Trust Is Earned In A Relationship, Not Given
I hear people say, I can’t be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t trust me. I agree completely, trust is an important aspect of any sustainable relationship.
But there is something about trust that many people fail to acknowledge, and that is the fact that trust is earned, not given.
How is trust earned?
The Wordweb dictionary defines trust with the following phrases – “Have confidence or faith in”, “Allow without fear” and “be confident about something”.
Trust comes to be when words meet action. You build trust with your partner when you consistently do what you say you would do, what you both agreed upon, or what is expected to be done. It is through your actions that your partner gets to trust or distrust you.
Besides what is conveyed through words, in relationships, there are certain nonverbal agents of trust. These are conveyed by emotions, feelings. I consider trust built around emotions as soft trust. Worries, excitement, happiness, sadness, these are all emotions that can build trust or fan up distrust depending on how they are handled.
For example, when your partner is sad, he or she may trust you to make them feel better, to provide them with a shoulder to rest on. They are confident that you are the solution to their sad situation. What happens when you fail them? They get disappointed. If this happens over time it can make them have less confidence in you.
Trust defined by confidence doesn’t produce as much damage to a relationship when bridged as that defined by fear, as long as it is well managed. But there is another type of trust that is fragile – that defined by lack of fear.
Faithfulness, truthfulness, and their flip sides are some of the agents of trust defined by fear. Trust that relies on these agents is action-based, and you may refer to it as hard trust. When a partner trusts you to be faithful, they are without fear that you wouldn’t cheat on them. Such trust is sustained through character, words and action – the very things that may have attracted your partner to you. These provide cues that can make your partner ‘fearlessly’ in love with you.
Who you are, what you say, and what you do, are very important factors that affect the health of your relationship. Your partner may question your trustworthiness when there is a drastic unexplained or unexplainable shift from the status quo.
For example, you may not have been caught cheating, but you stopped calling them by the sweet names you use to before, or stop doing some of romantic things you use to do, all without reasonable explanation. This sort of change can brew up questions such as “does she still love me?” or “Is he cheating on me?” in the mind of a partner.
So yes, trust is earned and not given. To continue to enjoy your partner’s trust you have to be committed to saying and doing the things that made them trust you in the first place. You have to remain the YOU that they are in love with.
Yes changes are constant, but let all changes be well communicated and clearly understood. This way, you and your partner will evolve in understanding, keeping trust intact.
Don’t allow room for questionings. Don’t say this or do that, and expect that your partner should understand. Make them understand. Your partner is not a mind reader but their eyes can see clearly and their ears can equally hear clearly.
When a partner feels uncomfortable with a certain way you behave, let them understand why you chose to behave that way. Same thing should apply to what you do and say. Sincerity and clarity is a key thing to relationship success. Learn to communicate, sometimes that’s all it takes to preserve the trust.
Soft trust – one fundamentally based on emotions, can be easily rebuilt. But a damaged hard trust is hard to amend. Notice that these two are not too distinct as they reinforce each other. In other words, trust is trustJ. The difference lies in the gravity of the offence.
If your partner use to trust you, and now seems not to, it calls for you to take a look at what you are doing or saying differently, or who you have become. It must be that they hardly understand how the change came about, and that beckons on you to strengthen communicate.
Hopefully, you are able to establish an understanding and get things back on track.
Change is constant, embrace it. But know that trust is earned, not given. Watch your actions, words and personality in relation to your relationship direction. Remember that relationships are about mutual change, growth and happiness.
Earn your partner’s trust, keep it, and keep earning it.
Have a beautiful relationship!