To gain someone’s trust, you must show yourself trustworthy. This is a trite saying, to be true, however it is not a cliché without reason. Frequently, people do not trust you because you may have a reputation of not being trustworthy. However, there are a few people who have problems developing trust, no matter who it involves. With these people, you must use a little knowledge and discretion.
Make your behavior reliable and consistent. Consistency is one of the strongest characteristics of a trustworthy person. Even if you cannot be trusted to do certain things, if you have a consistent reputation for doing other things, your reputation can be salvaged. Show up to classes on time or early on a regular basis. Work late, if necessary, even if it is the weekend. Your bosses can count on you having nothing to make up for on Monday. Keep your house clean and in order, all of the time, not just when you feel like it. Develop consistency in your reactions to others, especially during periods of stress, when someone else is yelling and has lost control of themselves. Have a reputation for keeping your voice low, your reactions non-vindictive and your solutions reasonable.
Show respect for them. When other people have trust issues, part of this is because of respect issues. They have not received due respect for much of their lifetime, and they are now ultra-sensitive to lack of it. Ask them if they need anything before you go to the store, offer to help them with difficult projects, keep your temper even when they are not keeping theirs, and show them little acts of kindness throughout the day. Do special things for them on a regular basis, and acknowledge their frustration if they have a problem with you.
Be generous with them. Do not skimp or be stingy with someone you are trying to develop a trusting relationship with. Be generous in cooking, in working, in verbal praise and in positive physical touch. Do not try to take them for all they are worth. Chances are, if they do not trust you, they are watching for just such behavior. Prove them wrong by acting in a pleasing and behaved manner. Treat them to smoothies or kisses or “extra special bonus sex” or flowers. Make them feel special in your world and they will make you special in theirs.
Show tolerance for their problems. Many people who have trust issues need to be given time and consistent, reliable, positive reactions in order to help them get over their issues. Influence them by not reacting to their lashing out, but by responding to it quietly and reasonably. Do whatever it takes to keep your cool, so that you are not raising their wall of protection against you. Be reasonable and kind and understanding, and in the future, when you need it, they will be the same for you.
Create mutually beneficial relationships with friends and family by developing a consistent reputation of trustworthiness. This reputation will smooth over bad behavior and the occasional emotional breakdown. Trust gained is not only trust earned, but in the long run, is trust kept.