How Do I Build Trust in My Relationship?
There is a lot that we can learn by tapping into the wisdom of experts in this topic.
Brene Brown author of “The Anatomy of Trust” and researcher on the topics of vulnerability, courage, shame, and empathy notes that “Trust is not built in big sweeping moments. It’s built in the tiny moments every day.
Drs-John-and Julie-Gottman are clinical psychologists, researchers and experts on marriage, relationships, and couple’s therapy. According to Dr. John Gottman, “Trust is built in very small moments in which one partner turns towards their partner when they are in need. When our partner responds positively for being there, that builds trust”.
You have a choice in your response to the everyday moments within relationships, especially within intimate relationships as trust is an important foundation in the relationship.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Are you noticing your partner’s nonverbal cues?
- What are they communicating, both verbally and nonverbally?
- How are you responding?
- Are your interactions more positive than not?
- Do you find yourself turning towards your partner or withdrawing from the relationship?
Dr. John Gottman calls these “sliding door moments”. These are opportunities to build trust versus opportunities for betrayal. Did you know that affairs are not even included in this type of betrayal that Gottman is referring to? The everyday moments are critical types of betrayals.
There is a possibility of connection OR turning away in every interaction with a partner. Gottman further notes that “One such moment is not important but if you are always choosing to turn away, then trust erodes in a relationship, very gradually, very slowly”.
Attunement is key as a basis for building trust. This involves awareness, turning towards your partner, tolerance, understanding, non-defensive responding, and empathy.
If these are areas that you would like support within therapy, CARE counselors are skilled in relational dynamics and can help.
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