Posts in relationships
More On Building Trust in Relationships

Dr. Larry Cohen (856) 352-5428

We fall in love. We idolize and worship our new lover, and during about the first 6 months, we are on our best behavior.

after 6 months, reality (and your partner) begin to reveal itself. You learn more about your partner’s attitudes toward the world, toward life, toward commitment, toward trust, and toward you. Now’s the time when the rubber hits the road, and you see your partner with more clarity – the fog induced by romance begins to clear.

It is now time to take stock – to really squint hard and see your partner as they truly are. Is this ‘your person’? Or not. Just where are you when it comes to commitment? To a future together? to spending your life together?

The importance of unconditional acceptance of the other: I believe that a couple cannot be fully intimate, and cannot live happily ever after, without unconditional acceptance of each other. If this is really ‘your person’, you need to ask whether you can truly accept your partner for who they are. Not just the good stuff – the sex, the love notes, and the insightful exchange of gifts – I’m talking about all of IT. And some of it you just don’t care for. Such as: you discover piles of unhung cloths scattered all over her house. you discover She’s a bit disorganized; well, no, she’s really a bit of a slob... unconditional acceptance: Can you live the next 50 years in total acceptance of this? If not, your future together may be an unhappy one, as you try to change her, to bring her around to neatness, to get her to see the value in neatness – like you do.

To be truly happy, I believe you must avoid attempts at making your partner more and more like you. They are their own person, with their own peculiar way of doing things (as are you). Unconditional acceptance of your partner. Let it be the law.

 For the past 6 months you have willingly and openly given your heart to him. This is the way of new love. soon, the question of long-term trust must be examined, as you are doomed to fail without it. “can I trust this person?” “do they have my best interest at heart?” “will they protect me like a gem, always careful not to hurt me.” Can you trust this person with your life and happiness? or, Will they lie and cheat? This question takes time to answer.

 The important issues are both “should I trust”, and “how do we build trust”. because Without trust, relationships simply die on the vine. How does one build trust? with it, the relationship will continue to grow.

Before you can build trust, you must understand what it means to you and to your partner. You must find out if you have a mutual understanding of trust - it’s bounds, it’s rules, it’s expectations. This knowledge is essential, so I suggest you Get over the fear of scaring your partner away with big relationship questions. Don’t assume your partner sees things the same way you do. Get specific so you avoid future misunderstandings and betrayals. Be certain to communicate clearly what your behavioral expectations are. Be specific regarding what you are looking for and how you ‘SEE’ relationships. What are your expectations, and what are theirs? Honest, open, clear dialogue and discussion leads the way to building trust.

Ways TO BUILD TRUST IN your RELATIONSHIP:

KEEP YOUR PROMISES, BIG AND SMALL

Trust 101 teaches us the importance of keeping the promises we make. Yet, sometimes the small things are forgotten. Don’t forget, some of the small things are really the big things. When you’re running late, call. Walk the dog as promised and pay the bills on time. Make your promises about small stuff as important as your promises about big stuff. Keep your promises, no matter how insignificant you may believe them to be. Being trustworthy has no size.

DON’T KEEP SECRETS

Keep your personal conversations at home. Do not keep secrets from each other, instead keep them for each other. It is only right to talk about something once you hear your partner bring the subject up in a conversation. Don’t forget, she might only share certain information with certain people, so keep her secret and let her decide who to share it with.

 TRUST IS EARNED

Don’t assume trust exists and always be working to earn it. When we stop taking trust for granted and make it a priority, we will be conscious of our actions and the perceptions of those actions to our partner.

FACE TO FACE: COMMUNICATE OPENLY AND IN PERSON

It is essential that most communication, especially of great importance, should happen face to face. The true meaning of a message can get lost via text, email and sometimes even on the phone. Make sure you are both heard and understood by talking face to face.

PRACTICE UNCONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE AND A NON-JUDGMENTAL ATTITUDE

KEY: you might not understand why something is important to your partner, but the fact that it is important is all that matters. Before you can trust, you must respect each other and your differences without judgment. Just because you don’t value certain subjects or concepts doesn’t mean you should brush them off.

BE VULNERABLE

Be real with your partner and that means sharing things that you often keep hidden. The ultimate sign of trust is living your truth and by doing so your partner will be more comfortable living theirs.

THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF-CARE

Taking good care of yourself adds to the health of the relationship. We are better people and better in our relationships when we take the time to work on ourselves. We must remember to grow both as individuals and as couples.

BE SUPPORTIVE

It is essential to be supportive of your partner. Supporting each other is most essential when trust is first forming and growing. No one is perfect, and we learn from our mistakes. Supporting your partner when they are trying something new or are acting outside of their comfort zone can be very powerful. It shows your partner that they don’t have to be just one way; that you will love and support them even when they make mistakes. Being supportive of ‘the person’ completely, whether in good times or bad, allows us to fully be who we are. Knowing our partner has our back regardless of our situation goes a long way toward building trust.

BE FORGIVING

Holding a resentment toward our partner is poisonous. Trusting doesn’t mean mistakes won’t happen - and when they do be forgiving. We need to feel confident that we can make mistakes, be imperfect, and fall flat on our face while enveloped in our partners unconditional acceptance of who we are. sometimes we hurt our partner emotionally without knowing it. And our partner needs to be forgiving and loving regardless. Why? Because there is faith and truth in your bond. The only way to move forward is to forgive, especially those we love the most.

Show a United Front

Disagreeing in public or in front of friends and family never goes over well. If you disagree with your partner, find time to sit at home and communicate with each other later. Shaming your partner in front of colleagues is cruel, and as a loving, trustworthy partner, you must be vigilant in supporting your partner’s healthy sense of self-worth.

To build trust, you must be behaviorally consistent and do what you say you are going to do. Don’t mistake small promises as insignificant. A broken promise is just that, no matter how small or large. Respect and be true to your partner. Be on their side – always. Even when they’re wrong, seize the opportunity to communicate openly, without judgment. Most importantly, be willing and committed to accepting your partner fully. Love all of who they are – without condition - with Arms open and hearts willing.

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Who Do You Think You Are?

Dr. Larry Cohen (856) 352-5428

examining and challenging our Core Beliefs

Take a moment to think about (or, even better, write down) what you believe about yourself. Who are you? Are you a good person? Do you believe you are a failure? Do you believe you are not good enough? Or, do you believe that you are worthwhile with important things to share? These belief statements are examples of what are called ‘core beliefs’ about the self. It is essential to recognize that your core beliefs are with you every moment of every day. Even though you may not be conscious of these beliefs from moment to moment, they are real. They may be locked away inside of you, but they are there, and they might be undermining your daily life, and sabotaging your personal happiness and success.

The Impact of Negative Core Beliefs

Let’s examine the impact of negative core beliefs. Let’s say that one of your core beliefs is that you are a failure. You often think, “I was a failure yesterday, I am a failure today, and I will be a failure tomorrow.” As the days, weeks, months, and years pass, this negative belief, now deeply ingrained, seems more and more true each day. You can no longer remember when you started believing that you were a failure, but at present, to you, this fact is absolute truth. Eventually, no matter how well you’ve hidden this belief inside yourself, it will activate and enter your consciousness. Because of this negative belief, you experience an emotional reaction. You wonder, “why am I so depressed and feeling bad about myself?” If at your core you believe you are a failure, it’s no mystery why you feel depressed and down.   Remember: our thoughts trigger our emotions, and our emotions affect our behaviors. Although core beliefs are often hidden from consciousness, they do enter our consciousness as thought quite often. For example, perhaps you get taken advantage of by your auto mechanic. Suddenly, this core belief activates, your emotions respond, and you feel like a failure. This chain of events – from thought to emotion to action – happens in the blink of an eye. So quickly, in fact, that the cause of your emotional dysphoria - the surfacing of the core belief - may elude you.

a second negative core belief worth examination is: “I am just not good enough”. This belief is primarily consciousness, as many life situations activate it. When this belief, “I am just not good enough”, becomes a thought, your emotional state sinks, you feel low, and fall into believing that you’re “just not good enough.”

As this belief is different than our previous example, “I am a failure”, one's emotional reaction may be different. The belief “I am just not good enough” will bring up feelings of insecurity, fear, worry, and anxiety. Have you ever felt highly anxious without knowing why? Consider if your feelings are the result of a negative core belief activation. we sometimes feel emotional without knowing why. I suggest you identify your emotions and investigate what thoughts may have brought on the emotions you feel. you may discover a clear link between your emotions, your thoughts, and a negative core belief.

Healthy Core Beliefs

Core beliefs aren’t just negative. A healthy core belief might be “I am a good, kind person. But I am human, and I sometimes make mistakes.” This core belief reflects positively on the self, while recognizing human imperfection and the need to be kind to oneself when a mistake occurs. Note the lack of perfectionistic fervor contained in this core belief. An expectation of personal perfection only feeds negative core beliefs. If you believe at your core that you are a failure, you are neglecting your humanness and the importance of self-forgiveness. If you expect to be perfect, you are doomed to a life of disappointment and self-loathing. It is near impossible to experience appropriate levels of self-esteem under such circumstances.

Internalizing the Negative

Before we address the extreme importance of challenging your negative belief systems and how to rewire your brain, let’s address how negative core beliefs form.  First and foremost, most if not all negative beliefs you carry are baseless and untrue. Don’t forget that your beliefs aren’t necessarily facts. Further, I believe that negative core beliefs are taught to us, handed to us, or forced upon us by other people.  

Take Your Life Back

Take a moment to reflect on a new born child. A child enters our world completely innocent. No child is a “failure”, and no child is “just not good enough”. All babies are inherently good and completely free of any negative beliefs about themselves. You were not born with negative beliefs about yourself. We internalize, accept, and come to believe that these beliefs are true because at some point in life, someone told us they were true. Later, we learn to create our own negative beliefs by comparing ourselves to others. I remember how early the comparisons began. In elementary school, I was taught that I was not the smartest kid in the class. Was I dumb? Part of me started to believe this. Then I discovered that I wasn’t the best athlete: aren’t men expected to be great athletes? Suddenly my virility was in question (in 3rd grade). Grade comparisons, waiting to be picked by a team at recess, making friends (do they like me? If not, what’s wrong with me!)  It’s too painful to go on! Shake yourself hard and begin to accept that many of your beliefs about yourself are based on how you view the past.

I challenge you to confront your negative core beliefs. Try to remember who taught you that you weren’t good enough. Revisit shameful experiences from your youth and recognize that a child really has nothing to be ashamed of. You will discover that many of the negative core beliefs you hold dear and believe so fully aren’t yours - they belong to someone else - someone who shamed you into believing they were true. And try to stop comparing yourself to others. Comparisons aren’t worth the energy required to perform them. Be who you are, be proud of who you are, challenge your negative core beliefs and recognize yourself for who you truly are. You were once an innocent baby, free of negative core beliefs, without shame, and without self-doubt. Work hard to shed your negative core beliefs and send them back from where they came.  Affirm and reclaim your life – snatch it back and start anew.

 “A positive, empowering belief system will attract the life you want to live. Your positive belief system provides the power to continuously create your vision.”

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