One of the questions I get asked about is trust as a foundational piece of relationship building. I like to look at distrust.

What is distrust? It’s suspicion. It’s doubt. When we don’t trust someone, or where there’s a level of distrust, we’re always on edge. There’s a lack of ease that we have.

So by it’s reverse, trust is high levels of consistency in relationship. I like to think of trust as repeated patterns of expected behaviour.

Now people will often say “Well I trust you until you break my trust.” I think there’s a real challenge that we have in that. I prefer to look at trust as something that’s built over time. So I demonstrate a level of trustworthiness, and therefore you can trust me over time.

It’s like putting deposits into a bank account. Every time I do something that builds trust, I build up that trust account in the relationship.

Inevitably I will make a withdrawal. I’m human, something will happen, you’re human too. And if there’s a high level of trust in the relationship, in the trust account, then a withdrawal is not going to send you into overdraft, into chaos. So it’s critical that we learn to develop high levels of trust.

Another aspect I want you to think about is self-trust. When we don’t trust someone, it’s easy to put that on somebody else. But what’s really valuable is if we can look at how we don’t trust ourselves and where we need to develop a deeper level of self-trust, because the more we trust ourselves, the more we’re going to be aware of what’s happening in the context of the relationship.

So what is trust? It’s repeated patterns of expected behaviour. My invitation to you is to learn how to build a deeper sense of self-trust and therefore trustworthiness in your relationship.