Four Elements of Trust – Rhoads Life Coaching

We sometimes fall in the trap of using trust as a universal tool. If we don’t trust someone with a specific thing, we don’t trust them with anything. This black and white thinking can be detrimental to everyone involved! In order to trust others and be trustworthy it helps to break it into pieces. There are at least four elements of trust.

If I can’t demonstrate that I CARE about your experience or problem, then I am not trustworthy.

If I can’t show that I will keep my WORD about what I say I will do, then I am not trustworthy.

If I don’t have ABILITY to do what I say I will do, then I should not be trusted with that task.

Finally, if I am not CONSISTENT in completing the three criteria above, then I cannot be trusted.

By breaking trust into four elements you can begin to look at how it works. It is entirely possible that someone you don’t trust has two or three of the elements of trust around a specific topic. I may care greatly that your tooth hurts and I am more than willing to keep my word to help you with your tooth ache. But I do not have ability to treat your tooth in a safe way! I may however, have the ability to keep a secret because I care about your privacy, I have kept my word in the past, and I have demonstrated previously that I have the ability to keep my mouth shut on a consistent basis. I have demonstrated that you can trust me with a secret!

How often do we use a blanket trust statement for someone (meaning if I can’t trust them with one thing, then I won’t trust them with anything)? It isn’t that simple. I may not be able to trust you to keep a secret, but I can trust you to give me a ride. We are still able to have a relationship with specific boundaries instead of no relationship at all.

Knowing these elements of trust gives the ability to look at how to repair relationships where trust is broken. Working on building care ability may not be where effort needs to be focused if keeping my word is a problem. Frequently we do not give enough time or space in a relationship to allow consistency to be demonstrated. It is possible to jump back into trust without giving enough time to demonstrate that trust has been restored.

Finally, what do you not trust yourself with? How does the trust model apply? Is it possible to restore trust in yourself by taking a look at the elements?-

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