Experts have often said that trust is the key to having and maintaining any successful relationship. Relationships are the vehicles with which we connect and share our lives with others, so it makes sense that creating trust is important.
How can we get better at creating and nurturing trust as we build relationships?
There are three critical lessons we can learn to help cultivate more trust in our relationships. Studying these lessons and putting the skills into practice will help us establish ourselves as trustworthy.
Mastering these lessons allows us to build and shape relationships where trust is the rule and not the exception.
Also, read these quotes about trust issues to help you understand the meaning of trust and assist you in resolving your trust issues.
Trust Lesson #1: Be honest and vulnerable
Building trust requires that we are willing to share our vulnerabilities. We are all (imperfect) humans. There are things that we do not do well. We all have something we fear. Each of us has things that shake our confidence.
The world is full of triggers that cause us to display our weaknesses. There are times when we are guarded to protect ourselves from rejection. Fearing the opinions of others can mean we shy away from sharing our goals. However, we need to share our desires and expectations, regardless of how we think they may react.
To do anything else would be less than honest. Our deficiencies, wants, and needs will begin to reveal themselves to the other parties. Being taken by surprise could make the other party feel misled and lied to.
However, if we lay bare our faults and take steps to work on improving them, we will find that others are willing to work with us on our self-correction efforts. Also, they will feel confident in sharing their own faults or secrets. The ability to be upfront about our own imperfections or weaknesses allows them to feel comfortable, relaxed and open.
If a situation occurs that shows our susceptibility to some type of hurt, they will not be blindsided. Instead, they will be prepared to comfort us or help us handle the event in an admirable manner. So, by exposing our own vulnerabilities we show ourselves worthy of their trust.
If we are trying to build effective relationships, and the other parties find that we did not share information with them or what we shared was not true, we will damage the connection. It could likely result in dissolving the association, meaning a loss of friendship or love.
Trust Lesson #2: Practice assertive communicating
When we interact or exchange information in a manner that is decisive and self-assured we put the receivers of our messages at ease. This can help make them feel confident that things are being handled.
This then builds an environment of strength, hope and belief which leads directly to the end result we seek – trust. Through the use of assertive communication skills, we can share our position on different topics and subject matters. When done thoughtfully we can achieve this without disregarding or breaching the opinions of others.
By being assertive in our communications we display respect for others as well as for ourselves. When the other parties get the message of respect, they are more likely to respond in kind.
They are also more likely to hear the message clearly, react empathetically, and feel connected. As such, there will be a sense that together we can work out any misunderstandings, problems, or concerns that arise.
This will provide a sense of relief and calm any fears. It also enables the other parties to be relaxed enough to willingly share and exchange information. They know, and trust, that there is no fear of reprisal or attack. They will be rooted in an environment ruled by open sharing of ideas and the ability to effectively agree to disagree when necessary.
Communicating in any other manner will breed distrust, fear, and worry. It could even become abusive. These attributes are counteractive to building trust or maintaining a productive and positive relationship. So, we should remain honest and forthright as we strive to communicate assertively.
Trust Lesson #3: Be consistent in words and deeds
Being trustworthy is not a one-time behavior, short-term event, or intermittent activity. Being trustworthy is a full-time requirement that must be carried out for a lifetime. It is in fact a way of life.
To accomplish this we must be consistent in sharing our vulnerabilities, being honest, and practicing assertive communication. We cannot be wishy-washy. We must chart a course to embody the attributes that lead to trust and practice them always.
Our behavior must reflect our words and the beliefs we say we espouse. The old saying, “actions speak louder than words” sums up how our behavior can result in making or breaking trust.
However, being consistent does not mean being routine, repetitive, or inflexible. Instead, being consistent means ensuring our behavior is reflective of the important factors which allow others to see our integrity in action. If our behavior consistently displays respect and is a demonstration of the characteristics that we shared with others, then we are on the right path.
If we say all the right things or behave one way when others are around, only to take on a totally new persona when they are out of sight, then we are eroding trust. Behaving contrary to what is expected, could make it appear that we are behaving in a fraudulent manner. In essence, we are behaving in a manner not worthy of trust.
Trust demands a few simple actions
Trust is essential to managing and advancing human relationships. Without trust, we will cut ourselves off from others. We will live in fear, always wondering if someone is out to get us. Likewise, if we do not act trustworthy, others will be less likely to want to develop a friendship. They will always be skeptical of our motives.
Building trust requires us to develop simple habits. Being vulnerable demands honesty. If we are trustworthy the need to be forthright extends itself to all levels of our communications and interactions. Stay away from keeping secrets, hiding information, or lying.
Just be honest, act out of integrity, maintain consistent behavior and communicate in an assertive and positive manner. Share some of your favorite trust-building exercises with us in the comment section below!