Dear Tita Pacita: On Gaining Back Trust
Dear Tita Pacita,
How may I be able to bring back someone else's trust?
Isabelle, 26, student
Thank you for being brave and submitting your question. I do believe that forgiveness and trust are essential powers we have within ourselves and it can only make our lives better, brighter, and definitely more livable.
Trust yourself, trust the other person, and hope for the best.
TAKE A STEP BACK AND ASSESS FIRST
Once your emotions have died down, think first of the situation. What is it that you did that broke the other person’s trust, and why? Was it out of a past hurt, anger, or resentment? Or was it simply a spur-of-the-moment thing, out of rash judgement, or plain carelessness?
And if you did have ill feelings towards the person, is it gone now? Have you come to terms with it already? The first step is making sure first that you are already over it now, that you have forgiven yourself, and that you are ready to move on.
SURVEY AND SEE
If you were in the position of the person you’ve hurt, do you think you’ll be okay by now? Timing can also play a huge role in relationships. You know your friend best. He may just need a sincere apology from you and forget about it, or he may prefer that you leave him be for the meantime.
The point is not pushing it if it will only do more damage, especially when he isn’t ready to listen or give you a chance—yet. Trust that there will be a time for it, and when it feels right, go give it a try.
Be perfectly honest and sincere. Acknowledge your faults and don’t be defensive. Try to make it as clear, concise, and straightforward as possible. Stick to the facts and what really happened—no sugar-coating, no exaggerating.
MAKE AN EFFORT
Show that you are working hard for it, but don’t be a slave, too. Remember that it’s not about dwelling on the past mistake you’ve committed, but you and the other person helping each other move forward. Past is past and what’s done is done and the only thing you can change now is how you work towards a better self and a better relationship.
You can begin by asking him what he might need or want from you, or how you may help. Together, you may also talk about new rules or boundaries to be set. Try to properly communicate how you both can move forward, together.
DON’T BREAK IT AGAIN
Trust is even more difficult to earn back than money. If you break it again, trust me, will be harder the next time around—if there even will be a next time.
Cover photo by Jem Bautista.