When Trust is Broken

From the Meredith Mediates blog by Meredith Richardson

Do you want to be right or do you want to be in relationship?

This can be one of the hardest questions to answer.

When there is a substantial violation of your trust, what do you do with that?

What do you do with multiple, small violations of your trust?

The answer is different for each of us. Some are quick to choose principles over relationship. Some are always choosing relationship. And most of us fall somewhere in between.

Sometimes it’s the first violation of trust that causes us to ask this question. Usually, when that happens, it’s something big, some form of betrayal on a large scale, like an affair.

Sometimes it’s a collection of violations over time. Trust has been slowly chipped away at, eroded, until finally the question is there, "Do I want to continue this relationship?"

Trust is something which can be freely given or earned over time. It also can be squandered by the receiver. It takes much longer to rebuild trust than it does to receive it initially.

Words are not enough when it comes to rebuilding trust. It is one’s actions which truly tell whether one is trustworthy or not.

Rebuilding trust takes time and energy on both sides. It can be a long and painful process.

And, until trust has been rebuilt, the question lingers, "Do I want to continue in this relationship?"

Only you have the answer to that question.

                        author

Meredith Richardson

Meredith Richardson, Esq., CPC, helps people and organizations to successfully navigate conflict through mediation, conflict coaching, and training.  Though she was trained and worked as an attorney in ME, NH, and MA, she no longer self-identifies as a lawyer.  She helps people to have difficult conversations successfully. Meredith is well-respected… MORE >

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