Two-way Street of Trust

Last two weeks the theme of “trust” seemed to pop into my life in different forms. Moreover, I recently caught myself feeling that I was not trusted enough. At the same time I clearly knew this was not the case but the emotion of being “mistrusted” was only my own feeling I experienced in a particular situation. Interesting, I thought, this offers me a great opportunity to learn something new about my beliefs. A further reflection revealed there were other emotions linked to the emotion of “mistrust” so I started to dig deeper on what trust is about.

Trust, or lack of trust, can occur in three different directions: from another person towards you, from you towards someone else or within yourself (i.e. self-trust). What is more, the feeling of trust, or lack of trust, is a reflection of your own thoughts and behaviour. Further, the thoughts and behaviour are influenced by our underlying beliefs, both conscious and unconscious beliefs. Specifically the unconscious beliefs that we have captured in our mind and are stored with particular emotions we have encountered in connection of those experiences give us an individual meaning of what “trust” or “lack of trust” is for oneself.

How do you build trust with someone? You cannot force anyone to trust you so the key is to start from yourself. When a trust, or a lack of it, is a reflection of your thoughts and behaviour, you first need to work on your own beliefs. Showing openness, honesty and sharing something personal are important steps in building trust with another person. How do you do this with yourself then? Firstly, understanding and accepting there possibly are underlying beliefs preventing you to trust in a particular situation. This requires openness and honestly from yourself in order to find and identify such emotions. Once you have found related emotions, you can build your own internal integrity and self-trust by working out negative emotions to positive ones. For instance, if the emotion of mistrust is linked to the emotion of control i.e. you experience a lack of trust in connection of not being in control, is there a way to decrease an emotional need of control or fear of losing control?

You can directly change only yourself. By changing your own thoughts and behaviour you then influence others around you – also when building trust. What emotions do you typically have in those situations when you feel you are not being trusted or you cannot trust another person? Or, have you sometimes trusted too much and it didn’t end up well for you? What can you learn about your own underlying beliefs and emotions that are linked to the feeling of trust?