People stay in bad relationships for many reasons, one of which is fear. And trust diminishes as fear increases. Therefore, it is important to reduce whatever causes fear.
Manners play a big part in getting people to trust you because of the role manners play in establishing equality in relationships. And this usually produces feelings of being safe and secure, believing that one’s needs will be met, or at least acknowledged and respected.
Sometimes trust has to be earned but is often freely given. Trust that is betrayed can be very difficult to win back. And even if the betrayal of trust has been forgiven, it doesn’t necessarily include forgetting, so the betrayal of trust may put a limit on the level of trust shown after forgiveness.
When trust has been damaged, a person may believe no one can be trusted and could then give a hard time to anyone who tries to get close. If so, it helps if we understand love’s power to gain trust by absorbing any abusive behaviour coming from that damage; that means taking what is dished out and channel it away, without retaliating.
A good deal of acting out behaviour by people is the result of frustration and anger. Either the world isn’t how they want it to be, or they feel they don’t measure up to what the world expects from them. Sometimes the acting out keeps going until it becomes a ‘normal pattern’ and is very difficult to change if the person doesn’t trust anyone enough to talk about it. Establishing trust can slowly break down the built up anger and resentment.
Trust is the starting point for change, and it is never too late to reach out to help people who want to change. We can begin by showing respect through the use of manners and encouraging cooperation by being open and honest in what we say.
Bob Myers, author of Travelling the Road of Peace and Happiness.