We often talk about how we gain trust with others. What happens if we lose trust? This is a much more challenging situation than gaining trust in the first place.
Whether we’re talking about trust in your family, at work or, with friends, once you lose it we often just give up and don’t try to get trust back again. Our relationship becomes strained and many times it’s easier to let it go than work to gain trust that we lost back again.
I believe the most important step is to take responsibility for the situation. Even if it’s the other person’s fault, or you see it as their fault, taking responsibility for the situation is a great first step to take.
One of my favorite axioms in life is to pretend that I’m responsible for everything that happens in my life. I might not actually be responsible, but if I don’t act as if I was responsible nothing good can happen.
When you lose trust with someone else there is usually some action or something that you said that had something to do with the change in your relationship. Often you will find that others cling to that something and as a result their resentment grows.
Somebody has to be the adult in these situations. I find that when trust is lost someone has to step up and start the conversation or the problem will get larger. Without adult behavior in the form of someone taking responsibility you can easily reach a point of no return.
My personal belief is that there is never a total point of no return. If you’re willing to step up and acknowledge there is a problem and that you had responsibility for your end of the problem you can often start the healing process.
It’s important that you only take responsibility for what you may have done to cause a breakdown in trust. If you tell the other person what they did to cause the problem there will likely be little progress towards re-building a trusting relationship.
When we tell others what they’ve done wrong and trust has been lost, this is an excuse for others to lose trust in you even more. If instead you just take responsibility for what you may have done there is a good chance the other person will take some responsibility for what they have done as well.
I know that when I take responsibility for a good relationship that has gone bad it’s not that hard to get things back on track again. It’s taking the first step that’s often the most difficult one to take.
We have a resource center for people in transition. When transitional issues happen it’s easy to lose trust with others. There are reports and workbooks that can help you make sure this doesn’t happen to you. Click on the button below and you’ll be taken to our transition resource center.