Top Ten Trust Breakers
1 Exclusion: Excluding your love interest is a sure-fire way to break some of that trust. Whether you’re telling private jokes around them without explaining them or not inviting them to movie night at your apartment, your love interest will feel like you don’t want them in your life.
2 Secrets: Being secretive is not advised. It may annoy you that your love interest wants to read your text messages (that might seem like they don’t trust you), but when you lock your phone and won’t share the password, it looks like there’s something you’re trying to hide.
3 Jealousy: Most people are going to get a little jealous if their love interest spends their free time with somebody else — especially someone of the opposite sex. Acting jealous might lead your love interest to think you don’t trust them, and you’ve got to give trust to receive it.
4 Stalking: Keeping tabs on your love interest by following them around campus, or sending friends out to spy on them will go south when they find out what you’re doing. Like jealousy, this displays lack of trust on your part.
5 Not sharing your feelings: You don’t have to wear your heart on your sleeve, but just like you, your love interest needs to feel needed. If you aren’t willing to share the way you feel, you aren’t displaying much trust in your love interest. Your love interest’s feelings are his or hers to share, not yours. It takes trust to share the way you’re feeling. Don’t violate that trust by sharing with others what you’re told in confidence.
7 Not doing what you say you’re going to do: Integrity is trust’s middle name. Do what you say you’ll do when you say you’ll do it. Otherwise you’ll lose credibility, and trust crumbles soon after.
8 Cheating: This one should seem pretty obvious, but cheating is more than just hooking up with someone other than your love interest. Remember: “Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath (cheated) with her already in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28) Words to live by.
9 Hostility: Trust is about feeling safe with someone else. Abuse of any kind is never OK.
10 Having low trust: This has already been mentioned, but trust is a give-and-take process. Give your love interest the benefit of the doubt. Listen when they have an explanation for an offense. Treating their behavior as suspect doesn’t instill trust.
Earning trust back
Professor of family life Rick Miller said, “The way to build trust in a relationship is by both partners being trustworthy. … With this pattern of consistent honesty, integrity and dependability, partners develop a trust for each other. They don’t expect each other to be perfect, but they learn that their partner is dependable and worthy of their trust.”
Professor of family life Jeffry Larson cautions not to merely grant trust to a person—they should earn it first.
“Trust is on a continuum: zero to 10 — not black and white. And, you may trust a person in one area (e.g. being true to me) but not trust them in another (e.g. staying to a budget like agreed).”
You may have noticed that you or your love interest have stubbed your respective toes from time to time with one or more trust trashers. Maybe your love interest’s trust in you is waning, and maybe you deserve it. Fortunately, there is a silver lining: you can get trust back.
Miller said that trust can be regained. If you violate your love interest’s trust, it’s your responsibility to earn it back, but you don’t have the right to demand it. You’ve got to work for it, and that may take some time.
“Trust is developed by a consistent pattern of dependable, honest behavior,” Miller said. “Consequently, rebuilding trust requires the patience of both partners.”
Larson agrees. “A sincere apology starts the process, and a commitment to be trustworthy in the future.”
by Joseph Moxon
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