6 Ways To Rebuild Trust In A Relationship
Strong relationships are built on trust, but it can easily be broken if people do not make an active effort to maintain that trust. Events or Incidents that can destroy trust include:
- Financial issues or disputes
- Poor communication
- Disloyalty or betrayal
- Dishonesty or deceitfulness
These types of issues can have a negative impact on a partner’s sense of security, safety, self-esteem, or confidence. Additionally, trust can be broken if significant needs or expectations in a relationship are not met. This is especially problematic if expectations are not properly communicated and agreed upon at the beginning of the relationship. This holds true for both platonic as well as romantic relationships. Regardless of the situation that leads to mistrust, there are a number of ways that trust can be rebuilt and maintained if both parties are willing to work toward it. The following strategies can help build or rebuild relationships that are based on trust.
1. Offer an Honest Apology
One of the first steps to rebuilding trust is admitting to one’s mistakes and offering a sincere apology. This reflects humility that shows a willingness to address weaknesses. It also demonstrates remorse and a strong desire to repair the relationship. In addition, a true apology may not always come from words that are said, but may also involve a moving gesture, multiple conversations, or even lifestyle changes. After apologizing, it is also important to give the slighted friend or partner time to process the apology.
2. Be Willing to Work on the Relationship
After offering a heartfelt apology, make an active effort to work on rebuilding the relationship. Of course, the friend or partner whose trust was violated also needs to be willing to forgive the offense so as to renew a healthy social connection. In other words, both parties need to agree to take the steps that will be necessary to reconstruct a trustworthy relationship. Another crucial step toward moving forward involves working together to set reasonable, mutual expectations to help both individuals avoid crossing the line in the future. Teamwork is the key to re-establishing trust.
3. Give Each Other Time for Reflection
When a man wants to restore confidence between himself and his partner or friend, both individuals should set aside personal time to reflect about the experience. This involves giving one another space to begin to heal emotionally. Most importantly, the offender should take time to reflect on what factors may have led to the act that destroyed the trust. Self-reflection is one of the best ways to avoid making the same types of mistakes repeatedly. Fully assessing the situation is also a beneficial way to learn from the experience.
4. Find Ways to Create New Memories That Solidify a Powerful Bond
Another key strategy that helps re-establish trust involves spending time together to create new, positive experiences that will become pleasant memories. This helps by reminding them about the good times they previously shared and instills hope for better times to come. Creating pleasant, new memories also helps people reconnect by reminding them that they can still interact in a healthy, trusting manner. Need a little help to jumpstart your energy for that relationship-building? It's time for some Green Lumber.
5. Demonstrate Trustworthiness
Although some men may be quick to trust, once that trust has been broken it usually takes time to rebuild it. However, if both individuals make the decision to move forward, the person who caused the mistrust has to honor commitments that have been established by remaining true to their word. In such cases, it is important to avoid making promises that can’t be kept such as offering to call or text at specific times. Promising to make major lifestyle changes such as quitting a job, no longer speaking to certain people, or taking on substantial financial responsibilities may also become problematic, especially if such promises are made during an emotionally-charged exchange.
Small commitments such as promising to be honest in the future or communicating one’s apprehensions more frequently are more reasonable types of promises that are easier to keep. Making an unreasonable commitment and then inadvertently breaking it can lead to an irreparable loss of trust.
Commitments and expectations that friends or couples make need to be realistic. People will always make mistakes, but it is easier to forgive small, unintentional slip ups. In addition, accidental mishaps do not usually result in mistrust, especially when open, honest communication between both parties is maintained.
It is important to remember that trust is built on consistency. Relying on the body's natural cues, relaying emotions in a sincere, heartfelt manner, and showing vulnerability are also key ways to build or rebuild trust.
6. Follow the Body’s Natural Instincts
The body produces natural chemicals that help control certain human emotions that foster trust, trustworthiness, social connections, and intimacy. This means that people are wired for positive social interactions that encourage trust. Therefore, trust is an innate desire that compels people to give into to this emotion.
Many men may subconsciously disregard the role that trust plays when they are choosing their friends or partners, but the body's physical and chemical makeup causes the act of trusting someone to become routine, reflexive behavior. Accordingly, a man's friend or partner has to engage in significantly damaging behavior to lose a man's trust. Similarly, a man who betrays, deceives, or seriously hurts another person can also easily lose trust that is so freely given by others due to human nature.
Men may also try to hide their feelings at times, assuming that divulging too much may be viewed as a sign of weakness, but the body responds positively to vulnerability due to chemicals and mental processes that encourage social closeness. Therefore, honesty is the best remedy for strong friendships or romantic relationships. As long as both parties remember that rebuilding trust is an ongoing process, they will reap the rewards of a healthy relationship for years to come.