The first time you meet someone, a potential friend or partner perhaps it’s safe to say that you don’t give them full trust in all the things you value. That’s like saying hi, my name is __ these are my deepest darkest secrets.
Here’s my bank account information, my social security number, here are the keys to my car, my house and all of my material possessions. I trust you completely to be a good friend and partner in my life.
Does that sound logical? Of course not! The keys to your heart should be no different.
We all enjoy friendships and partnerships; a life of solitude just plain sucks. But we have to know how to protect ourselves and use discernment because not everyone’s intentions are pure, not everyone will have your back, and not everyone’s motives are in your best interest.
For some, who have been deeply hurt in the past, it can be challenging to open your heart. What I have learned so far is to be smarter about your choices.
So to get down to it, how do we develop trust in relationships?
Quite frankly, it all starts with you. To trust others, you first need to learn to trust yourself. Because the level of trust you grant to others is at the same parallel the level you trust yourself. This understanding comes with a lot of accountability because in the end if you grant trust to the wrong person, you have to deal with the outcome.
By the end of this article, I want you to know beyond reasonable doubt and feel empowered by the fact that you are in control of your life and your relationships. Welcome to the. driver’s seat! Let’s get started.
To develop trust in any relationship, we first need to understand what trust means and the different ways in which we can establish and maintain trust to effectively implement and build it.
Trust, according to the Miriam Webster Dictionary means “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.”
When you give trust to another, what you are doing is trusting them to be reliable and truthful in their dealings with you. This is the very first step of any relationship, aside from the initial mutual attraction. Trust is then developed and established through positive results of trust granted or obtained by means of a result-driven experiment. What happens next is how the positive feedback track record of that relationship grows.
Grant trust slowly, no matter the person.
When you consistently receive positive feedback, you may begin to grant trust at a higher degree of importance, whether it be material or non-material value.
This is where relationships get exciting and it is easy to lose yourself or be swept away, but keep your eye on the prize here folks… Let’s continue.
In a relationship, whether it is a marriage or a friendship, there are non-material things we value. For example, I know that I value honesty, integrity, respect, kindness, compassion, consistency, sensitivity and strength.
There are as well, material things we value, and as you begin to establish a relationship, you grant trust at a higher degree of importance to you.
There will be times when you will need to revoke the trust. When trust is withdrawn, we will no longer grant trust to a person; at the same level of the value, that the trust was broken.
For example: Let’s say, for instance, your friend asks to borrow money, and they don’t pay you back. You ask for the money again, and they don’t pay you. Well, whats happened? You’ve learned something, and you will not extend that level of trust with that particular value to this person the next time they ask.
Let’s say another friend asks to borrow your car and they wreck it. Will you allow your friend to borrow your car again? No, of course not. But, you do not need to write off your friend completely. Instead, you will no longer grant trust of that particular value to your friend.
These examples are “making something you value, vulnerable to another person’s actions.” and that is the meaning of trust according to Author Charles Feltman.
While the examples above produced adverse outcomes. This same model can and should be used to develop trust for things that we value both material and non-material whether the result is negative or positive. I encourage you to practice this model of developing confidence for others, starting small and building upon them.
What do you value in a relationship? Leave your comments below.