WSJ Best Selling Authors Imran and Aimee Tariq share how to rebuild a relationship when you’ve lost trust

4 mins read

Whether in business or in personal relationships, trust takes time to build. Forming a bond with someone takes time and effort. But when trust is lost and that bond is broken, it can take even more time and hard work to build the relationship back up again. Regaining someone’s trust after it has been broken does not happen in an instant. But with a few key things in mind, you can work on reforming strong relationships with the people in your life.

Let your guard down and be open to regaining the person’s trust

America is a nation built of independent people and the idea of independence is held in high regard. Even in romantic relationships, people often say that you need your independence away from the other person. Although independence has a time and place, holding the concept so dearly can oftentimes get in the way of establishing and maintaining strong relationships. If you think about it, independence is the polar opposite of what you need when you are working to form a strong relationship. We have to be willing to be vulnerable and open to the idea of community to form connections. Community implies a commitment to opening and fostering relationships, which is crucial in order for a country, society, business or even a familial unit to thrive. Independence is a word that’s twisted to create a movement where being reliant upon others is somehow seen as not cool. When trust has been broken, it’s important to let your guard down and be vulnerable to the person you have let down. Being open to their partnership and communicating with them is a crucial step in regaining trust.

Work to determine the other person’s needs

Another thing to consider when regaining someone’s trust is what their needs are. Trust is built on the comfort people feel in relying on someone else. What does the other person need from you and what can you offer them?

Think about building trust in terms of earning respect from a country or a tribe. Tribes rely on many other people to care for themselves, from hunters to food preparers. There is an understanding that everyone is going to pitch in to ensure each person is taken care of. The community must trust that you are not going to give up on them or your position as the leader.

The same thought process applies to any situation where you are trying to build trust. Thoughts stem from needs, and thoughts drive feelings and actions. When you are establishing trust, you’re trying to change someone’s behavior. And if you start with the notion that you can trust the other person, you can discover their needs and then aim to meet their needs.

When you prove that you can meet someone else’s needs, they change their thoughts towards you. And when they change their thoughts, they’ll change their feelings. 

Be patient

Finally, it’s important to be patient when building back someone’s trust. Learning to lean on someone again takes time. Over time, the other person will see that your positive actions form a pattern. Don’t get discouraged with the process, because trust is one of the most valuable things you can earn in romantic relationships and professional ones alike.

You can find more tips and insight on regaining someone’s trust in Imran and Aimee Tariq’s book “Pyramid of Trust.” The best-selling authors elaborate on communication and how to form better relationships.

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