“If you have to build up trust, you can ask yourself when trust is 100%. If you can only reach 98% - I do not know actually how to measure – then trust still is 0. Trust is about only 100% or nothing. It is there or it is not there. And if trust in employees or in managers is damaged, or in general a relation is damaged, then there is no trust. There is nothing in between.”
Looking more deeply in the aspects of trust, and especially in relationships, there is even more to discover.
In a social context, trust has several connotations.
‘Definitions of trust typically refer to a situation characterized by the following aspects: One party (trustor) is willing to rely on the actions of another party (trustee); the situation is directed to the future. In addition, the trustor (voluntarily or forcedly) abandons control over the actions performed by the trustee. As a consequence, the trustor is uncertain about the outcome of the other's actions; they can only develop and evaluate expectations. The uncertainty involves the risk of failure or harm to the trustor if the trustee will not behave as desired.’
So using this reference trust issues refer to:
# A situation,
# Willingness to rely,
# The future,
# Letting go of control,
# Desired expectations,
# Risk of failure or harm.
One of the first things during the program we discovered together was that most of the time we forget that trust has to do with a specific situation. Too often people say; “I cannot trust him/her” or even worse give the external advice ; “Don’t trust him/her”. And yes, for this situation you possibly still can say that 98% trust still is no trust at all.
Too easy we do not trust the whole persons acting because of we only do not trust one part – the specific situation - of all his or her behavior and acting. Everything you give attention grows so by only this thing we easily say; “I do not trust him/her”.
Working with the couples I offered an exercise to write down on the right side of a piece of paper all the things you trust and on the left side a list of all the things you do not trust in the other person. Nice to discover that on the left side there were no or only one or two things and a whole list of things trusted on the right side. So does this say you, in general, do not trust the other person?
Trust is something that we cultivate. It’s based on our personal programming (background) and life experience. To trust is to believe, to rely on something. You can feel trust for instance when you are dancing together, one of you being the leader, one with the eyes closed (see the picture attached). When we, in a certain situation, have doubt it says we rely in this situation only on evidence.
Sometimes you have doubt about something. That does not say that this is always a negative thing. Indeed it can help you to go, discover, learn and understand things deeper and to get a more profound understanding. So doubt can be helpful and a positive thing. Do not right away consider it as something negative. Because actually you are dealing with the question ‘What to believe?’. Even the Zen tradition learns ‘The greater the doubt, the greater the enlightenment’ (see it as in-sight).
Feelings of doubt you can see as signs to learn more, to deepen, to understand, to grow (together).
The start of a relationship has the feeling of unconditional love. When the partner and relationship feels good. The word ‘doubt’ does not even exist. Getting children you start with – most of the time an even stronger - unconditional love between your children and you as a parent.
Accept getting the first feelings of doubt as an early positive wake-up call to work on directly in a positive way. Because actually they are a sign that something – only one situation - in this unconditional love is helping it fading away. So, you need evidence based on (both of) your desired expectations, risk of failure or harm to go on together firm and strong in a loving relationship.
Jealousy, fear (for instance of being left alone or to be harmed) and rumors undermine the willingness to rely. Without willingness of the trustor there can be no trust.
Getting the feeling or signals of not having trust in certain situations in a relationship step by step ruins the relationship when you do not work on it. When you respond to this feeling(s) the effect can be more than positive. It is sad to discover more and more people who do not trust, do respond in a destroying way. They feel and act as a detective in their own relationship. Checking emails, text messages on mobile phones, personal agendas, etc.. They started to already ruin instead of purifying the situation to get the opportunity to grow and learn together. Do not be too late, beat the hands on the plow (together) and purify! So work on strengthening and growth.
In Buddhism there is a purification practice known as Vajrasattva. The steps are:
1) The power of support – taking support in one another through genuine communication.
2) The power of regret – having true feelings of remorse for all negative actions done in the past (including confessing what those are with true strong regret).
3) The power of resolution – remembering the mistakes that have been made, he/she has to resolve never to commit them again. Doing so would be taking steps back on the path and is a sign that the regret was not genuine.
4) The power of action as antidote – he/she can offset the negative actions he/she has done in the past by producing positive ones now. Treating you especially well (not overdoing. No pleasing), cultivating a loving relationship with each other are potential ways to produce positive change.
You do not need to be a Buddhist to follow these actions.
You just have to be willing (right intention (Noble Eightfold path) to look at your life and be willing to make a change. Change comes from truly looking (taking the time to stop and look deeply) at the effects our actions have had on others. If this cannot be explored in an open and honest way there is no chance real and sustainable change and new flow will be possible.
Take a good look at your relationship and determining whether it is worth saving. When cheating occurs it is often symptomatic of other issues at play in a relationship. The act of infidelity is a heavy divider between two loving individuals. There is a long road to returning to trust and before embarking on it you need to insure that both of you are willing to do it.
Buddhism recommend taking a look inwards at your intention, your connection to one another, and your ability to trust and respect one another. However, based on the Buddha’s life experience, you can’t imagine he would tell you to immediately give up. The Buddha teaching learns we should not ever give up on anyone and even when we should give up to do it out of right intention, compassion, right speech and staying connected with loving kindness. Everyone has the ability to change and has the seeds for living a good life. Forgiveness (to give a new (not second) chance) though, can be a long road to walk down.
If you mistrust one another or someone, remember: You tend to find what you’re looking for. Are you more interested in finding reasons to doubt or reasons to believe?