LIFESTYLES by Ronda Gates Smart Behavior
Building Trust.

Building Trust
As I watch relationships ebb and flow the word trust continues to emerge as a currency that measures the feeling of safety between two people. I believe that because so many elements are inherent in having (or not having) trust in a person the issue is complex. However, after exploring the issue for my own clarity I came up with four areas I believe contribute to the measurement of trust.
1. INTEGRITY Webster's dictionary defines integrity as "uprightness of character." Sounds nice, but what does that really mean? People have integrity when their behavior matches their words. They do what they say they are going to do. It's a red flag in a relationship if, over time, a person's behavior does not consistently match their words. In short, hear the words but watch the actions.
2. RESPONSIBILITY People mess up and make mistakes. That's part of everyday life. People who can be trusted take responsibility for their mistakes. They don't blame others or make excuses. When they mess up, they admit it, and, to the best of their ability do what is necessary to repair the damage.
3. UNDERSTANDING Another sign of trustworthiness is the ability to understand that two people can look at the same experience and have very different responses. An ugly blue building may be colorful to someone else. Your benevolent gesture may feel invasive to someone else. In order for trust to grow, these different perspectives must be acknowledged even when they're not understood.
4. SECURITY We tend to trust the people with whom we feel secure (safe). When we know we can be ourselves and say what we really think and feel without repercussions our trust builds. A requirement to walk on eggs is a metaphor for the fragility of that security.

It takes time to develop trust in someone, especially for people who have been hurt before. Who do you trust? What are the characteristics that support that trust? If the relationship is important to you what are the small steps you can do to restore betrayed trust.

If you have been in a relationship where trust has been damaged and want to rebuild trust try my 1 to 10 scale to rate the trust in four different areas.

Give a number to
  • where your level of trust is now;
  • the worst it has ever been;
  • the best it has ever been and
  • how you would like it to be.
  • Like many people you may notice that where it is now is higher than the worst it has ever been. if that is so, what did it take to move your trust up the scale. The answers to that question are part of what helps you to build trust in a person.
    Now for higher math. Take the number for where trust is now and subtract it from the number of where you would like it to be. For the sake of example, let's say your goal is a 10 minus your current of level, 6. That means you have four levels of trust to go to get where you want.
    Instead of trying to jump from 6 to 10 in one shot, break it down into more manageable chunks. What small, day-to-day things would take to go from a 6 to a 7, a 7 to an 8 and so on?
    Working in small steps, building and rebuilding trust, one step at a time, allows you to see if someone's behavior matches their words, taking you back to INTEGRITY.....and so on and so on.

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    LIFESTYLES by Ronda Gates
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