Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.
I had a client who came in with a significant problem forming long-term, quality relationships. He didn’t know what he was doing wrong, and how to fix it. He had workmates who he might go out with for drinks once in a while, but no friends. His romantic relationship was a disaster, and they constantly fought. A little backstory: he suffered sexual abuse as a child for many years by a trusted family friend, and came in for work with trauma. However, it was evident right away that his work with trauma wasn’t just a matter of suffering through shame and anxiety all alone. It affected the most important part of life: his relationships.
There are four variables required in trust: credibility, reliability, intimacy, and self-orientation. In order to determine how trustworthy you really are, think of the equation like this.
The higher your score on self-orientation, the less trustworthy you are (remember middle school algebra? Higher denominator/bottom # = smaller your slice of the pizza pie). The more credibility, reliability, or intimacy you have, the greater your level of trustworthiness.Going back to the story of one of my previous clients, intimacy and self-orientation were causing the biggest disconnect for him and the people around him. Because of his personal history, he had an extremely difficult time opening up his heart and being vulnerable. In addition, because of the shame he experienced, he unconsciously overcompensated by projecting an air of arrogance. So he missed a critical factor in the numerator (top part of equation) and had a huge number in the denominator (bottom part of equation). Clearing the trauma was effortless. Once the trauma was cleared, his ability and desire to become more vulnerable, to seek other people’s understanding, and wanting to connect with others became a priority for him – and all of it fell into place with relatively little guidance.
Which of the four variables are you lacking (or have too much, in the case of self-orientation)? What do you need to work on today? Because after all, all relationships require trust and respect.
Originally published at www.urlifeinspired.com