Trust | Violating Trust
Trust is the glue that holds relationships together. It allows us to feel safe and vulnerable which strengthens connection. Trust is earned when actions meets words.
I recently let an important person in my life down. A betrayal, a broken promise, misjudgment (whatever you want to call it) which affected the integrity of our relationship. I now know that a relationships capacity to recover from such betrayal is in large part due to how one reacts - particularly the “perceived culprit”.
We usually hear stories on things that happened to the “victim”; the person who was betrayed. I am here to shed some light on what it’s like to be the one who violated trust - the wrongdoer (aka the “bad person”). You see, there are always 3 sides to every story: their version, your version and the truth. In my recent reflection I have uncovered that what I did wrong was fail see or hear what the other person had to share.
I’ve been deep in this work; exploring the theme of trust in friendships and have evaluated what a healthy relationship with trust looks like (and more importantly how to check myself when its no longer present). When the trust and respect was gone I didn’t do what I should have and consequently failed hard and let things get worse.
A year later, here I am no longer keeping myself up at night thinking about what I did wrong and letting one failure consume my everyday thoughts. Only when I sat down and wrote a “re do” of my personal situation was I able to say goodbye to self loathing and finally find peace.
Here are the things that are critical to do when trust is broken. I haven’t always responded this way, but I strive to moving forward:
When you fail to keep your word and break someone’s trust the only option is to just own it. This hasn’t come easy for me. I have reacted, deflected blame and even lived in an alternate state of reality where I was never the wrong doer. Since I started owning my shit, I feel better about when things go wrong- accepting responsibility was as much for me as it was for the other person.
It’s only when the hurt partner feels truly heard can they begin healing. It was my responsibility to make sure they got the opportunity to do so. And what I found was that they may not give you that opening. If there are no words exchanged, we can listen to actions, give space and accept where they want the situation to go. I wish I could have listened without judgment or disputing (it is not equivalent to agreeing).
Key word here is authentically. Anyone can see a fake apology coming from a mile away. Let your walls down, let them in and share the parts of you that you have been hiding. Show your vulnerabilities and fears and express sorrow for how you have hurt them or let them down.
You are not a horrible person, you are a human being full of faults and its important to remember we are a constant work in progress. My imperfections have led to some of life’s greatest lessons. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you made and move on. I spent an entire year beating myself up playing the “shoulda coulda woulda” scenarios in my head. This acceptance leads us to the emotional healing we need.
Show some compassion towards yourself. If we can speak to ourselves with love and kindness, it reaffirms that we are worth it and only then can self esteem be built back up. I didn’t love or trust myself enough to show up as my full self anymore and that bled into other areas of my life. You are more than your past mistakes.
Contrary to the rom coms you’ve watched, relationships are not all sunsets and roses. People and relationships are complex and although restoring trust is not impossible, it may just be better to have kept your word in the first place…...lesson learnt.
-Tas Goel, Real Talk Expert & mndsight Wellness Team Member