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What are Some Ways I Can Regain Trust?

An apology is crucial when trying to regain someone's trust.
Offering an apology can be the first step in regaining another person's trusst.
Article Details
  • Originally Written By: Lauren Romano
  • Revised By: C. Mitchell
  • Edited By: Jay Garcia
  • Last Modified Date: 04 July 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Regaining trust is often a difficult thing that very much depends on your circumstances, but understanding where things went off course, sincerely and fully apologizing, and working hard to prove that you’ve changed are usually some of the most important steps. It’s often really difficult to get trust back once it’s been lost, and it isn’t always possible. Some people aren’t willing to forgive, and some wrongs are more or less permanently damaging, whether in personal or professional settings. Still, trying to smooth things over is almost always a good plan. The process may take longer than you’d hoped but is almost always worth the effort.

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Understand Why Trust Was Lost

The most important place to start is usually to think long and hard about why trust was lost in the first place. In most cases it’s very difficult to fix a situation unless you are fully aware of why a person or group no longer trusts you. This often takes a bit of reflection, and it’s typically a good idea to think universally: think about any obvious mistakes you’ve made, but also about how the ramifications of those actions may have trickled down and caused different sorts of harm. Lying in a business report might have most immediately made your boss look bad, for example, but it might also have hurt other co-workers by discounting or diminishing their contributions. Similarly, cheating on a romantic partner might cause that partner to become angry, but also could impact his or her self-esteem for a long time to come.

Importance of Apologies

A sound and heartfelt apology is often crucial. Relationship experts often emphasize the importance of “owning” your mistakes when apologizing, which basically means that you should take complete responsibility for every aspect of your past behavior that has led to trust being broken or lost. Apologies can be written or spoken, either over the phone or face-to-face. Choosing the best venue is usually a matter of knowing the person you’ve offended and thinking about how to reach that person or group of people specifically.

It’s sometimes a good strategy to apologize in a couple of different ways, for example through a letter and in a conversation. It’s equally important not to overdo it, though. If the person or group to whom you’re apologizing doesn’t seem ready to receive your words it’s usually better to back away, at least temporarily, rather than risk sounding desperate or clingy. Not everyone is ready or able to accept an apology the moment it’s offered, so do the best you can and then give your words the space to soak in and speak for themselves.

Prove Yourself

Another way to regain trust is to prove yourself through actions and deeds. It can be very difficult to believe in someone again if it seems likely that the same errors are going to be made over and over again, and saying that you’ve changed isn’t usually as effective as actually showing it. Whatever was done to lead up to the trust being lost, do the opposite and opt for doing what the person wants you to do. If that person sees you making every effort to not make the same mistakes, you may have a better chance of regaining trust.

Give it Time

It’s generally rare for someone to immediately restore trust in you once you’ve done something to damage the relationship, which means that you may need to be patient. Once you’ve made your apologies and promised to change, the best thing may be to really live into those promises, even if it takes weeks, months, or even years. For some people, being able to trust someone else is monumental and once that trust is broken it’s going to take time to put things back together. Trust commonly builds slowly over time, and can’t be rushed or forced.

Once you are trusted again you should take special precautions to ensure that you don’t make the same or similar mistakes. In some cases it may take a lot more effort to regain trust then it ever took to get in the first place. If the person or group you’re struggling with is important, though, you should do whatever possible to make things right again, even if that means backing away for a time.

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Discuss this Article

anon320440
Post 16

I dated this guy for three months, and told him half truths and lies about my past relationship. He said the relationship was built on them and he felt insecure about it, especially when I kept breaking up in the relationship. I was insecure then. Now he said he's lost trust in me and wants me to move on. But I don't want to. I love him more than I can ever imagine. What should I do to get him back?

anon318565
Post 15

Leave married woman and men alone.

anon291483
Post 11

I have been dating my boyfriend for six months. Well, he's been talking to his ex girlfriend, saying that he loves her and wants to be with her while lying in bed next to me. Now we're broken up and I'm pregnant with his child. Is there any way that I can learn to trust him that he won't cheat on me and that he still loves me?

anon273932
Post 8

I just got back with my boyfriend. We broke up because of him watching porn, too. He didn't understand how much it was hurting me! But after I explained what it did to me he realised what he had done wrong! At least he said he does. I really hope so!

anon248610
Post 7

Porn infidelity? You canceled a wedding because of that? O boy, you've got to be kidding.

anon104399
Post 6

well to be honest, you people who say you love someone so much is a load of bull heap.

If you genuinely loved them you wouldn't have done what you did. It is the ultimate betrayal and you don't deserve forgiveness. The other person should walk away and find someone who actually loves them.

How you can come online and ask for help when you have done something so wrong? Turn the tables. How would you feel if the situation were reversed?

Women are way more evil than men. They say one thing and mean something else. You don't deserve the person's trust and you certainly don't deserve them.

anon92778
Post 5

I have been in a relationship for three years, but recently i met a man who swept me off my feet and worst of all i betrayed him by going back to my previous man. He found out and now he's so mad at me that he told me he forgave me but does not trust me. i don't know how to win back his trust again but i love him so much. Please help me.

baffled
Post 4

That's a good question to ask a politician.

baffled
Post 3

well to me, the best and easiest way to regain trust is:

1)stop lying,

2)be aware that it will take time for the other person to realize and see that you are sincere.

3)leave married men/women alone.

anon85335
Post 2

I'm having an affair with a guy who is already married. i love him so much that i don't even care that he's 20 years older than me.

one time, because of having no time with me, I got close to one of my friends. he found out and thought that I was cheating on him and finally broke my heart. he said that he will never trust me anymore.

i felt so lost when he said it and makes me feel his anger for me. Does being close to someone mean you're cheating? i want him to come back but how? i still feel his love and care for me. what should I do?

anon69827
Post 1

I was dating a man for three years and engaged to him for nine months. We were to be married in four months. I found out about his porn infidelity accidentally and cancelled the wedding. The love is still there. how do we regain trust? He

is very remorseful and claims that it is forever over.

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