Trust can be the strongest element in a relationship. It is a barrier against the challenges presented by the outside world seeking to destroy a couple. What happens when trust is damaged? Can it be shored up or even reconstructed? The short answer is yes. The longer answer centers around the difficult process requiring honesty, open communication and diligence in forging a trusting bond. One needs to walk the hard path to get back to where they belong.
Speaking the Truth
Trust lives in an environment of honesty. Regardless of how good or bad a relationship ended, each person needs to be truthful about everything. Honesty should not be used as a club to bend the other person to the will of the other. The past, present and future depends on being careful and using important keys to build trust.
* Accurately Address Things: Couching things or overly editing clouds the message.
* Watch How the Message Is Delivered: Tone conveys a great deal when speaking. Being too soft or stern may blunt or heighten what is being said unnecessarily.
* Always Be Kind: Remember the goal is to rebuild trust. A firm message offered with polite words allows for ongoing communication.
Allow a Response
Initially, it can be easy to get too focused on one’s role in the exchange. This is a two way street. One of the hardest things anyone may face targets the reply from the other person.
* Be Quiet: Hopefully, they listened thoughtfully to what was said. They deserve the same respect. Hearing back may require swallowing bitter aspects of one’s own personality or behavior.
* Don’t Defend: Everyone, especially when receiving personal information, tends to want to leap into defense mode. Trust often needs space and acceptance. If offered with similar kindness, one must avoid the urge to choke off the exchange.
* Mirror the Behavior: During the conversation, make an effort to feel how things are going and respond accordingly. A strong sense of control, which may mask hidden defensiveness, might urge one to rush things along or pull back. One can be thoughtful without hiding behind a mask.
Emotional contact with one’s partner fosters an environment of trust. Treading carefully at the beginning presents a greater level of comfort. Small things like eye contact and non verbal cues will help one’s partner witness the importance and investment to growing trust. As with all things when building trust, moving too fast will likely shatter progress, so avoid being overly physical.
Consistency Proves Key
Trust cannot be built in a single conversation or afternoon. Returning to a place where the relationship returns to a healthy place requires slow, steady growth. This means making time for one another, not pushing too deep or lashing out when things get hard. The level of difficulty can feel overwhelming. One needs to acknowledge and accept what these emotions without letting the damage the conversation.
As fragile as a snowflake, one must treat trust with the respect it deserves. A relationship never survives without it, so it is up to both parties to maintain trust for the life of the relationship. Trust thrives with open communication, mutual respect and consistent contact. Pour in those and watch the trust flourish.