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Building trusting relationships

Angela O'Connor
06 Jan 2023

Trust is a key ingredient in any successful relationship, whether it’s a romantic one, a business partnership or a friendship. It’s built over time by consistently keeping your word, being honest and straightforward with your communication and showing up for others when they need you. If you have been hurt in the past or don’t feel like you can trust others easily, it may take some effort and time to rebuild your faith. Let's understand how to build trust in all your relationships.

What are some Common Theories of Trust?

One of the most commonly accepted theories of trust involves risk and reward. According to this theory, when people trust each other they are willing to take risks to gain rewards. It is believed when the exchange happens without any contractual obligations, there is a greater chance of gaining trust amongst partners.

Another popular theory of trust is known as the "trust spiral" developed by Anders Wendelheim.

Openness and trust have an unbreakable bond. The more open we are with one another, the stronger our mutual trust grows; this in turn encourages us to be even more candid when communicating with each other. This symbiotic relationship between openness and trust forms a powerful feedback loop that can lead to lasting bonds of friendship.

Finally, the "trust threshold" theory suggests when people enter a relationship and trust one another, they build an emotional bond. This bond strengthens the mutual understanding between two or more people and allows them to move forward with their relationship. Generally speaking, once this threshold is crossed it becomes easier for both parties to continue trusting each other and building a strong relationship.

Keeping these theories in mind can help you to build stronger, more meaningful connections with the people around you.

Why is it Important to Build Trust?

Trust is essential to any relationship, whether it is with a romantic partner, family member, friend or even coworkers. Without trust, all relationships become strained and can eventually break down completely. The importance of building trust cannot be overstated - it is the cornerstone of all successful interactions between two people.

When you trust someone, you feel comfortable sharing personal information with them and being vulnerable. This feeling of security is essential for relationships to grow and develop into something meaningful.

Trust also helps you to build emotional connections with people, making it easier for you to empathize and connect on a deeper level. 

Finally, trust allows you to rely on someone and know they will be there when you need them. This provides a sense of stability and security for both parties involved in the relationship.

What Does Lack of Trust Lead To?

A lack of trust in relationships leads to:

  • Constant suspicion and doubt
  • Never feeling secure or stable in the relationship
  • Difficulty communicating openly and honestly
  • A weakened emotional connection with other people
  • An inability to rely on one another for support

It is important to be aware of these potential consequences when building trust. Without proper trust, relationships will suffer greatly and may even dissolve completely.

How Can You Build Trust in Your Relationships?

Building trust is an ongoing process which involves communication and consistency. It is not always easy to build trust; however, there are seven steps you can take to do so.

1. Honesty is The Best Policy

People need to know they can count on and trust each other and being honest about your thoughts and feelings helps to foster this connection. Sharing your vulnerabilities and insecurities can also help to build trust

2. Respect Each Other

Understanding and appreciating one another’s differences without judgment or criticism is essential for building trust. Respecting boundaries and being mindful of how your words and actions may affect someone are equally important. 

3. Communicate Clearly

Make sure you are both on the same page when it comes to expectations, goals and plans. You must also consistently follow through on your promises and commitments

4. Hold Yourself Accountable

It is important to be reliable and consistent in your actions so other people can depend on you. Communicate with each other about any changes or issues promptly and take responsibility for your mistakes. Owning up to your mistakes shows you are trustworthy and willing to grow.

5. Show Appreciation

It is important both parties feel valued in the relationship, as this will help to encourage trust between the two of you. Some ways to express appreciation include verbal compliments, physical gestures and quality time spent together.

6. Give Each Other Support

A relationship without trust can be difficult and emotionally challenging. Let the people in your life know you are there for them, no matter what. Show up for the good and bad times and offer support whenever needed. Consistently providing emotional support demonstrates you are committed to their well-being and the relationship.

7. Spend Quality Time Together

Spend time together doing activities you both enjoy, as this can help to strengthen the bond between you. Showing an interest in each other’s lives is essential for trust to grow and having fun together can help build positive memories.

By taking the time to build trust in your relationships, you will create stronger, more meaningful connections. Trust is essential for long-term relationships, so make sure you are taking the necessary steps to ensure trust between those in your life.


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