Rebuilding Trust

  • Brenda Spina, M.S., LMFT, LPC
  • Series: Summer 2016, Volume 23, Issue 3
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Trust is precious. Trust is hard to place a value on until it is lost. After trust is lost is when it’s value seems priceless. Rebuilding trust requires a few steps that many struggle with. They sound easy but may be difficult when in placed into practice. When practiced, these steps help us live with a greater sense of inner peace.

Come completely clean. Once caught in a lie, come clean but with wisdom. Sharing all the gory details may hurt worse than the original lie. Many will tell part of the truth for the sake of self preservation. When this happens, it tends to only solidify the idea within the one lied to that you are even more trustable. Having to dig for answers, constant questioning when facts do not line up, all feed into the trust remaining in ruins.

Talk about what made you do it. Maybe you lied because you were afraid. Some lie to avoid potential conflict with the other person. Maybe you feel controlled and this is your way of feeling like you have some power or separateness. It may even be lying was a part of getting what you wanted in your family. No matter the reason, get to the bottom of it and be honest before the Lord and the one you lied to.

Take responsibility for your choices. Repercussions are unpleasant in relationships when one lies. There is hurt, anger, suspicion, and worry. Your best bet in rebuilding the trust is to remain fully responsible for the choices you made. No excuses, no denying, and without expectation of being forgiven immediately. It’s easy to say “I’m sorry” and hope that is enough. This is not always so. Forgiveness takes time.

Be an open book. At this point, trust needs a foundation of honesty on which it can exist. If you value the person and the relationship, stop the dishonesty and withholding. Sharing of daily events and choices still requires respect and humility. You may mention the behaviors of others. However, their behavior is not the focus. Remember, you are in charge of your choices. The only behaviors you can change are your own.

David understood the necessity of these steps once confronted by the prophet Nathan. When caught in his own denial and sin, he prayed, “Lord what you desire is truth in the inmost part…..” Being honest with ourselves comes first, then the Lord, and ultimately those we are in relationship with. It’s the best way to inner rest I can think of.