Trust. Trust is obviously important to a relationship, it's kind of like oxygen to a human being, like the information and b.s. that a raving lunatic of a mad scientist feeds to Glenn Beck wirelessly when he's on the air, via the souls of puppies and children. Yes, trust is that important! That said, here's part 3 of my ongoing series, Relationships; So Easy a Caveman Can Do It!Trust is huge. How does one become worthy of trust? How does one become trusting? Good questions and I suppose that's the direction we can take here.
To become trusting is difficult, certainly easier to say than it is to do, I think. Usually people develop distrust when they've been burned in the past. Someone cheated on them, someone abused them something unfortunate happened in that person's past and they haven't come to terms with it yet. Then, the kicker, is that the crimes of the past are brought to the forefront in future relationships. For example, a friend of mine, Kaley, had a jealous boyfriend who despised the fact that she had a guy as a best friend, and that friend was me. They were together for over three years. He didn't agree to meet me until after their second year!!! Crazy. Part of that was that he had an ex girlfriend who cheated on him with one of his friends… So he took that situation and applied it to his relationship with Kaley, so she really didn't hang out with her own friends, just her boyfriend's social clique.
In other words, to become trusting one must come to grips with their past and those situations where their trust was trampled on. Then one must let go of the past, make a pact with themself to not bring it into their new relationships and let each relationship stand on its own two legs, individually. That's the hard part, because we are products of our experience. We can simply take what we've learned and deal with each new relationship as its own entity…
Being trustworthy is a different can of worms altogether. However, I strongly feel that this is the easiest part to decipher. When you strip away all of the things that your significant other says and focus solely on what they do, what do those actions tell you? What's left? Does your partner make decisions and do things that put your mind at east? Do they do things that keep your relationship together and things that bring you closer? Are their actions predictable and inline with the ground rules set forth in your relationship? If not, then I'd say that there's a problem. Focus on those actions and what they truly mean.
Also notice how Communication, respect and trust build on one another? Builders don't make a building missing a floor. Utterly ridiculous like Oregon's loss to Ohio St. at the Rose Bowl, but I digress. A building needs all of its floors and foundation to stand tall and firm.
Communication and respect are keys to establishing trust. When your significant other does something that you don't like you have to let them know about it, rather than take a passive or passive-aggressive stance with the issue. When we communicate our feelings we establish boundaries; a framework to work from, within a relationship. Respect comes into play by recognizing and adhering to the boundaries that we've communicated and laid down for each other. Obviously when our partner disrespects us by crossing established boundaries it becomes difficult to trust them. One such example is a partner who frequently stays out until 5am or later and not call when a precedent has been set to be home by 2am and call if they're going to be out later. Yes, that causes trust issues and things can head to the pooper right quick!
In short, for trust to be present in a healthy relationship. We have to make peace with our past and keep it out of our relationships. We can take our experience and our lessons and move forward with them, but we must not punish our partners for things that happened in our past. Also, we must be worthy of trust. That is, we must be consistent with the things we say and we do this through simple action. Actions are the currency of trust.
Until next time, stay tuned for our hard hitting interview with Cthulu!