Merriam Webster defines trust as “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something “. Essentially, trust is earned feeling of security. Within relationships, trust is created through experiencing a partner as someone you can continually rely and depend upon. If you want to build trust in your relationship, focus on your actions (not words) and be consistent with the following steps:
- Tell the truth, the whole truth– Most people will withhold information or distort the truth – just a little bit in an effort to protect against anticipated scrutiny and/or hurt feelings. Small, white lies may seem innocent but once they are discovered, they bring an air of distrust to the relationship. Your partner may become suspicious, thinking “What else are they lying about?” Even if you think your partner won’t like it – tell the whole truth. It’s much easier to address his/her feelings in a moment of openness rather than when you’ve already been perceived as deceitful.
- Follow-through – First, be realistic with what you are capable of doing. If you have a doubt that something can be done – don’t commit to it. Instead, say “I’ll try …” Then, do what you say you are going to do. If you tell your partner you will be home at 7pm, be home at 7pm. If you are running late – let them know ahead of time.
- Refrain from blabbermouth syndrome – There is certain sacredness in being our partner’s closest confidante. You may know your partner’s inner most thoughts, what he/she really thinks about her boss, friend and Uncle Bob – but that information is to be kept between the two of you. If you are going to disclose, make sure to check with your partner first.