9 Habits Build Trust in a Long Lasting Relationship


According to Mona Sutphen, most good relationships are build on mutual trust and respect. Seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? But you would be surprised to know how many couples skip this basic and very important step when they begin their relationships. Love is integral, yes, but it cannot form a stable and healthy base on its own. And as for non-romantic relationships, such as those in business or the workplace, trust takes a different definition altogether. Studies have shown that trustworthiness is far harder to find in a business relationship than in a romantic relationship.

An educational psychologist, Nan S. Russell, defines, “(There) are various kinds of trust – confidence trust, competence trust, relationship trust, basic trust, authentic trust, organizational trust, self-trust, situational trust, and leadership trust – to name just a few.” While its forms and meanings vary, there is one definite truth: there are certain habits that build trust faster than other habits. Here they are:

9. Admit your mistakes

No one is perfect, and everyone makes mistakes. But not everyone can admit them when they make them. They say, “The coverup is worse than the crime” and this is certainly true in a situation in which you intend to build trust with the other person. Do not lie or make excuses and know when to be humble and admit that you messed up.

8. Do what you say you will do

Keep your word. People tend to trust people with reliable, consistent and dependable behaviour. Try to the best of your abilities to keep your promise and if you are unable to, make up for it later.

7. Give trust

Trust is mutual – you will not get any without giving it in return. In the movie Meet The Parents, Robert De Niro’s character says, “I keep nothing from you and you keep nothing from me – and round and round we go.”

6. Listen mindfully

Observe without judgement. Be willing to listen no matter what the state of their mind and yours. Also known as active listening, mindful listening is very rare these days – which makes it all the more important.

5. Show interest

Effective communication cannot occur if you are visibly disinterested in what the other person is saying. Show your interest by being inquisitive, asking questions and using your body language. When the other person senses your sincerity, they will trust you more.

4. Communicate openly

Relationships that encourage communication last longer than relationships that don’t. Most of us want to avoid conflict so we avoid communicating, which is a big mistake. So, how do we communicate effectively? Be open and honest about your feelings from the start. Act respectfully and listen intently to what the other person is saying.

3. Resolve conflicts swiftly

Conflicts are a no-no but what to do when they occur? Try to resolve them as quickly as possible. An effective method is by acting polite and smiling the next time someone gets angry with you. This will throw them off and you might be surprised by the positive reaction you will receive.

2. Be exemplary

Make the conscious decision to always be honest, open, sincere, responsible and trusting. This will in turn deepen the trust you share with another.

1. Be self-aware

Self-awareness is “the missing ingredient” for building a lasting, trusting relationship, says Russell. Without self-awareness, you do not realize that the signals you are sending others are the wrong ones. This is detrimental to building trust. Always be conscious of your actions, words and feelings. That way you won’t hurt someone else’s feelings.