Q:

How do you learn to regain trust in someone?

A:

Quick Answer

Some practices that can help regain trust include not getting bogged down with details, avoiding defensiveness, discussing motivations and cultivating transparency. Trust is the foundation of a strong relationship, and distrust inevitably undermines that connection, putting the entire relationship at risk.

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Full Answer

While it's important to be honest with each other, it can also be unproductive to focus on every single detail. The person who is at fault needs to admit their wrongdoing and take responsibility, but detailed truths can sometimes make a situation worse. Spending too much time on details detracts from the actual process of regaining trust.

Both parties also need to work on avoiding defensiveness and anger. Situations in which trust has been lost bring up intense emotions, but anger or denial only aggravates these feelings and makes reconciliation harder.

The person who has broken trust also needs to recognize and explain what their motivations were. Actions that result in distrust almost always speak to larger issues within a relationship, and it's important for those involved to open up about what these problems are. A discussion of where alienation in the relationship comes from is the first step to eliminating those feelings.

Finally, those involved need to be transparent with each other. If someone was cheating, or a child was lying to their parents, the person who committed the offense typically needs to open up their cell phone, email or appointment book to the wronged party. Losing privacy can be difficult, but this openness is necessary to begin rebuilding trust.

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