Imagine that all it took for someone to be trustworthy, was for you to put your trust in them? Well, in part, this is how trust works. Think about it… try and remember a time when someone put their trust in you. Maybe it was a special task, or maybe someone shared a painful secret with you. How did you feel when that person opened up to you or put their faith in you? You probably wanted them to know that you wouldn’t let them down and that they could rely on you to do your best, or you may have even risen to the challenge and gone the extra mile to show that person that they were right to put their trust in you. Their trust brought out the best in you.
Now lets look at it from the other side… when someone doesn’t trust you, how does it make you feel? It probably won’t make you feel that good, and you will wonder why they never shared their problem with you and you could end up feeling that you were maybe not a good enough friend. Or if that person is your lover and they do not trust that you will respect the relationship, that could also make you feel like you are not worthy or good enough. Could those negative feelings bring out the worst in you? This is why it is better to put your trust in someone, even if there are no guarantees that this person will uphold that trust. Just the act of you trusting them, can help them to understand that they are worthy and bring out the best in them.
Part of the reason we don’t trust people is because we don’t want to end up looking a fool, or getting hurt, but this is just ego getting in the way. The thing is, if someone breaks your trust, it is generally them who ends up looking bad, not you. The only way you can really look a fool is by your own actions or reactions, not someone else’s. So don’t let this be your reason for not trusting. Not trusting someone, can in fact push them away from you and make that person feel disconnected from you.
I can hear some of you asking (and myself at times), what if that person REALLY isn’t trustworthy? How do you know who to trust? Well its fairly simple… You can often see the quality of a person by how they treat their family, their friends, their co-workers and even by how they treat strangers they interact with. If someone has shown signs of integrity, sincerity, good morals, and consistent behaviour (for instance, doing the things they said they would do, when they said they would do them) then you have no real reason to distrust them. Over time, watching their actions and interactions will give you a good idea of how decent a person they are and whether they deserve your trust or not.
If you STILL then do not trust that person, even when they have shown themselves to be worthy, then its likely there is a deeper trust issue you are holding inside which has nothing to do with that person but more to do with past experience of people close to you having lied or let you down in some way. This is where you need to make a LEAP OF FAITH, and ignore your previous default programming, over-ride it and say “I can trust this person!”… it’s like looking at something RED and saying that its BLUE, it doesn’t seem logical. But understand that even if they were not being trustworthy, even if they were lying and cheating, worrying about it will just completely drain you of energy. Energy which could be better put to something positive and constructive in your life (like learning a new skill, musical instrument, language or sport for instance). So imagine that person eventually does ‘let you down’, at least you have not wasted your time sitting at home worrying, and whatever positive project/activity you invested your time in, is still there for you to continue building on. The new project/activity will also keep you engaged in learning so you have less time to worry. Wasting time and energy worrying about whether someone is lying to you or cheating on you is just not useful to anyone.
When we feel worry coming on, we can also help ourselves by keeping small positive reminders – whether it’s a note in your purse, or a saved text from a friend or loved one telling you how wonderful they think you are. And if you don’t have a note or text from a loved one, then write one to yourself!! (remember you can be your own best friend)… For instance “Dear me, I know I am struggling to trust this person, but I am now free to choose to let go and just trust them“. It’s good to remind yourself that this person you are finding hard to trust actually loves you and every time you look at the reminder/text/note, you will reinforce positive feelings about that person and your trust will gradually grow. It’s also important for that person to know and understand why you have trust issues, so communicate and make it clear!
And what if it is YOU who is not trusted… how do you help someone to put their trust in you? Consistency and Reassurance are key here. So if you say you are going to do something, stick to it. If you say you will arrive at a certain time, arrive at that time. Be sincere, speak from your heart, don’t be scared to say what you really think, speak your truth, and take your time when you speak. Give that person eye contact when you are talking to them, it lets them know you are in the present moment and not day-dreaming about something else. Also skin contact helps to ease communication and increases bonding. So holding someone’s hand or rubbing their back can be very soothing if you are discussing something difficult. A hug is even better. Be the first to say sorry when you are wrong. Be patient if you feel an apology is also due from the other side, but hasn’t yet come. Your own apology will help to clear things up from your side and allow the space for them to then look at their side.
This video of two dancers from Cirque du Soleil sums things up nicely: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWypWe9UAhQ&sns=fb
“A bird sitting in a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust is not on the branch but on her own wings. Always believe in yourself”