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How Can I Trust Without Getting Burned Again?

By Lisa Brick

There are almost always signs of deceit that announce that those around us are less than honest, trustworthy, or caring in a way that is healthy for all involved.  Knowing what the signs of deceit are can help you to avoid the fires of trust betrayed that burn so deeply and cause so much pain.

Here are some behaviors that we can choose to see and address up front, before there is any danger of being seriously burned.

  • Circumstances are blamed for failure to come through on commitments (I know I promised to pick up the .... today but an important call came in just as i was leaving and I had to take it)

  • Justifications are used for actions (or inactions) that are not aligned with the persons stated values. (I believe in honesty but one small lie about where I've been will eliminate a lot of questions I don't feel like answering.)

  • Guilt, anger, or some other manipulative emotion is used to ignore or stifle the feelings of others. (How can you put more pressure on me to be more available to you/the kids knowing the hours I put in at work?)

  • An inability to listen to, acknowledge, and validate the uncomfortable feelings of another. (You feel uncomfortable with how I spoke to x, how do you think I felt when you...?)

  • Approaches are taken that result in winners and losers. (It's too bad that you can’t come too but no sense wasting two tickets!)

  • Transparency is absent. (You are so busy with other things, trust me to take care of our finances. If I bought it it means we can afford it.)

You may be saying "Everyone I know functions like this, including me, some if not most of the time. It is unrealistic to expect people to be saints." These behaviors are equally dangerous if we accept them in ourselves as when we accept them in others.  Maybe it is time to reach for a new realistic.  While you may or may not be able to achieve total integrity, compassion, and clarity you'll certainly get a lot closer by discovering and practicing ways to take these behaviors on.

By holding yourself accountable for a new level of behavior and holding others able to be responsible to commitments and outcomes, making it a practice to listen and hear what others are saying even when it challenges your current perspective to do so, and be out in the open about what you do, when you do it, and why, you will attract others into your life who do the same.  You will also be able to recognize more easily those who don't and make intelligent informed choices about what level of relationship you are willing to have with them if they are people integral to your life in some way. Building a fire resistant home by knowing the signs of deceit is more effective than panicking at smoke or attempting to put out every fire you get wind of.

Without holding yourself capable you will not have that fire resistant home because you will have already blinded yourself to the signs of deceit. You will be insensitive to the smoke and brush fires that tell you that others in your life are blurring the lines of integrity or disregarding them completely. Under these conditions it is simply a matter of time before you are feeling the burn again.

As long as you and those you depend upon assume responsibility for outcomes, live in alignment with stated values, listen to and honor the thoughts and feelings of others, are capable of separating and processing personal emotions effectively, continue to care about the satisfaction of those around them, and exhibit transparency in actions you will have the ability to truly see who someone is being and rest in the truth of their integrity or lack thereof.  From this seeing you can determine your next steps in clear light without the distortions of smoke and mirrors.  You can learn to trust yourself to see the choices that people make differently, successfully, and comfortably, free from flames!

The following two books can provide a more in depth exploration of trust and how it affects all aspects of success :

"The Trusted Advisor" by David Maister " and The Speed of Trust" by Stephen M.R. Covey.

To begin looking in the mirror to discover just how clear the signs of deceit are and how “trustworthy” you can become in a process that is supportive, compassionate, and evolutionary for your growth as an individual, a parent, and a partner, consider hiring one of our coaches. You can recognize what the signs of deceit are, begin to trust yourself to see more accurately, and choose with greater wisdom.

Find out if coaching is right for you.  Take a quick survey and see if you are ready to make a positive and lasting change in your life.  Click here to begin.

Chief Visionary: Karen McMahon

Karen McMahon

Our team of coaches at JBD is passionate about helping men and women navigate the emotional difficulties of relationships, breakups and divorce. We work together with you to open the possibility that your current relationship challenges can lead to a rewarding voyage of self-discovery and an immensely more pleasing life experience. Together we create a path to clarity. Find out if Coaching is right for you, and accept my gift of one FREE session.


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