Trust is important - but what is it based on and how do you strengthen it?

Reading time 7 minutes
Trust is important - but what is it based on and how do you strengthen it?

You lent money to your friend: Trust me, he said - but now he has disappeared for the time being. Other bad experiences - a betrayal or a promise not kept - also cause your trust in people to shrink. But if you don't trust anyone, you'll always feel worse.

How can you overcome disappointment and rebuild trust? You do not always want to suspicious towards your fellow human beings. With an insight into the topic of trust/mistrust, you will be able to develop a positive attitude. The typical sayings about trust show you how difficult it can be - but also how strong mutual trust is.

What is trust?

The importance of trust is related to the positive attitude towards other people. If you trust a person, you are sure that he or she will act correctly and tell the truth. Another Definition of confidence also relates to one's own personality: this is about self-confidence.

So what exactly does trust mean? Psychology says that it is a learned attitude. Trusting behavior is based on the feeling of being able to rely on another. Mutual support and honesty are basic prerequisites for a good Relationship. Trust is also necessary in professional life: If you trust someone, you can delegate certain tasks to them. In a team or on the management floor, you also need a stable basis of trust. This makes it easier to move forward, because everyone can put all their energy into their own tasks.

What is important can also be seen in the trust sayings for reflection. Wilhelm Busch wrote: "Whoever trusts others too little, has Fear in every corner; he who relies too much on others awakens with a fright". This shows that a certain amount of caution can be useful, even though trust is a positive force. Then there is the well-known saying that trust is good, but control is better.

how do i learn to trust

The 5 basic rules of trust

How does trust develop? And what do you need for it? Whether it's your private relationship or your work colleagues: Trust works according to certain Rules. Only if everyone adheres to these guidelines can a trusting relationship develop. Be aware that no one can demand or command trust just like that. Everyone has only the possibility to give it.

1st rule: 

Communication creates familiarity and trust. In an open conversation, you bridge barriers and clear away Misunderstandings out. This is how you discover common ground and find each other.

2nd rule: 

Honesty is indispensable. Of course, everyone is allowed to have their secrets and in many situations it is essential to maintain discretion. Then you should say that: You are bound to secrecy - or: You cannot comment at this time. On other topics, you give your honest opinion. Lying is not an option.

3rd rule:

Stay true to yourself and don't pretend to others. If you pretend, you block trusting, honest interaction. In certain situations, it can make sense to postpone a discussion and not react immediately.

4th rule: 

Everyone makes mistakes - but very few admit it. Especially Executives tend to conceal their wrong actions. Those who inform others about their previous mistakes make themselves vulnerable - but they also create a basis of trust. Besides: You learn something from mistakes. So you don't have to be ashamed of them.

5th rule: 

Trust takes time, so stay patiently. Just as with friendships, the trusting relationship does not develop overnight. Sometimes trust has to prove itself in a difficult situation or be rebuilt after minor setbacks.

The 3 pillars of trust

In various studies, trust is based on three main elements. When you trust someone completely, you feel connected to them: This is benevolence. You see him as capable (competence) and consider him to be absolutely reliable, i.e. with integrity.

Benevolence, competence and integrity, these pillars are very important in professional life and also in private life. For your personal Relationships and they also play a major role in business collaborations. But you often take this trusting relationship for granted and hardly pay attention to the subliminal mood.

The Goodwill stands for the benefits for the partners involved. Optimally, there is a win-win situation from which everyone benefits. In addition, there is openness and understanding between the parties.

The Competence, which are your own skills and the experience and knowledge of the other partners. With the necessary expertise, even high accomplish goals and overcome obstacles. Tell others about your skills and be honest about them. Because if you exaggerate or cheat, you may arouse suspicion.

The Integrity stands for the correspondence between your words and deeds. Thus, it refers to your reliability. You keep your promises, you are fair, and you attach great importance to satisfying others.

how trust is created

6 exercises to build trust (again)

How do I learn to trust? Distrustful people have great difficulty with this. In a foreign environment, it is particularly difficult to approach others. But even team training with familiar colleagues can be problematic. Nervousness and Uncertainty fuel the fears and mistrust. In such cases help confidence-building measures. The following exercises are also suitable for family or friends. In a playful way, the participants learn to trust each other.

1. drop and be caught: 

If you let yourself fall backwards, you feel deeply insecure. But with a strong partner who catches you, you succeed in overcoming the unpleasant feeling. The person standing in front closes his eyes and inwardly gives himself a push backwards - the second person catches him. In this exercise it is important that the "catcher" is strong enough to hold the other person.

2. to be led blindly: 

One ties a cloth around his eyes, the other takes him by the hand and leads him through the area. He warns about steps and difficult corners. Outside, there are more things to watch out for, such as branches sticking out over the path or a slippery surface.

3. collect positive characteristics: 

Write down the strengths of the other participants or your partner. This exercise is especially good for people who have known each other for a while. Later, everyone passes on their piece of paper and the next person reads it out loud - or the facilitator recites the positive aspects. This is a great way to build strong trust that can withstand everyday life. Self-confidence also increases.

4. define your own wishes: 

What do you want to do, which Needs do you have? Express your individual desires and get out of your Comfort zone out. You always drink coffee because no one offers you tea? You watch crime movies only out of boredom, even though you are Sports much more interested? You can change that.

5. practice mindfulness: 

Be to yourself and to others mindful. Listen carefully, show your Appreciation and be friendly in the process. In this way, you will get to know the viewpoint of others better - and also yourself.

6. honest words: 

Avoid lying or pretending. Only in this way is it possible to deal with each other in a trusting manner - in the family as well as in the team.

Why is trust so important?

You've been cheated on before, so no one should be surprised by your distrust. Besides, this pessimistic attitude is a good protection against Disappointments.

But actually, you want a positive force that will improve your quality of life. This is precisely the argument in favor of strong confidence.

Where a person gives confidence, you feel salvaged and secure. This is true not only in the personal sphere, but also in some professional situations. By adopting a trusting attitude, you save yourself a lot of worries. You no longer have to do everything yourself or control the individual tasks of others: You trust them - and this makes your everyday life much easier.

Trust among work colleagues

Of course, there are some employees who work by the book and do some jobs rather sloppily. But most of them sense that you trust them and put in the appropriate effort. Good managers rely on their team and assume that everything will go well. If, despite this, something goes wrong, they find out about it immediately: the responsible employees inform them of any problems.

In private life, trust is important because it creates a positive mood. Instead of suspicious looks and annoying checks, you trust your partner to be honest with you. This doesn't have to be blind trust - your honesty simply makes you trusting, strong partners.

Crisis of confidence: How do I learn to trust after a disappointment?

When your trust has been betrayed, you feel frustrated and devastated. Maybe someone lied to you or forgot about a deal. Even the smart sayings about trust don't help anymore. You just can't believe the other person anymore.

But sometimes it's just a misunderstanding - if you talk about it, it can be cleared up. In any case, communication is the best way to get the supposed breach of trust out of the way. Be honest with each other and don't make Excuses. It does no good to repress your negative feelings. Show your disappointment and admit that you feel vulnerable. Only with the necessary Acceptance you manage to get rid of the mistrust again.

After a breach of trust, it takes a while for you to trust each other again. One conversation is certainly not enough. Share your opinions and consider how much you care about the trusted relationship.

Whether it is about a Side jump or another admission: treat each other with respect and pay enough attention to each other. In very few cases does one partner deliberately want to hurt the other.

Do not take refuge in the Victim role into it, but give yourself enough time to sort out your feelings. This is the only way to strengthen your self-confidence. In difficult situations, psychotherapeutic counseling can help.

Living with confidence: How to live with confidence

Bad experiences have made you disappointed and distrustful? Your self-confidence suffers as a result. Each of us occasionally struggles to find more self-worth. But self-worth predators lurk everywhere. Learn how they can make you less and less triggered and how you can develop yourself further at Greator.

Are you really living each day the way you want from the bottom of your heart? Or does it seem as if invisible forces are preventing you from making your goals a reality? And are you perhaps encountering difficulties with your fellow human beings more frequently, always showing the same patterns?

How to gain more self-confidence

We have a hunch as to why: Maybe you need to work on your self-confidence and self-esteem. This probably triggers negative feelings and especially insecurities in you, so that you can reach your full potential. Potentialwhether professionally or privately.

In our new masterclass "More confident through coaching" explain our Coaching Experts Christina & Walter Hommelsheimhow their unique coaching method can help you more self-confidence and thereby positive changes into your life.

With the right tips, you can find your way to more self-worth and self-determination. A Coaching for more self-confidence helps you to trust again. This has a positive effect on your self-confident appearance - and also on your quality of life.


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Reviewed by Dr. med. Stefan Frädrich

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