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Repairing Trust and Respect

by Shannon Philpott, studioD

Trust is a two-way street that works hand in hand with respect. In fact, to fully have faith in each other, both parties must feel respected and valued. When a snag in a friendship, personal relationship or workplace rapport leads to doubt and mistrust, it’s time to work to mend the trust and respect that once formed the basis of your good relationship.

Acknowledge the Loss

Trust involves placing confidence in someone to be honest and faithful while keeping promises, vows and confidences, says Lynette Hoy, marriage and family counselor. When a breach of trust and lack of respect occurs, ignoring the feelings that arise will only make matters worse. The first step to repair the loss of faith in each other is to acknowledge that it exists. Although it may be difficult to admit wrongdoing, know that true friends and loved ones understand that you are human. Acknowledgement can lead to a road of forgiveness.

Assess the Damage

Many times, feelings are hurt and relationships are destroyed due to miscommunication. Don’t let this happen to you. Get to the bottom of the issue to avoid behaviors that cause both of you to doubt each other. Discuss openly how you feel and actively listen to fully understand both sides. Openly explore how secrets and hurt feelings can influence and affect others and assess ways to work together to rebuild trust and respect.

Take Responsibility

Fostering a strong relationship with another involves admitting your faults when trust is lost. If you are responsible for deceiving, lying or cheating, own up to it. It’s one thing to acknowledge mistrust, but it’s much more effective to admit any wrongdoing. Humble yourself, own up to your actions and put your ego aside to rebuild the relationship.

Apologize and Amend

You can say “I’m sorry” a thousand times, but showing that you are sorry can be much more effective in personal relationships. Find ways to amend the situation to show that you genuinely regret the behavior. Create an action plan to change actions and patterns that resulted the damaged relationship. Once your partner notices real effort on your part, he or she will be more likely to work just as hard to repair the relationship.

About the Author

Shannon Philpott has been a writer since 1999. She has experience as a newspaper reporter, magazine writer and online copywriter. Philpott has published articles in St. Louis metro newspapers, "Woman's World" magazine, "CollegeBound Teen" magazine and on e-commerce websites, and also teaches college journalism and English. She holds a Master of Arts in English from Southern Illinois University.

Photo Credits

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