How To Regain Trust Again After It’s Been Lost
Recently a student wrote and asked the question, “How can I learn to trust someone again once trust has been broken.” The answer to this question will differ depending on the specifics of people involved and the exact circumstance. However, the process of how to trust someone or build trust again can be similar for all of us.
In this blog post, I will share with you some simple yet effective ways to move past trust issues and learn how to trust again.
There are two ways most people approach trust with others. One, trust is a given, you trust right off the bat, and that trust remains in place unless trust is broken. Second, trust is viewed as something that is earned. Over time you build a foundation of trust with a person little by little.
No matter which way you choose to establish trust, you will need to decide what to do if that trust is ever broken as it is a key ingredient to any healthy relationship and there are no substitutes for it.
Here is a process to determine whether or not you will be able to trust that person again and if so, steps to rebuild that trust:
Begin by getting clear on the circumstances around the dishonesty.
If it is something that you can forgive and move past and you want to stay in a relationship with this person, then you can take into consideration the past experiences you have had with this person. Is this the first time they have been dishonest with you or is this a reoccurring pattern?
If its the first time and it is a minor indiscretion then you may be able to simply clean the slate and start fresh with trust either being a given or something that you are working on rebuilding.
However, if there is a pattern of trust issues with this person, then you will need to ask yourself some additional questions and remember to be very honest with your answers.
1. Will this pattern of dishonesty most likely continue or do you feel that they are willing and able to make real change?
2. Is this a relationship that serves you? Is it a positive energy in your life, is it a healthy relationship? Is the relationship providing you with opportunists to learn and grow?
Once you have answered these questions, it is time to put some healthy boundaries in place. If you have discovered that continuing with this relationship does not have positive value for your life, then it will be time to kindly and firmly let that person go. In this case, it is best to communicate to them that because of the issue at hand you no longer wish to be in a relationship with them.
On the other side, if you find that this relationship does serve you and you see a potential to move forward and grow then the conversation with them will be around what your needs are in the relationship around trust and the requests that you have so that those needs are met. At this time you will make it clear whether it is a clean slate and trust is a given or if you need for trust to be rebuilt by them showing you that they can be trusted through their actions and words.
Keep in mind this is not meant to be a punishment for them; they do not need to be continuously reminded of their previous indiscretion with a sense of having to prove something to you. Instead, this is a process of growing that trust organically over time.
What are some ways that you’ve learned to trust again? Leave a comment and share your experience.