Whether we’re talking about romantic relationships, friendships, or working relationships, trust is key. If you want to build meaningful, deep relationships with the people around you, the first step to getting there is trust. After all, if people don’t trust you, why would they want to be closer to you?
That’s why today we’re giving you tips on how to build trust and keep it. These rules apply equally in all kinds of relationships, formal or personal.
It’s easy to believe that a few little white lies won’t hurt anyone, but if you’re caught in those lies, it can severely damage a relationship, and when that happens, it takes a while to build that trust back up.
Building trust is about being there for other people when they need you, so don’t make promises if you can’t follow through with them. Be honest with yourself and with others about how much you have on your plate and how much you can realistically handle.
No one likes to admit when they’re wrong, but if you want people to trust you, then you need to be willing to do so. Own up to your mistakes, apologize, and then either fix the mistake or, if it’s too late for that, commit to doing better in the future.
If other people see that you are comfortable with being vulnerable and admitting when you do something wrong, they will be more likely to trust you. After all, everyone makes mistakes, so trying to pretend that you don’t will only cause more problems and breed mistrust.
So far, we’ve talked about how you can build trust with others through what you say, but another important part of building trust is knowing when you shouldn’t say anything at all. People are more likely to trust those who listen to what they have to say, so that’s what you should do.
Learn how to be quiet when you need to be and really pay attention to what others are saying. This will show them that you care about them as a person and that you value their input.
Sometimes just being willing to listen isn’t enough if others don’t want to talk. Building trust takes a while, and in many cases, people will not feel comfortable speaking up of their own accord in situations where trust hasn’t been established yet.
You can help break down those barriers by being inclusive. If you’re in a work meeting, for example, and the same few people who always speak are doing all the talking, try to make a point of asking the others for their input.
In many cases, this will make them feel more like a trusted part of the team, and in turn, they will trust you more, too.
Show your appreciation.
Building trust is about paying more attention to others than you do to yourself. In doing so, you’ll pick up on little things others do that are worthy of praise or thanks. Make a point of demonstrating that you’re paying attention by thanking them or finding other ways to show your appreciation.
People like to be recognized for the things they do well.
Another way to encourage others to trust you is to be willing to trust them first. For example, if you’re in charge of a team at work, show that you trust them by encouraging professional development or offering them new responsibilities.
In personal relationships, like romance or friendships, show that you trust people by opening up to them about something important to you. It can be scary to do that, but in most cases, by showing others that you trust them, they’re more likely to open up to you as well.
This ties back into an earlier point about being honest and following through on your promises. If you’re supposed to be at a meeting at a certain time, make sure to show up when you said you could. If you have a deadline, make sure to meet it.
Obviously, there will be exceptions. Life happens, and sometimes you simply can’t follow through for whatever reason. That’s fine. If you’ve established that you are generally reliable, people won’t fault you for the occasional lapse.
However, if you make a habit of missing deadlines and skipping important meetings or events, that will only tell people that you don’t really care.
There you have it! Hopefully these tips will help you build more meaningful, trust-filled relationships in both your personal and professional life.