Don’t wait any longer to solve your problems with trust!

An important part of empathy is the ability to trust and be trusted. When your friends feel that you care, then you have earned their trust. If they trust you, they will take more risks with you and be more open with you. People will talk openly with you only when they trust you. As trust builds, there will be more sharing of information, feelings, and thoughts. The more you share, the easier it is to relate to one another. Don’t be surprised if you begin to tell more about yourself than you would usually tell others. This is a sign of a trusting relationship.

Building trust is something that takes time and effort. It involves both you and the other person in the relationship. The level of trust is what makes each relationship unique. So how do you build a trusting relationship with someone? Here are five ways to build trusting relationships:

1. Learn to trust others
2. Earn the trust of others
3. Share information, thoughts, and feelings
4. Show weakness and take risks
5. Be personable


Learn to trust others. Your ability to trust starts with your perspective, or frame of mind when it comes to people. First, ask yourself, “Do I believe that people are generally good, or do I assume that people are bad until they prove me wrong?” If you assume that people are bad or evil, it will be very hard to trust anyone. Now, I’m not saying that you should trust a random person on the street to hold your purse while you tie your shoe. However, you should try to give people the benefit of the doubt before assuming they will break your trust. Ernest Hemingway once said, “The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”

Earn the trust of others. You can’t force someone to trust you. Trust is something that must be earned. There’s an old expression that goes like this: “Say what you mean, and mean what you say.” Sounds simple enough, and maybe even a little obvious, right? But when you really think about it, this command is easier said than done. How many times have you said something you didn’t mean just for the sake of pleasing someone? Maybe you agreed with someone just to avoid an argument, when in the back of your mind you completely disagreed. It all comes down to honesty and sincerity. If you are honest in the words that you speak, people will begin to trust you.

Earning trust doesn’t end with your words. You must prove that what you say is true by following through on what you say. Your actions must match your words. For example, if you say you can keep a secret, it’s important that you don’t tell anyone the information with which you’ve been trusted.


Share information, thoughts, and feelings. As trust grows between you and another person, you will start to feel comfortable sharing more information. This information can take the form of thoughts, opinions, feelings and things happening in your life. The more you share with other people, the more information people will feel comfortable sharing with you. By no means do you have to share every single detail of your life with everyone. However, if you’re worried about something, or if you’ve got some great news that you’re dying to share, you should feel comfortable sharing that information with someone in your life.


Show weakness and take risks. It’s very common to want to hold back in relationships. Human nature tells you to put up a wall to protect yourself from harmful situations. These situations are not physically harmful, but emotionally harmful. Instead of a bodily injury like a scrape or burn, the harm takes the form of rejection, failure, or being taken advantage of.

While no one wants to feel the pain of such emotional injuries, what you miss out on from holding back in relationships is much worse. When you hold back information, thoughts and feelings, the relationship will never open up and grow. You can only give half of yourself to the relationship. Meanwhile, if you’re only giving half, the other person in the relationship can only give half, and you end up with a surface-level relationship. A trusting relationship requires you to let your guard down and show your weaknesses. Sure, it’s risky, but like any risk, the reward is well worth it.


Be personable. I’m going to let you in on a little secret: You’re not the only one who has a hard time opening up to people! A lot of people think twice before sharing information, thoughts and feelings for the very same reasons you do. They’re afraid of being hurt, rejected or wrong about something. So how do you get people to open up to you? You can start by being personable, or like-able. Ask people questions in a way that makes them feel comfortable answering. Be friendly to people so that they want to talk to you. When people talk to you, listen without judging or offering your opinion unless they ask for it.

Remember these techniques while you work on building trust and improving your relationships.

If you want to learn more about developing or teaching soft skills, sign up for our free Soft Skills 101 webinar!