How to Rebuild Trust | The BridgeMaker

How to Rebuild Trust

By on Feb 19, 2014

five ways to rebuild trust

When mistrust comes in, love goes out. – Irish saying

Trust is rooted in instinct and nurtured with faith.

But trust is just one step away from betrayal, one of the most painful things a person can inflict on another. And once released, betrayal can wear down faith with relentless pain.

Although you may not be able to remove the pain brought on by betrayal, you can restore the damaged foundation of your relationship. To do this, you will need to learn how to rebuild trust and then lean on your faith a little longer to give the relationship a shot at survival.

If you need to rebuild trust, here are five ways. Each one is centered on faith and focused on providing forgiveness.

Stop and Listen
Listening is the first step to reconciliation. Listening represents more than the reopening of communication. By listening you are putting their feelings first, demonstrating that you value not only what they have to say, but how they feel. You need to be able to empathize with how they feel before you can put yourself in a position to earn their respect.

Respect their Feelings
The natural response to pain and hurt is to shut down, to lick your wounds and hide behind walls. Betraying someone puts them on the defensive and in a situation where there are only losers, no victors. Respect their feelings and demonstrate remorse by acknowledging your role in how they feel. Until they are convinced that you understand and respect how you made them feel, they cannot reconcile with you in good faith.

Demonstrate Earnest Intentions
There is no substitute for earnest intentions. To rebuild trust you must restore their confidence in your intentions. By betraying them, you violated their instincts about your good intentions, proving the age old proverb of the path paved with good intentions. You have to demonstrate that you understand that you are laying bricks in a new road, a road that won’t leave them alone and betrayed.

Expel Deceit
Hidden lies hurt more than recognized lies. A betrayal of trust already cuts deep to where there is no margin for deceit. The smallest and most subtle of slights will dissolve good will and wide walls will spring up cutting you off from all belief in reconciliation. Open yourself to honesty and avoid the contours of concealed intrigue. By being straightforward you no longer hide your faults where they can inflict pain. You are showing yourself ready to reconcile.

Without reconciliation, the relationship becomes a fraudulent thing dressed in the tatters of torn friendship. And so you must resolve and reconcile your breach of trust on their terms because it is their decision whether they believe the chance of another betrayal is worth the sum parts of your relationship.

By placing reconciliation at their feet you are making yourself vulnerable, you are placing the bond of trust into their hands. They cannot trust you until you trust them. Whether the path to reconciling your mistake is short or long, it is the only route leading to the reclamation of your relationship.

Andrew Cain is a native of Gainesville, Florida and received a bachelor’s in Linguistics from the University of Florida. He served 32 months as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines where he currently resides as an itinerant freelance writer and local networking coordinator for various international volunteer organizations.