Trust has been an issue I’ve explored with clients lately. As the photo of me with a newly weaned horse shows, we usually start with trust and curiosity toward one another, and will stay that way until it is broken.
This quote says it all:” Trust takes years to build, seconds to break and forever to repair” (author unknown).
It is broken trust that people usually want to talk about. But given trust is essential to healthy relationships, yet is so fragile, maybe we should look at the elements that create and sustain trust.
Here are some thoughts about what healthy trust means.
The people you trust in your immediate circle are present and involved. You are aware of their engagement with you and its reciprocal. The trust comes from knowing that you can turn to them and have them acknowledge and respond to you, without question. Just like when a baby cries and the parent responds, we want to know this pattern is sacred.
Trust gets broken when you no longer turn to each other and respond. It becomes a point of question when your trusted friend, loved one, colleague or parent no longer turns your way. It signals that the connection is severed for some reason. Ask why if you want to illuminate the problem and initiate correction.
ACCEPTANCE AND APPROVAL
Underlying trust is acceptance and approval for one another. You know each other and have confidence in that knowledge. Expectations for each other are understood, you know what you each stand for and believe in each other. You can rely on one another, without worry.
When trust is broken, it’s often because the other’s behavior no long fits the pattern of expectation. It is no longer acceptable or meets with your approval. Speak up as soon as this happens, be clear on what you notice and ask for an explanation. Hopefully you can work through it with understanding.
A trust-based relationship is built on confidence in one another. There may be moments when something happens, but with enough confidence, you know you will work it out. There is a track record of rebounding that lets you know that whatever happens can be fixed and restored.
It’s when something egregious happens or there is an ongoing pattern of wrongdoing that breaks your confidence, relationships become hard to heal. Please don’t wait until this point to reach out for help. Get support at the first sign and rebuild confidence in one another before it’s too late.
HONORS FEELINGS, WORDS and DEEDS
An essential part of trust is knowing that there is an honoring process that respects feelings, words and deeds. When someone you trust says they are going to do something, it happens. Your feelings are considered, and words are kind.
It’s these issues that are usually the point of contention for broken trust. Feelings weren’t considered, words were unkind or deeds weren’t done. When these things are broken too often, trust gets broken too. Please try, but know it is hard to keep repairing the trust. In fact, if you’ve tried too often, it may mean it’s time to let it go.
If you want a more trusting relationship, use these four essential elements to guide you. Make sure you are present for each other and that there is acceptance and approval. Have confidence in your ability to work through whatever comes your way and be sure to honor your feelings, words and deeds. When you nurture these elements of trust, your relationships will stand the test of time.
If this points out issues with trust in a relationship, reach out. My Transformation Coaching and Therapy can help. Go to www.spectrumtransformation.com and use my Free Consultation link to contact me. I can help you.