Trust is not just something you bestow upon an individual “just because,” at least not as an adult, especially if you’ve trusted and been betrayed. Only vulnerability and honesty build trust, whether you’ve had it before and lost it, or are trying to share trust in a new relationship.
The depth of a relationship is determined by the amount of trust which can be shared between two people. Vulnerability and trust are the foundation of deep trusting connection.
If you are thinking about offering up a little trust in a given someone’s direction, a wise person does not just throw caution to the wind and say, “I trust you,” (though many of us do, myself included). I tend to be open and honest and just expect others to be the same way, though that is rarely the case as many people have an underlying or hidden agenda in many of their affairs.
When you meet someone, it’s a good idea to trust them with some small things, bits of data which wouldn’t harm you much if they were to get out. Then watch and see how they do. If their trustworthiness appears to be worthy, you could up the ante and see how they handle a little more sensitive information.
Vulnerability is the precursor to trust.
The more you are vulnerable and the more you determine that this person can be trusted, the more you can trust this person.
I have made the mistake of trusting someone whose trustworthiness was unwarranted, and in retrospect, wished I’d followed this sage advice. I would have suffered far less had I taken the time to trust them a little and taken the time to observe their ability to be trusted, before moving into more sensitive areas.
This does not guarantee a foolproof trusting relationship, but it can certainly reduce your losses due to people’s tendency to stab you in the back.
If you previously trusted someone and that trust was broken, it can be rebuilt, but it will take time, effort, vulnerability and honesty, and it will be uncomfortable, the process may even be painful.
There can be no trust without vulnerability.
Before you can rebuild trust, it’s a good idea to start with a clean slate. Not that you simply erase any of the betrayal which has occurred in the past, but you have discussed it. The offender (the one who broke the trust) discloses all the details of the lies, deceit, misrepresentation, and unauthorized disclosures to the victim.
Once the victim has been made aware of all the details, there is a normal negative reaction time, wherein the victim tries to resolve the revealed information. Allow time for the victim to process the information, being vulnerable and honest can be awkward and uncomfortable.
The offender may ask for forgiveness, but this is not necessary. It is up to the victim to decide if rebuilding trust is an option for him or her following the full disclosures.
This serious breach of trust can be overcome using this same process. You allow yourself to be vulnerable a little at a time, and the trust relationship is rebuilt slowly over time.
Note that people are just people, we are all different, and they will do what they will do.
Some people could not tell the truth if they tried. Others couldn’t be trusted as far as you could throw them.
It’s up to you to discover who the people area who pass through your life. To do so you must be aware and the more you trust your intuition, the more you will be likely to ferret them out quickly.
So, the next time you get that feeling inside that “something’s not right,” or you hear something that feels like a lie, pay attention and become aware that you may be trusting someone that may not be trustworthy.
If the person turns out to be a narcissist, sociopath, or psychopath, you would have been able to minimize your exposure to this kind of toxic personality.