NewsWorldHow to rebuild trust in your relationships

How to rebuild trust in your relationships

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(CNN) – Since trust is critical to relationships, trying to restore feeling once it is lost can seem impossible. But if you are the offender in a trust breakdown, it’s important to know that all hope may not be lost.

Trust “is often defined, somewhat abstractly, as the willingness to be vulnerable to another or to an institution, or we treat it more as a characteristic of a relationship,” said Karen Cook, Ray Lyman professor of sociology. Wilbur at Stanford University in California, to Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent, on the podcast episode “Chasing Life”, “Trust me”.

The highest level of trust means people can trust you to act on their behalf or in their best interest, even when you have the opportunity to take advantage of them or cause them harm, said Michele Williams, a professor at the University’s Tippie College of Business. from Iowa. “Improves Collaboration and Cooperation.”

Confidence, or this willingness to be vulnerable, relies heavily on three fundamentals, Williams said, citing a 199 investigation5: The ability to perform any task that has been entrusted to you; benevolence, or care or protection of the other person; and integrity, which means acting in accordance with an acceptable set of values.

When you violate someone’s trust in you, the person may have trouble believing your subsequent good intentions or sincerity. In romantic relationships, distrust can damage the emotional and physical connections between couples, said Kiaundra Jackson, a licensed marriage and family therapist, private physician and television personality. And in the workplace, one of the biggest costs of broken trust is the loss of liking due to negative emotions and thus avoiding one another, which prevents mistrust being resolved, Williams said.

No matter which side of the broken trust you are on, if it’s a relationship you think is worth saving, the experts have advice on what to do.

Empathize and apologize

If you’re sorry and want to apologize, know that different people need different apologies, said Darlene Lancer, a licensed marriage and family therapist and psychotherapist in Santa Monica, California. With some people, “it doesn’t matter what you say; they want to hear the words ‘I’m sorry,'” he said. “Other people don’t give a damn. They want you to listen to them and understand how they feel. And then other people just say, ‘Well, show me. I don’t care what you say.”

“Often when people accuse you of being untrustworthy, your immediate response is to stand up for yourself and defend your good intentions rather than listen to them,” Williams said. “Many times that empathy is really important.”

Actively listening that you seek to understand someone rather than preparing to respond while the other person is speaking is key to rebuilding trust, Williams said, and should be done shortly after your violation. If you hurt your partner, ask them what they think happened and why it hurt. Empathize with aspects that you cannot see from your point of view. Apologize for what your partner perceived as hurt. During these conversations, focus all your attention and time on listening and, without interrupting, asking questions to accurately perceive your partner’s feelings and thoughts.

Once that person is done sharing, you can share what you think happened from your perspective. But acknowledge what you did and don’t make excuses, Jackson said.

Go ahead

Apologizing is a crucial step, but it is often not a magic wand that will bring the relationship back to normal immediately or quickly.

“There’s a great article that talks about trust asymmetry,” Williams said, referring to the 2009 article from University of Southern California Professor Peter Kim on Trust Repair. “The idea is that when someone’s trust is violated, that person is often more reluctant to rebuild trust than the other person. So you want to rebuild trust, but the other person is a bit distant because now they see you. as someone who could cause him harm. “

Therefore, persistently maintaining that relationship by constantly showing your trustworthiness could help the other person to want to let you in again. If your manager doesn’t trust you because you’re significantly late for work, don’t be surprised if your manager gets upset when you’re five minutes late on another day; breaches of trust tend to accumulate in the minds of others, small gaps objectively can seem large. It takes time for someone to believe your efforts are sincere, so don’t give up too soon, Williams advised.

Also, know that the person you hurt doesn’t have to forgive you or trust you again if that person doesn’t want to, Jackson said.

Try to trust again

One of the main reasons some people never return to their previous level of confidence is one-sided effort, Jackson said. With the efforts of both parties, the relationship can be fixed.

If you’re on the receiving end of someone’s gestures to rebuild trust, be receptive to considering that person’s perspective, Williams said. If appropriate, perceive the person as someone who has made mistakes, not as a perpetrator whose only intention is to harm. It is likely that you too have made incorrect or inconsiderate decisions at some point. Recognizing this can help you work together.

Rebuilding trust “can go a long way. It’s probably one of the hardest things most people have to experience, because it takes a long time,” Jackson said. “I’ve seen people stay there, putting in real work. Often they may or may not need professional help, depending on the setting, to reach that goal.”

“But once you get to that point, I often feel like those relationships are stronger than they were before.”

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