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Most relationships I encounter in my office are suffering from a lack of trust. I think everyone is asking the question, “can I trust you to do right by me?” By the time most have arrived in counseling, the answer to that question is probably a “I’m not sure” or an emphatic “no, I can’t.”

Think of trust like the gas you put into your vehicle … you’re not getting very far if you don’t have it. Here are a few thoughts on how to build trust in your relationships at work, home, and with your self (if you don’t trust yourself to do the right thing, likely no one else will either).

  1. Follow through.
    Let your yes be yes, and your no, no. If/when you’re unable to follow through, proactively own it and explain why if asked.
  2. Delay gratification.
    Learn to wait and be patient. Just because you can get something doesn’t mean that it’s best to do so right away. Having the ability to wait will be a great attribute when the time comes when you have to wait.
  3. Tell the truth.
    Don’t run a PR campaign with those you care about. Don’t lie. Don’t shade/justify the truth. Speak the truth for the sake of growth, yours and theirs.
  4. Own your mistakes.
    When you mess up, own it. Don’t explain it. Don’t piggy back on why your mistake was a result of their mistake. Your intentions don’t matter unless the other person cares or asks about why you did what you did.
  5. Make amends.
    Become proficient at apologizing. Correct the mistakes you can, and accepting your limitations when you can’t. True amends are life changing interactions, for everyone involved.
  6. Use your powers for good.
    Your words have the power to build and to destroy. Your choices can bless and they can curse. Your unique abilities can be a gift and they can be a burden. Offer to help the other person grow, don’t demand or require them to grow.

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