Researcher John Gottman says that trust is built in the smallest of moments.
I thought for a long time that it was the opposite. you know, the grand gestures!
But after looking into it and breaking it down I realized that he was right.
Im gonna give you his own story as an example:
''Let me give you an example of that from my own relationship. One night, I really wanted to finish a mystery novel. I thought I knew who the killer was, but I was anxious to find out. At one point in the night, I put the novel on my bedside and walked into the bathroom.
As I passed the mirror, I saw my wife’s face in the reflection, and she looked sad, brushing her hair. There was a sliding door moment.
I had a choice. I could sneak out of the bathroom and think, “I don’t want to deal with her sadness tonight, I want to read my novel.” But instead I decided to go into the bathroom. I took the brush from her hair and asked, “What’s the matter, baby?” And she told me why she was sad.
Now, at that moment, I was building trust; I was there for her. I was connecting with her rather than choosing to think only about what I wanted. These are the moments, we’ve discovered, that build trust.''
This really touched me.
There's the opportunity to build trust, and there is the opportunity to betrayal. Because as small as the moments of trust can be, those are the moments of betrayal aswell.
To chose to not connect when the opportunity is there, is a betrayal.
But trust is a big word. Its really not just about who will keep your secret or their word.
Brene Brown breaks it down very well, She says that when we trust, we are braving connection with someone else. So what are the parts of trust?
1. Boundaries. I trust you, if you are clear about your boundaries and you hold them. And if you are clear about my boundaries and you respect them. There is no trust without boundaries.
2. Reliability. I can only trust you if you do what you say you are going to do. And not just once but over and over.
3. Accountability. I can only trust you if when you are making a mistake you are willing to own it, apologize for it and make a mends. I can only trust you if when I make a mistake, I am allowed to own it, apologize and make a mends. No accountability, no trust.
4. The vault. What I share with you, you will hold in confidence and vice versa. But the other side of this is that you will also not gossip about other people with me. If you share what is not yours to share I will loose trust in you. We will only trust people if we can see that they acknowledge confidentiality.
5. Integrity. I can not trust you and be in a trusting relationship with you if you don't act from a place of integrity. What's integrity? It's Choosing courage over comfort. Choosing what's right over what's fun fast and easy. And practicing your values not just professing them.
6. Non judgement. I can fall apart, ask for help and be in struggle without being judged by you. And you can fall apart, ask for help and be in struggle without being judged by me. This is hard because we are better at helping than ask for help. We think that we have set up trusting relationships with people cause we are always there to help them, but if you can't ask for help or support and they cannot reciprocate that, that is not a trusting relationship. Why? casue if I think less of myself for asking for help, I will think less of you too. Weither we are conscious of it or not.
7. Honesty. I can only trust you, if you can be honest about what you really think and feel. And not keep it to yourself to later throw it in my face. To me that is betrayal. I am not a mindreader and you cannot expect me to guess what's wrong. To be passive agressive towards someone and punish them with silence or other behaviour will make us lose trust.
What understanding trust gives us is words to say ''Here is my struggle.'' Cause how can we talk about trust if we cant break it down?
We have to start with self trust. If you struggle with trust examine yourself first, how do you treat yourself? Did I hold my own boundaries? Did I hold myself accountable? Was I honest with myself? and so on.
Cause we can't ask people to give us something that we don't have.
''Beware of the naked man offering you a shirt'' - Maya Angelou