How To Earn and Build Trust with Loved Ones


You mean well. Your intentions are sincere, and yet they may undercut trust or pave the way to a ‘salt-on-wound’ experience for you as well as for the unprepared recipient.

Always honor questions as effort on the part of the other person to seek clarification.  When the assumption is that the other person is deliberately trying to trick, trap, distract or otherwise ‘set you up’, trust is missing. Missing trust suggests one or both of these:  (1) either YOU can’t be trusted (thus, you trust nobody ever) and/or (2) the other person can’t or shouldn’t be trusted.

Understanding comes from minds meeting.  In order to be on the same page with another person, thoughts need to be shared. Trust comes from a feeling of safety – but sometimes people settle for ‘predictability’ . . . even if what is ‘predicted’ is uncomfortable.  (This suggests a ‘don’t-rock-the-boat’ relationship which leans towards ‘handling’ and ‘tolerating’ rather than sharing trust.  Read more by clicking here).

Another ‘trust-busting’ point to keep in mind:  ‘just’, ‘simple’ and ‘simply’   are three words which, if carelessly placed, may devastate a listener or poison a budding friendship by undercutting trust.

Sounds ridiculous?  Read on . . .

Depending on your timing as well as the status of your relationship, emotional development of the individual to whom your ideas are addressed, and/or the situation, these are the first of a long list of words which, if used carelessly, tend to ‘make less of’ the efforts of another OR, possibly may indicate that the other ‘should’ have understood/ made connections/ followed your line of thought etc.  This attitude can poison a well or devastate a raw or sensitive listener – especially if that person is currently going through a traumatic healing experience (and more people than you might imagine are. Read more here).

If you belittle the prospective friend when that person seeks clarification, what does this really say about YOU?  The one who belittles another often uses words, vibration, glances, posture, actions etc. to establish power ‘over’ the other in the relationship.  This ego-driven individual is not ready for a trusting relationship.

How does this behavior impact the prospective friendship? Abuse of boundaries and words undercuts trust. The relationship may dissolve or continue to be built on a foundation of distrust – which includes defensive, thick boundaries and heavily guarded walls of self-protection.

Have you ever said or heard the following: “But I’m just trying to ‘help’ you gain perspective. I try to comfort you by saying, ‘Just move on’  . . .”   OR  “I try to make you the best you can be so I . . . ”


After several years of having earned trust we cut more slack, take chances, make allowances for, and often overlook poor choices made by loved ones. When building a new relationship, we have no shared history to lean on. Trust must be earned. A feeling of safety develops over time.

There are indeed people who seem so well adjusted that poor word choices, errors we make and even traumatic life events didn’t / don’t seem to shake them. The ‘unshakable’ person might be truly centered (a state of balance worth striving for) OR might be so uncaring and well defended/ self-protective that nothing actually penetrates. Click here to read about signs/signals of emotional unavailability. The vibration reveals the reality. Click here to read about how to manifest a healthy relationship.  Trust your inner wisdom. Click here to read about how to earn your own trust through self-care and sharpening of time management skills.

When life deals a difficult blow, the centered individual usually has a sense of self-esteem and well developed sense of purpose, trusted support systems in place, is able to intuitively tap into internal wisdom for guidance, and seems to know just how to ‘float’ until the waters are either safer to swim OR the individual beaches on a safe shore.

For this healthy and centered individual, another person might not need to be so careful about words, tone, body posture or any other forms of communication during a casual acquaintanceship; however, if interested in earning that individual’s trust, building and/or mending a relationship, rules do change a bit.  To build a healthy relationship, there are key rules to follow: safe boundaries need to be drawn and respected, and clarification needs to be offered and sought – freely, without judgment.

Developing adolescents, (or adults ‘arrested’ in the adolescent stage of development – details click here), need to be treated with utmost care so as not to trample on the delicate development of self. To the young child, teen or developing adolescent, (or to an individual stuck at that stage of development) the wise intervention would not ever include statements such as: “You will just have to get over it”   OR   “Simply get through it the best way you can.”

There is no “JUST” and nothing is “SIMPLE” for the developing adolescent.

Before the personality is solidly formed (may be as early as 18 or as late as 25, when the brain slows down its mapping)  the only approach would be to help the individual get THROUGH the devastating life altering blow by offering coping tools that guide and enlighten through perspective.

Keep in mind that trust, support and unconditional love are necessary in order to facilitate a healthy and healing journey.

When an otherwise centered, mature, well adjusted person feels mistreated on any level – verbally or through the intangible vibration, this link might offer hints and tips to cope:

Paying attention with an open mind, open eyes, listening ears and closed mouth is a skill worth mastering.  Right up there at the top of the list of how to build a safe and trusting relationship: avoid ‘multi-tasking’ when engaged in conversations with those with whom you want to nourish, feed and share love. Click here for additional thoughts on this topic.

Here’s to your healing adventure!  ~Dr. Iankowitz

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