The foundation for a successful relationship is trust. And it begins with you. When your child/mate/friend/business associate knows you can be trusted, it will encourage open dialogue and he or she will more likely be cooperative and willing to follow through on what you are asking.

To a large extent, your ability and willingness to trust another person comes from your ability to trust yourself.

Components of self-trust

Self-trust is created by being honest with yourself. This requires you to:

  • Identify what you are feeling.
  • Acknowledge your feelings to yourself no matter how unpleasant.
  • Observe what you do with those feelings (e.g. deny or rationalize them).
  • Pay attention to how you express and manage your feelings and notice the effects on others.
  • Take responsibility for your actions–acknowledge when you make mistakes, offend others or act inappropriately.
  • Avoid giving explanations or excuses to yourself or others.
  • Be open to taking action to modify your behaviors for benefit to yourself and others.

Components of being trustworthy to others


  • Your words and actions match. This includes body language/non-verbal behavior.
  • You have a set of values and can identify the origins of those values.
  • You can evaluate the values you hold as being relevant and true for you, not just something that was passed on to you.
  • You can identify the reasons the values you hold have meaning.
  • You can describe how the values you hold contribute to your own well-being and that of others.
  • You can define and express your values on any given subject relevant to the situation you are in.
  • You can communicate your values in a clear and non-threatening manner.
  • You notice when new information or experiences affect your commitment to your values.
  • You can acknowledge to yourself and to others what changes you need/want to make.


  • You are genuinely interested in the welfare of the other person.
  • You are willing and able to listen to whatever the other person wants to express.
  • You are able to withhold judgment on what the other person is saying.
  • You are willing to recognize and acknowledge the other person may feel and see things differently than you.
  • You see differences as an opportunity to learn more about yourself and the other person.
  • You realize accepting differences is a bridge to understanding and connection.