Why Trust is so Important in All Your Relationships

Why Trust is so Important in All Your Relationships

Last week, we wrote about mutual solutions, and a number of readers centered in on the aspect of trust. Rightfully so, as this is a central issue in all relationships.

Trust in another person comes from what they do, not what they say. “Trust me, I’ll pay you back” is worth a lot less than a Venmo payment. It takes time and the observation of actions as well as words to ascertain how much you can trust another person. How do they behave in difficult situations like a toothache, a car crash, a delayed flight? Trust builds as you learn more and more how they act and react in the world. The more you know someone and you learn their core values, the more you can develop the knowledge that creates trust.

We may all have a different list of what elicits trust in the other person. There are different aspects we translate into trustworthiness. Yet, whatever these are, we all recognize this feeling, when it is there and when it is not. Constancy is a big part of it. Are they always the same person, or does a completely different personality appear at times?

For us, an important factor was experiencing that each of us remained the same person every time we encountered each other. That may sound strange to point out, but we had both had the previous experience of being in a relationship where we never knew who we might be interacting with when coming together. The moods, and it seemed the person, were ever changing. This caused a state of insecurity and unease. In our relationship, there is a constancy of personality expression that brings with it a feeling of peace and calm.

If you want a trusting relationship, start out as you mean to continue, by being trusting. Obviously this doesn’t mean lending $10,000 on the second date; the degree of trust builds over time. But when you have a choice of two responses: they were working late or they were cheating on you; they forgot or they couldn’t be bothered; then go with the trusting choice. Jealousy and suspicion are not appealing traits.

If you want a trusting relationship, start out as you mean to continue, by being trustworthy #quote Share on XAt some point, you need to go all in. This is the delicious part. When you fully trust another person, you can let go of needing to monitor them. You can let go of any need to defend yourself. This is how you reach total acceptance, which we consider to be a necessary part of a successful relationship.

The flip side of developing trust in another person is that for them to develop trust in you, you have to be trustworthy, too, so make that happen from the start, otherwise the chances of establishing mutual trust are not so good. The way to be trustworthy is really quite simple: keep your promises. Maybe they are explicit, like “I’ll pay you back,” or maybe they are implied, like “I’m your friend, so you can call on me.”

Sometimes, we will not be able to achieve a true feeling of trust in a relationship. It’s a matter of degree. As you come to know them, there will be areas you can trust – that they won’t kill you, for instance – and areas you can’t trust. Don’t be Charlie Brown trying to kick the football yet again! We have to adjust and often create boundaries within that relationship to accommodate this realization. It might be that the other person cannot reach out to that kind of relating. It might be that they aren’t able to trust others and have erected protections around themselves. If they don’t experience trust, they are not likely to offer it.

Regardless of how another behaves, there is always an important option open to each of us, and that is to be trustworthy. We can bring the behavior of how it is when someone can be trusted into each and every relationship. We can come into each encounter without defensiveness, with trust and fairness. How we are is not dependent on another. When we bring our authenticity into a situation, it brings the scent of trust into the air. It changes the fabric of the experience for both parties by its very nature.

Photo credit: Phil Mayes
Photo note: Addyson at Kids World

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