This week’s question comes from Momwabisi in Umhlanga: “What are the most efficient ways to spend time with someone with the intention of building a deep friendship or relationship?”
Answer: Everyone has a default capacity to trust another. The place from where you trust anyone is based on one’s own ability to trust yourself. It is not possible to trust someone else when you do not trust yourself.
Those who have been betrayed will take longer to trust.
When you keep the basics of trust in mind as you build a bridge across an invisible boundary, which exists within the person you are trying to reach, you discover that your perspective of what is possible might be different from theirs.
We cannot see into another person. We can only offer who we are authentically and they will be able to relate to us through what they believe.
Irrespective of what you do to build trust, your efforts require that the other person holds the capacity to believe in you.
If you do everything right you may still fail because she is not able to trust herself yet. This means that your goal of deepening trust goes beyond your actions. But actions is where we start.
You can do the following to improve your chances of a deep friendship or partnership:
Become a great listener - people tend to pay more attention to those who give them space to say more about themselves.
You can reveal things about yourself first, which will pave the way for the other to be more open as well.
You can do nice things for your partner without expecting anything in return.
You can share your personal experiences (those that you do not share with everyone) to make them feel special. Allow yourself to be vulnerable, which implies that you already trust them.
You can support them in their ventures and emotions.
You can have meaningful conversations beyond the daily demands.
You can be present for them even and maybe especially when they don't expect it.
If you want to push a person beyond his or her ability to trust, or offer them an opportunity to heal from betrayal, you extend yourself into a space of personal growth.
What I suggest might surprise you but it will deepen your relationship with this person even though it might seem unrelated at first.
Consider that there is a school of thought that implies that we attract what we are. If you are asking someone to trust you more, then you too will need to trust more.
Find out how much you trust yourself, and, what you would need to trust yourself more than you do now beyond your invisible boundary. Offer the same to the person you want a deep relationship with.
You build a friendship based on all the things you did to deepen the trust. If you stop putting in the effort your friend will feel betrayed even when you’ve done nothing wrong.
Building trust requires more than what we might be prepared to give if what we do is merely to impress them. Make sure that what you do is a true representation of who you are.
Remember that you can always trust another person to be 100% himself or herself.
* Adelé Green is a transformation specialist coach and author of Can You See Me Naked: Grow in a Conscious Relationship. She provides answers here when posted on www.adele-green.com/askadele/ or contact her for coaching.