occasion. If your loved one has broken confidence, consider if (s)he is worthy of a second chance to demonstrate trustworthiness. Feeling apologetic is a start, but to rebuild trust, far greater efforts must be made. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What sort of rapport do you generally have with one another?
- Has this person purposefully sought to make amends and repair your relationship?
- What changes has (s)he made to prevent future breaches of trust?
- Do YOU believe your loved one’s apology?
In the same way, you should challenge yourself after making a poor decision. Rather than expecting your partner to forgive and forget, take the fast initiative to repair the harm done. Apologize with sincerity, acknowledging the damage your actions caused. Focus intentional efforts to restore the trust, step by step. Offer to make reparations for your actions and establish new boundaries to avoid the same pitfalls in the future.
Just how severely the trust has been broken is ultimately up to the discretion of the victim. Trust within any relationship is extremely personal. Both building and repairing it takes the work of two individuals.
To create a strong foundation that will allow your relationships to thrive, always seek to speak with honesty, walk with integrity, and protect the commitments that you have made!