One of the most important qualities in any sort of connection (including relationships and friendships) is trust. You need to know that they’ll always be there for you, and they need to know that you’ll always be there for them. Creating trust can be hard work, but it opens up your connections to so many more opportunities.
In my experience, trust develops when you have the characteristics of a person worth trusting AND you’re willing to trust others.
Here are some steps you can take in hopes of forming a sense of trust with someone:
In my opinion, honesty is the most important trait. Before anyone can even think of lending you their trust, they have to know that you will be honest with them. Tell them how you really feel. Tell them if you don’t like something. Be honest. They’ll appreciate it.
This next step ties in well with trust. Telling the truth means owning up to your mistakes. Let them know that you understand it was your fault that plans didn’t work out. This shows that you’re self-aware, and willing to acknowledge the not so good times. Their respect for you will grow immensely.
Equally important to creating an atmosphere of trust is being authentic. People need to know that you’re being your true self. Don’t try to be someone they like, because you won’t be able to keep it up. And no one likes people that act fake. If you want to be more like the person they are, you will begin to change. The change is slow and hard to notice, but it can’t be forced.
We live in a world where most people return the thoughts and emotions you give to them. The same goes for trust. But for trust to be returned, someone has to show it first. I know. This is the hardest part. The best method I’ve found is gradually building to more trusting tasks.
Start small…like really small. Ask them for help with a question you don’t understand or have a conversation about some of your less controversial viewpoints. Slowly build to more trusting tasks. These tasks are where it gets difficult. Trust at this level often means sharing personal thoughts that you wouldn’t want others to know. Examples include asking someone out, saying “I love you” for the first time, or sharing your most embarrassing story. They could reject you, and laugh as they tell all their friends about how you asked them out.
So, why be vulnerable? I have two reasons you should be vulnerable. The first is: they probably already like you. If you’ve slowly been asking more trusting questions, and they haven’t rejected you yet, then they probably view you as a very good friend. Thus, a rejection would still be awkward, but it would be far from your worst nightmare. The second reason to be vulnerable is: You have so much to gain. Nothing creates a better feeling of trust then a bond where you and your friend/partner are completely vulnerable with each other. Knowing they have your back will give you the strength to achieve great things.
5. Understand That It Might Not Work
The last step of understanding and developing trust is realizing that it might not work out how you want it to. If you want everyone to trust you, it’s not gonna happen. Would you trust every person that you met? I know I wouldn’t. So not everyone’s going to trust you. You probably already know this, but it’s an important reminder. Sometimes, the best solution is realizing you’ve lost and moving on to the next battle.
I hope you’ve learned something from these techniques. I truly believe our world needs people to be more trusting of each other. Without trust, it is impossible to work toward solving the complex problems currently faced by many different societies and people. It is also impossible to understand a friend or family member’s life. If you give more focus to these values…if we all give more focus to these values, I believe our friendships will be stronger, our lives will be better, and our world will be more united. Let us all exemplify the trust we seek in others. You can do it, I trust you.