Trust and Share

Right from the sand-box we begin to trust and share. As adults we understand these are the building blocks to self-disclosure, self-awareness and non-possessive caring. Friendships are important to a happy healthy life. It requires risk-taking, trust, acceptance and feedback.

The atmosphere between you both needs to be understanding and non-evaluative before taking that great leap of trust and faith to confide in more than superficial information.

Take care that the other person properly discloses about him or herself to you. You may feel that the other person’s silence is both attentiveness and agreement. It may prematurely prod you to continue to expose your hopes, dreams, weaknesses and abilities.

Getting to know and trust each other is a two-way street filled with potential for the friendship to be highly resourceful to each other. Weigh the risks and benefits as you grow into the relationship. It is worth while.

We all have a need to feel that we have been listened to and understood. One of the most important skills in getting to know another person is listening. Share hopes, dreams, fears in two or three sentences. Wait for a response and go from there. Allow for sharing.

A guided approach:

Agree to a topic and have one person start first discussing it in a couple of sentences. The second speaker gives feedback, repeating in his or her own words what the first person has said.

The first speaker must be satisfied that he has been heard accurately. This helps the speaker learn to speak in a clear concise manner. It also helps the person to clarify for themselves what they think and feel.

The second person can, in turn, ask clarifying questions such as “What does that phrase or word mean to you?” After clarification, summarize. Reverse the roles.

Examine your reactions. What did you learn about yourself as a listener with your partner? The two of you may find yourseslves later saying to each other “What I hear you saying is….” to keep a check on the accuracy of your listening and understanding.

How do you feel about such personal discourses? You may need some time alone with your own thoughts probing these open ended statements to become more comfortable before attempting to share with another. You need to know yourself before others can get to know you.

When doing this exercise, periodically have a two or three minute discussion about this experience up to that point. Keep eye contact and try to cover: how well you are listening, how open and honest you have been, how eager you are to continue this interchange, and if you feel you are getting to know each other.

Here are several topics that can be used to open up communication:

· My name is…
· My titles are…
· My marital status is…
· My home town is…
· The reason I’m here is…
· Right now I’m feeling…
· When I think about the future, I see myself…
· When I am in a new group, I …
· When I enter a room full of people I usually feel…
· When I am feeling anxious in a new situation I usually…
· In groups I feel most comfortable when the leader…
· Social norms make me feel…
· In ambiguous, unstructured situations, I…
· I am happiest when …
· The thing that turns me on the most is …
· Right now I’m feeling … [Look your partner in the eyes while you respond to this item.]
· The thing that concerns me the most about joining groups is …
· When I am rejected I usually …
· To me, belonging is …
· A forceful leader makes me feel …
· Breaking rules that seem arbitrary makes me feel …
· I like to be just a follower when …
· the thing that turns me off the most is …
· I feel most affectionate when …
· Establish eye contact and hold your partner’s hand while completing this item: Toward you, right now, I feel…
· When I am alone I usually …
· In crowds I …
· In a group I usually get most involved when …
· To me, taking orders from another person …
· I am rebellious when …
· In a working meeting, having an agenda ….
· the emotion I find most difficult to control is …
· My most frequent daydreams are about …
· My weakest point is …
· I love …
· The thing I like best about you is …
· You are …
· What I think you need to know is …

Trusting relationships are opportunities for good non-defensive listening. Listen to feelings behind the words. Use loving concern. Accept them as they are. Respect one another’s values so you can aid them into respecting your values. When trying to make a joint decision, a compromise may be in order. Your lives will be richer for it.

Advertisements