Hey guys! How’s lockdown treating you? How are you feeling?
I promised you all and myself that I would continue this series, despite now being on lockdown and suffering from a lack of inspiration!
But I had this idea while in a hotel room during a work trip and started writing it then. I got a bit derailed with everything going on, but still it qualifies to be part of these bunch of blog posts, don’t you think?
So last time I explored the idea of boundaries and I must say that post was super therapeutic for me, and hopefully for you all too.
This time, I want to talk about trust, why it’s important and what it truly means.
So while on this work trip, I got speaking to my instructor who spent 20 + years of his life in the military. I’ve always been super fascinated by this, mostly because I don’t think I’d last in the military and always amazed by those that can.
And he said something that stuck with me. Adapting to civilian life after leaving the marines was extremely difficult because of the lack of honour and trust between people.
That is, departing from a life of fierce brotherhood and being with team mates who stuck by you until the end, and then entering a world where your word hardly means anything, was a huge struggle.
He couldn’t believe the backstabbing, the lack of basic care between people and how hard it was to truly trust anyone. Of course that is his perspective, but what struck me the most was that I couldn’t imagine the world he was describing.
Where honour and total trust took precedence over everything. His, seemed foreign to me as mine did to him. There, having these things were a matter of life of death, so you couldn’t compromise on it and it was important you stuck to it rigidly.
And it got me thinking. I struggle to trust people too for the same reasons he did, and I have experienced this a lot in my young life. He luckily had a 20 year gap of the complete opposite, but I was actually used it.
Of course I’m no saint, but I always found it hard to accept that people didn’t stick to their word. Why it was so complex to mean what you say and then follow through?
I’d say one big example of where there is a lack of trust is in the dating game. Oh Lord, that shit is messy and seems to be getting worse with each generation.
More and more, we’re seeing in stories brought by award-winning relationships and sex blogger Oloni, of women and men in failed relationships and ‘situationships’ unable to find true love, ultimately down to a lack of trust.
So what am I getting at?
Well trust is extremely important. Not that I have to spell that out, but I like the way this Forbes article describes the need for it:
Trust makes people feel eager to be part of a relationship or group, with a shared purpose and a willingness to depend on each other. When trust is intact, we will willingly contribute what is needed, not just by offering our presence, but also by sharing our dedication, talent, energy and honest thoughts on how the relationship or group is working.
Essentially, trust is the very thing that binds us together. That keeps us unified as we navigate through life. But the dynamics of trust are really delicate and can be unbalanced by a single action.
So what can we do to maintain it?
Well I thought about it and there are many ways, although it can be complex. Like Forbes said, “the hiddenness and personal nature of trust can be a problem for relationships, teams or organisations.”
But there a few ways we can avoid this happening.
1. Don’t take relationships for granted.
According to Positive Psychology, “Trust often results from consistency. We tend to have the most trust in people who are there for us consistently through good times and bad. Regularly showing someone that you’re there for them is an effective way to build trust.”
And I see this a lot in dating, the dropping and picking up of people without considering the others feelings. Then people wonder why there is so much disconnect between the sexes, there’s no trust! If we take the time to appreciate each other and develop those essential bonds, more relationships would flourish because there is an overarching feeling is safety and care for your wellbeing – aka trust.
2. Don’t shy away from honesty
One of my main aims in life is too remain honest and it’s faired me well. Of course don’t be a dick about it, but if you want to retain that love and affection be honest and clear.
Bustle highlights the importance of addressing things head on.
Important conversations shouldn’t be put off, according to Scott Stabile on MindBodyGreen.com. So make a habit of discussing issues as they crop up. He suggested setting aside some time to chat that works for both of you, and then sticking to it. Whether it’s a simple misunderstanding, or a huge problem, talking about it while it’s fresh will prevent things from spiraling out of control.
3. Have some accountability
Being able to accept when you’ve messed up and seeing it as part of your duty not too, is something I see as paramount in all relationships. There’s a mentality that you don’t owe anything to anyone, but that’s simply not true. We do owe each other something especially when we claim to love or care for them.
This Blavity article describes it as “owning up to your sh*t. There are too many people out there that are not willing to take a look in the mirror,” and I’m inclined to agree. If you care, being accountable is how you show that you value the trust that’s been built and will do what it takes to maintain it.
So that’s about it folks, my take on trust and three ways to maintain it in a relationship. They are straight forward and frankly not life altering, but worth reminding each other especially in these unprecedented times.
Look after yourself everyone and stay safe. Talk soon!