One of the keys to building healthy relationships is to establish a good level of trust as trust is the foundation that a relationship is built on. If there is not a good foundation of trust, there is potential for challenges and strains at some point in the relationship.
One way to see the importance of a foundation of trust is to look at an analogy of a relationship being like a house as every house is built on a foundation. The foundation for a house is typically a slab of concrete. This slab is thick, it is strong, and it should be very level and flat. By having a good, strong foundation, the house that is built will be strong and be able to last year after year.
On the other hand, you could build the most beautiful house, but if it is not resting on a strong foundation, it can fall apart when it experiences different challenges and it is more likely to not last as long. Whether it experiences normal wear and tear, or possibly extreme weather or environmental conditions, there is a stronger probability for the house to fall apart and for cracks to appear.
The same tendency can occur with relationships. Regardless of how perfect the couple appears to fit and look together, if there is not a solid foundation of trust, there can be challenges. These may not arise for some time as even if there is not trust, there could be enough passion and momentum to keep a relationship together in the short-term. But at some point when challenges or changes are experienced, the missing foundation can cause some cracks in the relationship.
If it is acknowledged that trust is important for having healthy relationships, then we need to figure out how to build trust. The first thing to understand is that trust is a very fragile thing. It can take a long time to create and it can be completely wiped out with one fail swoop.
That being said, here are some areas where attention can be placed to create and establish trust.
Honesty: Honesty is probably the key ingredient in creating trust. Finding ways to display your honesty to others will eliminate the chances of them thinking that you are dishonest. This will increase the level of trust that others have with you and will have a direct impact on your ability to have healthy relationships.
Communication: Having an open line of communication is key to having trust. If you don’t freely communicate, then there is uncertainty as to what is not being communicated. This can have a negative impact on trust. On the other side of that, knowing that there is very open communication will take away some uncertainty and will help to establish more trust.
Respect: Displaying that you respect other people will help to create trust. This includes your respect for them as a person, their time, their feelings, their belongings, etc. If you truly have a high-level of respect for the other people, there should be no question as to your loyalty, reliability, and dependability. This will create the trust others have for you, which should help to improve the trust you have for them and this will help to create healthy relationships.
Understand: As Dr. Stephen Covey writes about, you should seek to understand in order to be understood. This concept revolves around understanding where others are coming from in order for others to understand your position and where you are coming from. By embracing this concept and effectively communicating to others that you understand them, you will build more trust.