Will you ever trust again?
Trust is a fragile element of the human experience. We are born as trusting entities; we trust that when we cry as infants that someone will attend to our needs, hold us, change us and feed us. We trust as private citizens that our elected officials will be act in our best interest and utilize the resources entrusted to them appropriately. We demonstrate trust as parents when we give our teenagers space and time to themselves.
Trust is everywhere and is an essential part of being human. Somewhere along the way some of us lose trust in others. We realize as infants that our caretaker does not respond to our cries and we stop crying and become apathetic. We realize that our government officials are human and are therefore prone to corruption, we stop believing in them. We realize that our teen doesn't always tell the truth or our parent may have shown up late one too many times.
Once trust has been destroyed or damaged, can it ever be repaired. Can we ever trust again? For some of us, the answer is no, the betrayal has been too often, too pervasive, the hurt is too deep. For some of the more resilient of us, it may take some time and therapeutic work but eventually we learn to trust (and thus love) again.
Steps for repairing trust include asking for what you need from the other party. Do you need your parent to honor their commitments; Do you need your partner to share more of what is on their mind? Do you need your loved one to show up when they say they are going to show up? Do you need absolute honesty in your relationship? Is monogamy a requirement?
Starting a full discussion about what your needs are is critical to any relationship from employee, to friend, to lover, to child. The trust conversation happens over time and can be painful. If trust has been breached, ALL parties need to do work to resolve the trust issue and we can all start by making the decision to do the work.