Strong couples build trust to fuel their relationship. This basic building block creates happy, healthy relationships and builds over time. People often believe that love conquers all but, sometimes love isn’t enough. However, with basic trust, strong couples overcome many obstacles.
Strong couples practice being vulnerable and true to themselves in relationship to their partner. This means they rely on their partner who accepts them.
Strong couples still disagree and have conflict. Their basic trust fuels their capacity to work through disagreements with open, honest, loving communication. They more readily communicate boundaries and their needs, based on trust.
Here are five ways you can build trust in relationships:
- Don’t criticize the other person. Keep your judgments to yourself and don’t offer opinions unless you are asked. When you offer an opinion, do so with love and compassion using non-critical language. Speak to a behavior and not the person’s character. Start with “I have observed…” and then just let it go. It takes five positives to overcome one negative according to the Harvard Business Review. As a result, offer your opinions not to criticize, but to state an opinion or observation.
- Practice unconditional positive regard, which assumes the best intentions from the other person. This means assume they harbor no negative intentions. If they intend you harm or are hurtful, determine it over time through their actions. Use your intuition about feeling safe. If they don’t treat you well, make the decision to exit quickly and safely.
- Compassion and empathy provide the safety individuals need to be vulnerable. Vulnerability with another person requires trust and, when shared, can build a solid trust foundation in the relationship. So communicate in a loving and compassionate way, even when you are angry and hurt.
- Apologize when you are wrong. Sounds simple, but it isn’t easy to do. The book by Harriet Lerner, Why Won’t You Apologize?: Healing Big Betrayals and Everyday Hurts helps the reader understand the importance of apologizing when you have hurt another person. She also helps the reader understand a sincere apology and why it is so important.
“The best apologies are short, and don’t go on to include explanations that run the risk of undoing them. An apology isn’t the only chance you ever get to address the underlying issue. The apology is the chance you get to establish the ground for future communication. This is an important and often overlooked distinction.”
- Communicate using “I” language. This critical communication skill teaches you to take responsibility for our own feelings. No one can make someone feel a certain way. Take responsibility by simply stating “I feel angry when you… For example, “I feel hurt when you behave this way (state the behavior), but don’t say “you make me mad” or “you make me sad”. You can communicate the feeling as your own while pointing out the behavior or situation to which you reacted.
Strong Couples Build Trust Over Time
Trust, a valuable relationship commodity, builds over time. To build it be positive and accept the other person in the relationship for who they are. Love looses its luster, but successful couples use the basis of trust to continue to explore each other as they grow and change.
Pat Magerkurth is an experienced coach who understands the importance of trust in building both work and personal relationships. Contact her a call for a complimentary session to determine whether you can work together to understand how to build and maintain trust in your relationships. Contact her at email@example.com.