Learning to trust again after being betrayed is not an easy task. There are many steps you need to take and you need to be sure to take care of yourself throughout the entire process. To understand more about learning to trust again, you may want to get a perspective on betrayal, learn more about the characteristics of rebuilding trust, and find ways to help you learn to trust again after being betrayed.
When you have been betrayed, there is no clear-cut path for how to recover from a betrayal. While people understand the process of healing from grief, the process of healing from a betrayal is not as clearly defined. It is important to understand the sense of loss that a betrayal can bring, as described in the post by Monica A. Frank, Ph.D., titled, “When You Have Been Betrayed.”
Let’s look at various parts of the betrayal equation. First, to be betrayed, one person must have initially experienced trust in the betrayer. It is fairly impossible for you to be betrayed if you did not trust the individual in the first place. Therefore, the definition of betrayal involves the act of someone violating your trust in him or her.
Next, betrayal comes in many forms and may include when someone you trust lies to you, cheats on you, abuses you, or hurts you by putting his self-interest first. Another part of the equation is to look at the concept that betrayal is probably the most devastating loss a person can experience. When someone betrays you, you lose trust in that person.
Betrayal can be one of the most devastating kinds of loss because most often it is a loss that didn’t have to occur. It only occurs because of someone’s deliberately hurtful behavior, carelessness, or personal weakness. The person who was betrayed believes that the choice was wrong and preventable. Whatever form betrayal takes, the grief is very real and needs to be dealt with.
In the booklet entitled Building the Pillar of Trust, Robert Porter Lynch, CEO of The Warren Company, A Network of Alliance Professionals, speaks about trust with a focus on trust among professional colleagues. However, the points he makes apply to personal relationships as well.
In this pamphlet, Lynch discusses the four components required to build what he refers to as a pillar of trust including values, integrity, mutuality, and commitment.
Values are an essential element of trust and include the following:
- Keep true to your values and value others
- Be open about your intentions and receptive to new ideas
- Demonstrate compassion toward the other person
- Respect differences without harsh judgment
Integrity means you are what you say you are, that your word is your bond, and you will do what you say you will. Several of the components of integrity include the following:
- Eradicate doubt and ambiguity
- Be predictable and accountable
- Speak the truth and shun deception
- Deception and the creation of illusion are not part of the honest person’s repertoire
Mutuality embodies the idea that we must treat each other fairly, equally, justly, and honorably. Mutuality embraces fundamentals including the following:
- Win-Win means you are not going to sacrifice the other person to achieve your goals; both must come out winners
- Reciprocity facilitates the sharing of ideas, information, opportunities, insights, resources, and capabilities
- Sharing risks and rewards links two parties together
- Two-way communications, with clear listening and mutual exchange of ideas, are essential
Commitment measures the desire, motivation, and integrity to honor promises and intentions. Without it, there can be no trust. Aspects of commitment include the following:
- Knowing that you are dedicated to a mutual endeavor is a powerful trust builder
- Building a personal competency is also a sign of our commitment and reliability
- When we can be depended upon, we will be trusted
- People who are professionals in the art of life are trusted because they are disciplined in their art and craft
The fact that one act of betrayal can tear down this foundation would hopefully encourage people to hold trust as an important and valuable relationship.
Rebuilding Trust After Being Betrayed
In an attempt to rebuild the trust you need to examine your perspective about trust. The blog post, Starting Fresh: Learning to Trust Again, by Christie Marie Sheldon provides some tips including the following:
- Believe that you are okay, perfect, and whole as you are
- Trust is a necessary component of human relationships; Don’t project the past onto a new relationship because it puts incredible pressure on the relationship to succeed
- You want to be able to relax and believe in trust; Focus on what can go right
- Listen to your intuition and seek out people who are trustworthy
- If you have been betrayed and you expect it to happen again, you will subconsciously attract just that situation
- Believe that you deserve trusting relationships
- Meditate often on the fact that you cannot control another person’s actions, but you can always control your response
When you are in a good place to start the process of rebuilding trust with another, you have a greater chance to succeed.
Get Help to Learn More About Rebuilding Trust After Being Betrayed
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