Trust is a one of the fundamental assets any relationship may have. It is the basis that outlines people’s ability to engage in a healthy and happy relationship. Trust in a relationship provides the comfort where two people can learn to count on each other. If one cannot trust an individual, the repercussions are many. That is why trust is key in a successful relationship and is something that needs to be developed and nurtured in any relationship.
The following are few ideas how to develop and build trust in a relationship:
- Make the relationship a priority – Individuals must scarify their individual interest for the sake of the relationship. When one person exhibits behaviors in which they give to the other person or the relationship, trust develops. The opposite of selfishness is unity and giving. Unfortunately, many people feel that they give more than their partner and expect more than from their partner. A balanced attitude between self interest and relationship interest is important as contribution must be mutual in order to avoid any resentment of one partner toward the other.
- Be yourself – Most of us have a difficult time identifying our true self and even harder expressing and declaring our SELF. Yet, it is important to know that you build trust in a relationship by entrusting your SELF to the other person. If you are concerned about what others are thinking of you, and how they would respond to you, then you are challenged by the idea of true self. If you are reluctant to share your thoughts, values, and impressions or take a stand, you also challenged by finding your true self. And by that you might destroy trust. When you know who you are and feel comfortable with yourself and able to express it to others, they will respect you. They will get to know you more deeply. They will see you as a person of character and they will trust you.
- Express your needs assertively – Trust starts when you have the awareness of your needs and the integrity to express it assertively. Ask yourself “What do I need?” Dig beneath the surface and then say: “I need…that…Can you help me get that… etc. Now, the other side is empowered to say YES or NO. Or, he may say, “What about my needs?” You respond, “I am very interested in hearing what is important to you.” We all respect the person that stood up and expressed their needs. Because of that respect and trust, we also incline to comply with the request. We might say that we cannot (or don’t want to do it), but we will definitely respect the other person and moving toward a trusting relationship.
- Be reliable – Reliability is important because of each person’s need to have someone they can count on. As couples grow together, spouses take on specific roles and responsibilities in the relationship. The ability to rely on each other to effectively manage the marriage or family together is essential to sustain trust.
- Respect your words – Mean what you say and say what you mean. Align your words with your tone of voice, body language and facial expressions. Make sure that there is no discrepancy between them as it opens the relationship to some crazy communication style. Also, if you are in the receiving end and your partner message is not clear, don’t assume the intention of the other person. Just ask questions for further clarification. Once communication is clear, it provide healthy communication, less wasted energy and trust is built.
- Communicate when you are confused – Any change requires movement from harmony to chaos and back to harmony. Similarly, growth in an individual, marriage or family often is accompanied by some chaos. So, when you experience the chaos and challenge, it is important to in inform your partner of what you are experiencing. Personal confusion, chaos or un-clarity is part of life, yet express them to your partner and eliminate wrong interpretation of your behavior. You can as for space, you can ask for your partner to be patient with you while you figure this out. The key is communication and avoidance of interpretation. This healthy communication builds clarity and trust.
- Believe the other person is resilient – Not once people say the phrase: “But, I don’t want to hurt him.” Few things are needed to be addressed here. First, he may not have the skill of confronting her with the truth in a way that brings resolution and understanding. He believes telling the truth is destructive or involve some kind of drama or negative energy. The fact is that the truth is never destructive and can be conveyed in loving manners. Yes, the truth can be hurtful, but the alternative is much more costly and damaging to building trust in the relationship. Also, most people are more resilient than what we think, and if they are somewhat weak, it is not our responsibility to fix. If we care about our partner, we should treat them with respect and enable them to deal with the true reality that will empower them to accept reality and deal with it in a healthy way, rather than denying it.
- Set healthy boundaries – Setting clear boundaries around is important as it protects you from being hurt or moving into territory that will be destructive or have negative energy. When you protect yourself and refuse suppression, the other person comes to trust you. As such, learn to draw the line and say NO!, By saying NO you send a message to the that you will not live in fear and you will be truthful to your needs.
- Face the challenge – Relationship is a challenge with a great opportunity to grow and be happy, yet it is not an easy thing to build. It requires high level of investment, if it is emotionally, physically and mentally. By their nature, it brings tribulations, chaos, fears, anger, turmoil and change. It encompasses the complexity of life and requires us to face these turmoil, upset, crisis, questions, and fears with courage and integrity. So, don’t run away from the challenge, but face it. Obstacles, trials and pain can serve as a lesson, in which you can script your life to reach your growth and destination.
Understanding the importance of trust for couples to thrive and grow in their relationship is key. As such, relationship counselors can help couples create and build trust by encouraging them to connect with one another in meaningful ways, while understanding and supporting each other’s needs. Couples should also be taught ways to communicate compromise, respect and appreciate each other, as these skills foster trust.
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