For example, before our daughter got married she asked to move back into our house to save money. Prior to allowing this we sat down with her and her fiancé and discussed expectations and needs. Everyone had a voice and we discussed details. Because everyone had a say and knew what was expected of them, things went very well.
6. BE VULNERABLE
Be honest about your feelings. Don’t hide. Sharing of yourself demonstrates you’re trusting them. It’s easier to trust someone who trusts you. This takes courage but is a primary way to build trust in any relationship.
For example, your spouse has been working late a lot. At first, it didn’t bother you but now you’re feeling differently. Last they knew, it didn’t bother you and they’re raking in the overtime. Being vulnerable here would be sharing your feelings and letting them share theirs—talking it out.
We’re never so vulnerable than when we trust someone – but paradoxically, if we cannot trust, neither can we find love or joy. —Walter Anderson
7. CHECK YOUR PERSPECTIVE
All we know is how we see. I see differently than you and vice versa. When a difficulty arises give the benefit of the doubt. Ask questions. Perhaps there was a misunderstanding. Look at problems as an opportunity to build instead of a reason to pull away.
Gaining the advantage of the other person’s perspective not only builds the relationship, it enlarges our world.
8. EXPRESS GRATITUDE
Nothing wears slowly on a relationship like taking it for granted. Expressing appreciation for the relationship and for things they do or say builds it up.
For example, a simple sentence from the heart like I’m so glad we spent time together today. Or another example is I haven’t seen you in a while and I miss you.
Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. —William Arthur Ward
9. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY
The responsibility I’m referring to here is when something goes wrong. Be willing to take responsibility when you screw up. Everyone screws up. Be sincere in your apology. This includes taking steps to not repeat the offense.
People can tell if an apology is genuine or self-serving. If they don’t respond with forgiveness either the apology wasn’t sincere and didn’t take the responsibility, or the offense has been repeated too many times.
10. GIVE GRACE
Nobody’s perfect. We have good days and bad days. We all make mistakes and screw up. If we’re not perfect then there is no perfect relationship. Grace is a powerful tool to help us in our humanity.
Be forgiving when others make mistakes because you want them to be that way with you. This doesn’t mean you let people take advantage of you (remember the previous section on responsibility).
Giving grace is easier when the trust level is high.