Trust is Precious

Trust takes time. Yet without it many essential things cannot happen. Trust usually trumps other factors. Trust affects things at the emotional level. You can't fake trust. And you can't fully establish it at the intellectual level. While it may be a start, all the trust-building self-talk in the world will break down if it does not extend to the emotional level.

When someone breaks or betrays another person's trust, it usually affects the relationship for some time. For example, I see this when a couple comes in for counseling after one of them has an affair. The other person may choose to forgive the person that had the affair. Many times couples figure if they deal with it verbally and intellectually by discussing it and saying "I forgive you" the issue will be resolved.

But then trust enters the scene. Months or years later the betrayed person becomes hurt, anxious, or insecure about something that triggers their trust issue. Neither can understand why it is happening. They had resolved this. They even went to counseling.

They did not take trust into account.

For this reason, prevention is the best way to approach trust. Someone's trust is so precious. Break it and it may never be quite the same. Or at best, it may take a long time to reestablish.

So there is a strong argument to keep your word to a child. To follow through with a friend. To think twice before flirting, cheating, or talking about how hot you think someone else is. Don't be casual or cavalier about such things. It is all fun and games until someone puts their eye out. Respect how it might effect the relationship. Remember how precious having their trust is.

What can you do (or not do) to preserve the trust in relationships that matter to you?

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