“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” –Ernest Hemingway
Nearly all of the reasons why relationships fail is due to a lack of loyalty, honest communication and mutuality. The common theme which underlies these reasons is a lack or loss of trust.
Mistrust can manifest in a wide variety of ways, whether it be infidelity within intimate relationships or dishonesty in the professional realm. Trust is imperative to the success of any close relationship; however it appears that people violate this loyalty relatively often, the reasons for which vary as much as the people.
Trust versus Mistrust: The 4 Factors Which Define a Trusting Relationship
No matter the type of relationship, building trust is essential to creating a sustainable and lasting bond with another human being. From a romantic relationship to a professional affiliation, individuals characterise the most satisfying and fulfilling connections as the ones in which they can trust that the other person will not deliberately hurt or deceive them.
Trust in relationships is founded on four key factors:
A common set of values and a willingness to respect the ones that do not overlap is essential for building trust in relationships. Shared values often contribute to a mutual recognition of priorities, which reduces dissension within relationships. Respecting others values which differ from our own can provide us with essential learnings about each individual’s strengths and virtues.
Integrity in relationships presents in the form of honesty and consistency. When two people form a deep connection, there should be some level of predictability in the relationship. If one enters a relationship with someone with a very compassionate demeanour, one should be able to trust that the other person will continue to behave with integrity of character, acting with compassion throughout the relationship.
Mutuality refers to the idea of working as a team within a relationship. This is absolutely critical to sustained trust within close social connections. To feel as though one can rely upon another person, one must be sure that the other person is on the same side, and going in the same direction.
Any close relationship is incomplete without some degree of loyalty. Both people in the relationship must be able to trust that the efforts they are devoting to the relationship are not being made in vain. Commitment does not need to be a burden but when in a trusting relationship can actually provide stability and predictability which builds trust.
So how can you work to maintain and build trust within a close relationship? HTere are several ways to help you build loyal, safe and mutual relationships at home and in the workplace.
8 Ways to Confidently Build Trust in Your Relationships
The most effective, and, arguably most obvious, method of maintaining a trusting relationship is through preserving shared honesty. While healthy relationships do not require both parties to divulge everything about themselves, dishonesty, either in the form of blatant lying or withholding of the full truth only work to tear individuals apart.
Learn to Communicate Effectively
One of the top reasons for failed relationships is a lack of communication. Unfortunately, effective communication is not a skill that is typically incorporated into our education and, thus, must be developed actively through direct efforts.
Active, constructive communication encourages honest conversations and the sharing of positive news. Through making these ongoing communication efforts, you include those around you in the details of your life and start the sharing ball rolling, which helps to develop trust through mutual understanding.
Moderate Your Impulsive Decision Making
Relationships often struggle when one or more parties feel as though they are not taken into account when the other makes an important decision. This struggle can occur in a wide variety of settings from intimate relationships to a lack of transparent communication in the workplace. For example, a worker is likely to feel untrusting of his boss if the boss schedules him to work on a major holiday without consulting the worker first.
By becoming more aware of our impulsive behaviours through active, constructive communication, we can learn self-control and consider others when making decisions. This is not an easy lesson however the fruits of mutual decision making will leave all parties feeling valued and commitment to the relationship.
Trust can dissolve in no time at all if one or both parties in a relationship fail to follow through with their promises or don’t do what they said they would. Reliability goes hand in hand with remaining honest and communicating openly. A large part of being trustworthy is ensuring that your actions match your promises.
Admit Your Mistakes
While mistakes themselves can damage close relationships, sometimes they are unavoidable.
An essential part of the human experience is failing to meet every expectation; we are not perfect even though we may try. So when those inevitable blunders do arise, it is essential to confess your behaviour, take responsibility for your mistake and don’t avoid them as this breeds mistrust and begs the other party to think “ I wonder what else they are lying about….”
Do The Right Thing
Although making mistakes is an inevitable part of life, we do have an internal compass telling us how right or wrong our actions are. Maintaining your awareness of this internal moral gauge and moderating the behaviours which lean to the ‘wrong’ side can help others to understand, rely and trust you.
An essential aspect of maintaining a trusting relationship is prioritising the alignment of one’s actions with one’s values. We cannot always be congruent with the values of the other person in the relationship, however, in situations such as these, standing by one’s moral integrity and building a reputation for doing what is right will also work to build trust.
Relationships are a two-way street and trust can become difficult if one seems to always be looking out for their own interests. By no means should you downplay your own efforts, but rather learn to respect the importance of the other person in the relationship, be grateful for their presence and the efforts they make to keep the relationship working.
While revealing feelings can be uncomfortable and make one feel vulnerable it is an important part of building trust. Allowing those feelings to be made known rather than hiding them away can help to build an understanding of your position. Concealing true emotions may negatively impact a relationship by fostering an air of resentment or secrecy.
A Take Home Message
Trust is undeniably an essential part of any lasting relationship and may ebb or flow over time. Continue fine-tuning yourself and your relationships through actively committing on a daily basis and hopefully you will find kindness, trust and love in return.
Center for Economic and Community Development. The role and importance of building trust. PennState College of Agricultural Sciences. Retrieved from http://aese.psu.edu/research/centers/cecd/engagement-toolbox/role-importance-of-building-trust
Lambright, K. T., Mischen, P. A., & Laramee, C. B. (2010). Building trust in public and nonprofit networks: Personal, dyadic, and third-party influences. The American Review of Public Administration 40(2). 64-82. Retrieved from http://arp.sagepub.com.ezproxy.uky.edu/content/40/1/64.full.pdf+html
Lynch, R. P. (2008) Building the pillar of trust. Retrieved from http://www.sigriddildine.com/The_Importance_of_Trust_V1.3.pdf
13 simple strategies for building trust. Coaching Positive Performance. Retrieved from http://www.coachingpositiveperformance.com/13-simple-strategies-building-trust/