Relationships are a scary thing. The people around us are scared of getting hurt. They are afraid of letting down their guard due to fear. But, you can help remove the fear in the atmosphere by showing your loved one that there is safety in your relationship.
When people feel safe they open up. Remember, trust is earned. They are able to take correction, constructive criticism, and grow in a positive direction.
“Help others be vulnerable and humble by providing a safe space for others. When you practice vulnerability and humility it teaches others how to.”
Trust is earned not given freely for people in pain. To build trust, strive to understand others instead of being put off by their negative thoughts & behaviors. Usually a broken person has experienced horrible things in life which cause them to behave and think negative.
For example, they may view you as bossy because they grew up with controlling parents. Or, they may view your lighthearted sarcasm as a passive-aggressive jab at them. Not everyone grew up like you. You may have had a good childhood, while another was abused, raped, and neglected. So, the goal for conversations with others is understanding how they see the world.
In tense conversations, have a sympathetic and considerate heart. Your main goal is to LISTEN. You should not only listen to what they are saying, but you should listen to what isn’t being said. Consider their life stressors and past. Ask questions for clarity. If possible, ask questions about how your behavior reminded them of their past and how you can be sensitive to their perspective or pain. Once you have spent time totally understanding the other person; then, you can share your thoughts and feelings. However, too much feelings in one day can be unhealthy… Ask them if you can talk about your side of the story the next day.
Related Article: 2 Keys To Stop Thinking Negatively About Your Loved Ones
Entering into a conversation to bring clarity is extremely scary for many people, including myself. But, isn’t it worth the risk to stay in harmony with the people we love? I would say, YES! Remember: Enter into the conversation with humility and vulnerability… It allows the other person to realize that you are a friend and not the enemy.
“Communicate: I don’t want to fight, but I want to fix the relationship so it can get better! Leave the boxing gloves at the gym!”
What if the person doesn’t want to listen to me? What if the person only cares about their own feelings? What if the person says they’ll change and goes back to their old behaviors? Great questions because the truth is… We can do our best and people don’t change!
If the conversation was not fruitful in bringing healthy changes, I’ve had to draw boundaries. (What are boundaries?) I prefer boundaries because I am not quick to cut people off. We are all terribly flawed humans. I think the only people that deserve to get cut off are abusive or refuse to change/accept any responsibility in a situation. So, I prefer to draw boundaries before completely removing someone from my life.
I try to kindly communicate why I need a boundary and express that I want to continue the relationship if said changes were made. Boundaries and space are needed when relationships enter unhealthy territory or when others refuse to change. But, take note that your heart should be open to reuniting and/or reconciling once healthy pathways to mutually desired goals are achieved.
If you want to leave relationships with every offense (other than offenses classified as abuse) others will not feel safe. They will feel abandoned and then potentially retreat back to closing off their heart to you.
“People will respond to what you feel in your heart, even if you are saying all the right things!”
The feelings in your heart are a major factor in what others feel when they’re near you. Your feelings seep into your facial expressions, your behaviors, and your overall energy. Wanting to run away at the slightest problem in a relationship communicates that you are NOT a safe space. Yes, people know you want to runaway instinctually; Even if you are verbally saying the opposite!
6 Steps To Earn Trust:
1. Respect your loved ones’ opinions and perspectives. – Please stop trying to find out who is Right or Wrong. Relationships are not about anyone being right or wrong. It includes two unique people with two different ways of thinking. Take the time to listen, without interrupting, to your loved ones’ thoughts and feelings. The goal should be to understand your partner. Respect your loved ones’ perspective – without trying to change it! When you get the chance to share… Your goal is for them to understand not to have the same perspective as you! Then, middle ground can be accomplished.
2. Listen to your loved one before expressing yourself. Take the time to listen to the heart behind what someone is saying. Ask questions. Remember EVERYONE thinks and see the world and situations differently; And, that’s okay! Refrain from the need to correct, instruct, and defend yourself. Allow the person to know that you are there for them. Acknowledge that you understand the way they think or see things; Even if you don’t agree! Look for the positives and encourage them.
3. Look at the heart not the behavior. Apply less judgment and more understanding! People do things because of heart issues. Instead of focusing on what someone did wrong – try to focus on what is off in their heart. What hurt them and caused them to behave that way? Be sure to ask questions to understand!
Related Article: 2 Keys To Stop Thinking Negatively About Your Loved Ones
4. Choose your battles wisely. Evaluate the situation. Not every offense or annoyance needs to be verbalized. Yes, there should be healthy communication of offenses… But, everyone has a bad day here and there! Let’s not be quick to point out every issue. Usually, if it isn’t a regular occurrence, I choose to overlook it. However, if it happens almost every time I speak with the person… It is probably time for a discussion! Side note: Do people’s or a person’s behavior annoy you and bother you a lot? If you have a hard time getting over things and most things bother you… Please consider speaking with a mentor, or therapy to get to the bottom of things!
5. Vulnerability. Always, choose vulnerability in expressing your emotions. When we store up our feelings and refuse to share them… It builds bitterness inside us and doesn’t allow people to get to know us better. Each individual has their own unique way they view the world and that’s okay! Remember it is not about who is right or wrong; it’s about building a bridge to understanding each other.
Related Article: I Learned True Vulnerability In A Dream
6. Mimic the Love Of Christ. Jesus’ love is an example of how love provides a safe space for people to grow and mature. Jesus didn’t force the disciples to believe he was the son of God. He loved them into his perspective. He showed them over and over he was the real deal through signs, miracles, and wonders; That’s what true love looks like. He did not get mad when they questioned his motives or did not love him in the way he deserved to be loved.
Think of the humility and vulnerability of Christ. He died for us, knowing that we were sinful or had “wrong” ways of thinking/behaving. He did not force us to have his opinion. He came to earth to show us that he UNDERSTANDS why we are having such a hard time with sin. He understood our perspective so much that he knew that we needed His example to show us how to overcome sin and love others properly.
Through his loving behavior the disciples eventually realized that his LOVE was truly unconditional and beyond human understanding. This is the love we are called to. A love that does not force people into doing what we want. But a love that gives people the freedom to know we are on their side and will love them regardless of being “right” or “wrong”.
Bible verses about trust in relationships:
“Therefore, do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” – Philippians 2:3-11