Trust is one of the most important foundational blocks of friendship. It allows us to open up to our friends and safely share our lives with them. At the same time, betrayal of trust can feel devastating in a friendship, or any relationship for that matter. When you betray a friend’s confidence by sharing something they told you in confidence, it can put a dent in your relationship with them.
That is why, it’s important to be clear with your friends about what trust means to you, so that you are both on the same page.
There are several ways to build and demonstrate trust in friendships, including:
1- Be more dependable
There are many friends who can show up to a party or to get a drink with you, but true friends are the ones who always return calls and messages, and actually show up when things get rough. Instead of just being available to your friends on your own convenience, go out of your way to show them that you actually care for them and talk to them when they are going through a tough time.
2- Be kind
Friends can make mistakes, give them some room for error and be kinder. If they change or cancel plans, call them up or text them to make sure that everything is alright at their end, instead of assuming that they are just ignoring you. If they say something which hurts you, be honest with them about it and let them know exactly why you felt hurt.
3- Be completely present
When your friend is talking to you about something important, give them your full attention by putting your phone down and try not to interrupt them. If there is an important social media update, it is still going to be there after your conversation with your friend is over. Also, resist from giving unnecessary advice unless you can really help your friend.
4- Be considerate
While it’s important to bring your walls down around your friends, sharing too much intimate information about your life in the early phases of your friendship can be rather overwhelming, for both you and your friend. Take one step at a time and move slowly instead of rushing into a new friendship.
5- Have integrity
Show your friends that you are the type of person who can be trusted with private and intimate information. True friends never gossip behind each other’s backs. Even if it’s a small detail that your friend shared with you, do not discuss it with others unless you know your friend is alright with it.
It’s best to talk to your friends about this and be clear about boundaries. You should know what is to be shared and what shouldn’t be shared in order to strengthen and maintain your friendship.
6- Be interdependent
Trusting friends are able to ask each for help even when they are vulnerable, desperate, or scared. Open yourself up more to your friends, it will also help them to open themselves up to you as well and reach out to you when they are facing a problem.
7- Be reciprocative
Friendships can often go sour if one person is always on the receiving end of things. You need to be more reciprocative in friendships and respect each other mutually. For instance, if a friend takes a day off to spend time with you and invite you to their house, you should do the same for them as well.
By following all these simple tips, you will be able to build trust in friendships and have friends who stay by your side through the thick and thin.