Trust is the foundation of every healthy partnership. Without it, we are lost – searching for mistakes or confirmations of betrayal. It’s easy for us to feel helpless, disappointed or cheated. With it we are stronger, happier, more optimistic and healthier and we are able to do much more as a team together.
Whether they are our business partner, our romantic partner, or any other partner in life, trust is a significant factor in our relationships, to bring our shared intentions to life and create a solid future.
In the eyes of many people, Claudia Glowik and I are considered to be a great team that has succeeded to develop a healthy working relationship and friendship over the years. We have run our school (and our dream) together for almost 15 years and the partnership with her has taught me a great deal about this precious value – trust.
How Do You Choose a Partner You Can Trust?
It’s a combination of luck, instinct, love, logical consideration and the willingness to take the risk. In our case, we decided to start a body work school (body based learning) together, just a few months after I immigrated to Berlin. At the time we knew very little about each other, but what we knew was enough. We shared a passion for the hands on teaching of others, so they too could learn how to give sessions to clients. Logical considerations influenced the decision, but far beyond that, there was engagement for a shared project and the feeling we both had – that the risk of doing it together was worth taking.
What If I Choose the Wrong Person?
‘Wrong’ is an objective term. When I look back at the ‘wrong’ partners I had, each of them taught me a great deal and helped me to reach where I am now. Feeling betrayed by somebody, or realizing that a trusted person turned against me is a tough thing to go through; but in the long-run, those relationships and events in our life supported us in growing up and become who we can be. Disappointments from certain people taught us to appreciate the trusting partnerships we do have. While allowing ourselves to experience the many emotions that are part of any such crisis, we also become clearer on what’s important to us, our boundaries and our values.
How Can We Be Sure Our Trust Is Not Misplaced?
In my experience, we can never be completely sure until we try. Sometimes we build a trusting relationship for years, only to realize that it was a façade and the other person didn’t really deserve our trust. When this happens, we can either focus on how stupid we were to trust the wrong people, or we can be proud and happy that we were able to trust at all. Our own ability to trust can then be taken elsewhere – to a project, a person, or a different partnership that will better deserve it.
Can We Choose to Trust Each Other?
A good and healthy relationship starts by first choosing to trust each other. Naturally trust can only occur when there is a reason to trust to begin with. But after we choose our partner, there is a period of time needed, to allow trust to grow. To enable this we have to decide to trust the other person, to give them space to create their own role and to give ourselves the time to discover how to work or be together. This choice is also an essential factor when practicing in careers that help people – as a practitioner I have to trust my clients and by doing that, teach them to trust themselves and others.
Does Trust Take Time to Build?
Trust is a choice and when nurtured, it grows with time. The more situations that take place, the more we notice whether the person next to us is trustworthy or not. However, at the same time, trust can be built in a matter of seconds. We all know that feeling – when we meet somebody and our instinct is to trust them, even if we know very little about them. If this cannot be achieved at the beginning, it will be much more difficult to find and develop later. Over time, the relationship deepens, confidence in it grows and trust can be further developed.
How Trust Can Be Built
The basis of any trusting relationship is the sharing of a similar intention and the desire to be there together. Communication and the sharing of experiences are important when trust is being built. We will need to ask questions, to express ourselves, and to get to know the other person more thoroughly. As we learn what moves them and what motivates their choices, we allow our dance together to develop, even if each of us does it with different steps.
Sometimes Things Go Wrong
When I look back at the collaboration Claudia and I have shared, I think that both the crises and successes have been instrumental in building our trust in each other. Those times of crisis were challenging, but each time in remembering our shared dream, trust was built; we found ourselves supporting the other to stand up, to move on, and to remember why we were there in the first place. Today I know that whatever crisis we will go through – big or small – I have a strong partnership with someone I can trust and count on.
Trust Is a Value That Doesn’t Exist Alone
Trust, for me, is a core word – it has friends that come with it. Words that come to mind are the values that are part of any relationship and path. Trust and love are intertwined. It’s almost impossible to love without trust. Along with them exists a sense of purpose, of joy, of inner strength and of empowerment.
Often when trust has been broken, we feel like we cannot trust again, but we should remember that it was us who trusted and therefore it is still us that will be able to trust again. We all need to feel trusting and trusted. Many manage to find trust in impossible situations, so trust is within the reach of most of us, in our daily life. Finding out that we can’t trust a certain person we believed in, doesn’t have to take away our ability to trust somebody else.
Having a partnership we trust in and being trustworthy partners ourselves is an empowering feeling. It can give us a solid and healthy base for our life, our dreams, and a sensation of connection, belonging and inner strength.