Rebuilding Trust

By Amarachukwu Okpunobi

Often times, our human instinct allows us to trust ourselves and also trust others. It gives us a basis to act and  react upon. Most times we call on God because we trust Him and that trust helps us to foster our faith in Him. We turn to our family and friends for help even in difficult times because we trust that they can be of help to us.

We also trust in our dreams in life because we believe it goes a long way in changing the narrative for us and making for a brighter, bigger and beautiful us. In fact, trust is the foundation of everything we do, if we can learn to trust on ourselves and others, we can have unprecedented human progress.

But how can we build that trust when we don’t trust ourselves. How can we progress when that trust is broken if it eventually was built? What if you rolled the camera and disappointedly sees an employee you trust so much stealing from the company’s fund? What if a technological failure leads to the loss of human life?

What if a friend you confided in decides to spill your weaknesses perhaps for her interest? What if you find out that the beautiful relationship you enjoyed was all shades of pretence? What if you looses trust with every constituent that mattered in life? How do you then pick up the pieces left and lay another foundation for trust to thrive in?

Rebuilding trust is no way closer to the word, ‘easy’. If we have to rebuild it, we should not forget that better version of us that is always  sticking around us in every corner. That version of redemption that gives up strength and keeps hope alive.

Now, for trust, if we are going to rebuild it, we have to understand its component parts. These components parts are easy to understand and even implement towards others so they can also foster their trust on us.

They include authenticity, real sense of life and human empathy, when these three components are working effectively, we have a great trust. But if any one of these gets shaky, if any one of these gets wobbled, trust is threatened.  The most common wobble is empathy.

Empathy: we don’t usually believe that others are in for us neither do others believe  that we are in for them. They believe that we are too self-distracted. And of course, we all seem busy each day to think of another. It seems also impossible so many at times to carve out time and space for those who look up to us, those who love us and those who want to trust us with the things in life.

We leave them to be crowded with the thought that we are too busy for them to trust. To trust, it needs time and space because without revealing empathy it makes everything harder for all of us. To build this empathy for us and others, first, identify, where, when and to whom you are likely to offer your distraction.

This consequently helps you too to identify where, when and to whom you are unlikely to withhold your empathy. Of course not all who meet you are to be trusted and not all you meet, you trust. But the few who do trust you, should as well see a reason to do so.

Because, these will trigger us to look up and see the people in front of us and listen to them, and  deeply immerse ourselves in their perspectives when they share their different stories of life with us. Then also we have a sturdy leg of having a chance of empathy. When we do this, we should avoid any form of distraction and focus on whose story we are listening to and the life sitting before us.

Real sense of Life: these wobble comes in two forms, either the quality of our logic in and about life or our ability to communicate the logic. Fortunately, it’s often the case that our logic is sound but unfortunately, its communication is in jeopardy.

To conquer these and build trust in others, we must understand that they are two ways to communicate these logics and make the person see the lighter phase of life even in the times of darkness. The first is to take that person on a journey, a magnificent journey that has twists and turns, mysteries and drama until you ultimately hit the point.

But if you really have difficulty communicating this way, I encourage you to start with your point straight up in a crips half-sentence, and then support these points with strong evidence. So, even if you get cut off in the middle, at least you have been able to pass your message before someone snatches your idea from you.

Authenticity: we as human beings can sniff in literally in a moment whether or not someone is being their true self. You don’t want to have an authenticity wobble? Be you. Just be you. Let people trust you for who you are and not who or what you pretend to be because at the long run, it hits back like a boomerang.

Being you is easy to do if you are around people who are also themselves unapologetically. But if you represent any sort of difference from whom you are, then being you will be challenging for you. Sometimes, we are tempted to mute who we are to the world, probably because we are coaching others or because we want others to see us in a way somewhat greater than who we are.

And of course we all represent difference in one context in our lives and that  exposes the uniqueness in us. For example, I love to go on black hair, wear men’s shoes and clothes while the other does not fancy that. If I try to fit myself into what another wishes to look like because I want to be liked or seen as someone who also belongs to a specific group of people in the society, I become totally another person.

At the same time, comes a very sincere temptation to hold back who we are, and if we eventually hold back who we are, we are less likely to be trusted. And if we are less likely to be trusted, we are less likely to lose our progress in life, losing our progress in life, we are less likely to lose the sense of being human and eventually at the turn of things we become super depressed.

Now if you must be authentic, pay less attention to what people wants to hear from you and far more attention to what your authentic awesome self needs to say.  It is our obligation, one to another to set conditions and atmosphere that not only makes it safe for others to be authentic, but makes them feel welcomed and celebrated.

Cherish others for their authenticity, as this will unlock the key for us to achieve a greater excellence in life and trust each other more than we ever did.

If we are able to understand these components about trust then we will be able to reward and celebrate people for their differences. We will be able to welcome people and allow them bring their best version of themselves forward even when it is entirely different from what we think and believe.

That way, we are not only building and rebuilding trust for ourselves in every corner of life but also creating a more conducive and fecund environment for ourselves and the generations unborn.