When it comes to relationships there are few things more important than trust. While everyone knows this on some level I am constantly surprised by just how hard trust is in practice.
Many times we struggle to trust because of past experiences or relationships that shake our faith in humanity. The sad reality is this difficulty to trust each other can create a serious strain on our relationships.
So what can we do to help ourselves feel comfortable trusting someone else?
Be Brutally Honest
First, be brutally honest with yourself about the other person. If they have already proven untrustworthy either to you or someone else then perhaps you should reevaluate your relationship. Sometimes trust can be repaired, sometimes people change, but rarely. Staying in a distrustful relationship will only prolong the pain of being betrayed.
Leave the Baggage
The next thing about trust is that you have to allow it to build. We don’t meet someone and instantly trust them (or we shouldn’t because that is unwise). Most of the time when two people meet it is understood that trust will grow as you get to know one another. The problem comes in when you drag your baggage of distrusting someone in the past, into this new tender relationship. While we should always learn from our mistakes, assuming your new partner is just like your old one will create tension and problems. Strive to leave all preconceived notions in the past and truly get to know the person in front of you. Even if they do something that makes you feel distrustful, discuss it with them or take a deep look at if they are truly being dishonest, etc. Make no assumptions.
Letting down our walls can be a hard, sometimes painful process. Yet, doing so is the biggest part of trust. If you are anything like me you probably have walls of some kind that most people never see-through. In my case, I have more of a... impenetrable fortress of self-imposed solitude. I don’t let anyone into my true heart. Or I should say I didn’t. The thing is when someone very special comes along, you’ll want to let them in. Doing so is an important step in building trust, it doesn’t have to happen all at once, and I realize how hard it can be. The best way to lower your walls in my opinion is brick by brick, mental stone by mental stone. This takes a level of self awareness. Take some time each day to be honest with yourself and then ask yourself if you let them in that day or if you threw up the walls again. Then be sure to ask if they deserved your trust, or if they deserve your wall.
Be willing to keep trying within reason. Sometimes regardless of our best efforts trust is very hard. If it’s because the other person truly isn’t trustworthy than maybe it’s time to move on. But if you are perhaps slightly to sensitive then don’t give up! Keep trying! Again, be honest Both with your partner and yourself.
I'm a woman who sees the world a bit differently. I've studied relationships, both through those around me, my own experiences & through traditional education on how human psychology affects our interpersonal connections for over ten years. This is my story, my advice, and my not so humble opinions.