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Why Is It Hard for Some People to Trust and How to Trust Again

Why Is It Hard for Some People to Trust and How to Trust Again

Trust no one. This seemingly beneficial virtue for a happy life can be a bit counterproductive, making issues where there didn’t need to be one. A lack of trust can lead to a multitude of issues, including the inability to maintain relationships. But if you trust too much, you leave yourself vulnerable; a target for disappointment.

The concept of trust: the firm belief in reliability, truth, ability, or strength of something or someone; is a bit foreign when reclusive secrecy has become the norm. But the fact of the matter is, if we build our walls up too high, we doom ourselves to a fate full of solitude and loneliness.

The concept of trust is developed early on in life, leaving room for developmental issues down the line.

During our infant and toddler stages, we as humans being assessing our emotions and grasp on certain dynamics. Our concept of trust is one of the first to be established. More often than not, trust issues are developed early on in life as a direct effect of an occurrence or lack thereof during childhood.[1]

    Children who did not receive consistent attention, nurturing, affection, appropriate discipline, or acceptance during their developing stages are likely to establish issues later on in life; and are likely to struggle with maintaining relationships. This is even more true for children who are exposed to abusive environments, as their view of normalcy in relationships has been permanently skewed.

    Trust issues can develop during any stage of life due to a variety of reasons.

    Trust issues are not exclusively linked to childhood experiences, they can really develop during any stage of life.[2]

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    Adolescence is another milestone for trying and developmentally altering experiences. Young teens who are bullied and teased at school or at home may develop a mistrust for their peers, as their self-esteem has been effected which in turn will play a monumental role on that individuals ability to trust.

    Traumatic life events during any stage of life including adulthood can seriously hinder the trust spectrum. Occurrences such as theft, illness, or loss of a loved one. This person has been disillusioned, and have to come to terms with new emotions such as loss of control, abandonment, or loss of security. On a more heinous scale, experiences such as sexual assault or rape can leave the victim stripped of the ability to trust.

      The most common of trust issues, relationship issues, can develop at anytime.

      Now, these can manifest during a normally healthy relationship, stemming from a childhood experience that clearly has not been processed. But more likely than not, everyone goes through “that one” relationship that turns their world upside down and alters the way that they view relationships and themselves indefinitely. Those who have been cheated on are likely to carry the notion into future relationships that no one can be trusted, and if they didn’t answer your text in 5 seconds, then they must be cheating.

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        And yes, granted, in today’s hook up culture, it’s difficult to give people the benefit of the doubt. With the illusion of variety and adoration generated by social media outlets; the promotion of “side pieces” and “main squeezes”, there’s not much room for the die-hard romantic who wants to achieve a meaningful and monogamous relationship.

        This may surprise you, but the cheater in the relationship is typically the one with real trust issues. There are very few reasons why people cheat, and although some of the reasons may be understandable, none are excusable.[3]

        But usually people tend to cheat when they’re feeling insecure, like they don’t “have it” anymore, or they have a nagging suspicion that their partner could or is doing better than them. To avoid being the one who gets betrayed, they go ahead and cheat so that they are in control of the situation so to speak.

        There is a direct connection between the existence of trust issues and mental health.

        Perhaps some of the most tragic trust issues are those that are generated by PTSD, due to some horrifyingly traumatic event. Many adults who have underwent war and all of the experiences that come with it, often carry those experiences with them off of the battleground.

        Many of these individuals feel that they did not receive the appropriate support from their government or their peers, after offering the ultimate sacrifice. That horrific experience leaves these heroes riddled with issues, trust being the main contender.

        Often times, the presence of trust issues are often couple with a multitude of additional issues. Be it abandonment, humiliation, or a traumatic physical experience, trust issues don’t travel alone. These additional ailments are a good indication as to what has caused the trust issues to begin with.

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        Although the trust has been lost, you can still gain it back.

        Unfortunately, there is no quick fix to this problem. Trust issues are deep seeded, stemmed from an early experience, ingraining itself into your overall development. But it is not the end all. It can be mended.

        Therapy – the most direct and effective way.

        This should be your first method of attack. I know, I know.

        Going to therapy eludes to some kind of stigma, like you’re crazy or something, or can’t handle your life. But the truth is that none of that is true. You’re just a bit damaged, and you may not even be aware as to what has caused the damage. You’re battling the after effects and you deserve a rest.

        Speaking to a counselor/therapist/psychologist can be incredibly beneficial, because you end up digging deep and unveiling aspects of yourself and memories that had been suppressed. This is helpful for both the individual as well as the couple, if the trust issues are within the relationship.

        Communication – a good relationship takes two.

        Just because your previous partner did you wrong doesn’t mean that every person out there is an insatiable, insecure sex fiend.

        Talk to them. Tell them how you’re feeling. You might think that you’re coming off as needy and whiny, but those qualities are much more welcoming when you compare them to paranoia, insecurity, accusing, and eventually resentful. Tell your partner how you’re feeling, and why you think that you have these emotions. If they’re willing to work with you and get to a place where you feel more comfortable, they’re a keeper.

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        If they’re thrown by your concerns, then you need to move on. You’re sliding down a toxic path to nowhere.

        Moving On – sometimes letting go is better than holding on.

        Sometimes it’s not all in your head. Sometimes you’ve learned from your passed experiences, and although they have left you a bit jaded, they have also left you with a intuitive wisdom. Perhaps your lack of trust has left you cynical, yet observant. Regardless of whether or not your resignations stem from a very real place, you have to weigh your happiness with the satisfaction of being right.

        If you’re mind is running a million miles a minute, trying to decipher if your partner is telling you the truth; it’s time to cut it off. It is bound to run its course eventually, otherwise you’re just stuck circling in the motions.

        You deserve happiness, and eventually you will find someone who doesn’t make you question every little thing.

        Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

        Reference

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        Jenn Beach

        Traveling vagabond, freelance writer, & plantbased food enthusiast.

        How We Are Confusing Self-Love with Narcissism In This Generation How Traveling Can Drastically Improve Your Interpersonal Skills 10 Best Lumbar Support Cushions That All Desk Workers Need See How Your Brain Can Ruin Any of Your Workout or Healthy Eating Plans. One Small Action Separates Success From Mediocrity.

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        Last Updated on April 11, 2019

        How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

        How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

        Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

        I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

        I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

        Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

        How Communication Skills Help Your Success

        Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

        Create a Positive Experience

        Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

        When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

        What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

        Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

        As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

        Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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        Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

        Help Leadership Skills

        It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

        Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

        As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

        Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

        If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

        Build Better Teams

        Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

        In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

        If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

        When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

        Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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        How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

        There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

        Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

        1. Listen

        Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

        Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

        People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

        Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

        Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

        2. Know Your Audience

        Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

        Here is a good way to think about it:

        Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

        You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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        3. Minimize

        I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

        He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

        Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

        State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

        The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

        4. Over Communicate

        So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

        What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

        Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

        Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

        Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

        There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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        5. Body Language

        The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

        When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

        In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

        When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

        Conclusion

        Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

        Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

        There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

        Now go communicate your way to success.

        More Resources About Effective Communication

        Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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