Lesson 32: Trust is a two-way street

You don’t have to tell them everything.  You are allowed to keep things to yourself.  You are a grown-up (most likely).  If you don’t think they can handle it or it is something you prefer to keep to yourself, that will forever be your call to make.  Unfortunately, that also means the relationship will likely never reach its full potential.  You don’t have to trust people, but without that trust, the relationship will always be functioning at a disadvantage.  There is no one fuel that keeps a relationship strong.  Things like trust, respect, communication, love, commitment, and more, all have their parts to play.  It is an ongoing, never ending effort.

Trust is one of those things that you will never know for sure.  Not until the ability to actually read minds becomes a thing.  Even then, there are some things you will never know for sure.  It is a leap of faith.  Short of being able to read minds, and don’t think I haven’t tried, it is impossible to know for sure whether or not anyone is being completely upfront and honest with you.  That isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  Luckily for you, the same goes for everyone else as well.  If you view it as a disadvantage, that is what it will be.  I recommend viewing it as an advantage.  Trust is the foundation on which the best of relationships are constructed.

I have yet to discover the lone wolf success story that did absolutely everything completely on his or her own.  You can go through life trying to do everything solo, but you don’t have to.  Relationships are about making that connection with someone that is based on love, respect, and mutual trust.  Having the ability to trust someone fully allows you to face anything in life knowing that there is someone that knows everything about you and still has your back.  Is ready to support you and keep you focused on the things that will make your life together better.  Knowing you are not alone fuels the ability to face any challenge with hope and optimism.

One of the most difficult parts about trust is when you have extended it to someone who either abused it, took advantage of it, or broke it entirely.  Believe me when I say I get it.  I have been there.  Most people have been there.  You are not alone.  It is hurtful and is something that is incredibly difficult to recover from.  Sometimes, it may hurt so bad that you feel like you will never be able to trust anyone again.  I wish I could tell you that there is an easy fix to this but there really isn’t.  There are things you can do to help.

Let some time pass.  Not forever.  There is no time frame here.  Only you can determine what is enough time.  The best thing you can do is talk to people about it.  People that you know will listen and can possibly provide useful feedback.  Treat trust like a muscle.  You have to work on it constantly.  Like muscles, you want to take things slowly and carefully in order to minimize the risk of damage.  It won’t happen overnight, but eventually, you will notice that it gets easier.  It gets stronger.  You will inevitably reach a point where you will feel like you can open up again.  You will see that you aren’t the only one and it is comforting to not be alone.

It is important to remember that most people have experienced this so you will need to exercise different levels of patience with different people.  It is not just about understanding what others have been through.  It is about empathizing with them so they too know that they are not alone.  In any relationship with others, trust has to be worked on mutually.  No one person can carry the weight of trust for another.  It will always have to be a two-way street.  Learn to believe in one another and you will never truly be alone again.

Takeaways:

  1. The stronger the trust, the stronger the relationship.
  2. Never assume you know what someone is thinking.
  3. Trust takes a mutual effort.
  4. There is no easy fix to broken trust.
  5. Learn to empathize.

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