By Prapoorna M

Last Updated: November 27, 2021

“The most pernicious myth about love is the image of love as a closed system between two people. For love is a prism through which one loves the whole world. Every intimacy and every sweetness of love makes the whole world different and opens one up to the world’s reality rather than protecting one from it.” – Al Carmines

Time and again in my clinical practice, I often hear from my clients showing a desire to rebuild trust in a relationship, be it in a romantic relationship or relationship with a close friend or a family member. We all know that trust is the basic foundation of a good relationship. It’s absolutely fundamental for any relationship to evolve. It takes reasonable time to build and regain that trust with a person in relationship and on the contrary takes a lot less time to lose that. This rebuilding of trust takes immense effort and consumes a lot of time. It becomes easy when both the people are motivated to work towards developing that trust.

Hands of a couple symbolizing Trust
Hands of a couple symbolizing Trust

Here are 3 steps to take in the process of rebuilding trust.

Say what you mean and mean what you say

People are very good at picking up clues about someone who is saying things that aren’t true. Remember the story of a liar cowboy who lies to the villagers about the lion and how villages refuse to believe him when he is actually in real danger. The bottom line is when you are trying to regain the trust in a relationship, it very important that you stop saying things that you don’t stick to or that don’t represent your actual feelings. When the other person picks up these minor lies, it would make it very difficult for them to trust you again.

Respecting each other

A lot of people treat the other person in a relationship in an unfair manner, taking the other person’s respect for granted. They feel that it’s really common to lash out, be aggressive when they are so close to each other. When someone makes us feel less or damage our self respect, that’s when the trust gradually shades away. The more intimate your relationship is, the more important it becomes to keep up that respect. A lot of times you would see the worst phases of the other person where they are emotionally vulnerable. In these times blaming the other person, criticizing and judging them will damage the trust. The way you accept the good qualities in them, try to accept the challenges in them too. This does not mean that you must be formal with them all the time. But you must understand that every time you say things that demean them, you automatically harm your relationship with them and make it more difficult for them to trust you over time.

It’s not just about receiving but giving too

It’s really important to be reciprocal in terms of your emotional needs. When I say reciprocal, I don’t mean that each person gives exactly the same as they are receiving. This balance might not happen always. One person leans on the other when they are vulnerable and in need. That’s because of the trust, as you know that you won’t end up always in just giving and the other person will be there for you in your needy times. So a significant component of building trust is needed to let this process happen. Be willing to give and receive. If you are at receiving end most of the times, then there is a good chance that the other person might feel undervalued.

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