How to Rebuild Trust: 15 Steps (with Images)

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How to Rebuild Trust: 15 Steps (with Images)
How to Rebuild Trust: 15 Steps (with Images)

There are many breaches of trust that we face throughout life. Your spouse may have cheated on you, your best friend may have stabbed you in the back, or a coworker has pulled your rug. But no one is a saint, maybe you've lied to your girlfriend, hooked up with your best friend, or screwed up at a college group job. Trust is developed when two people learn to let their guard down while together and allow themselves to be vulnerable. So keeping it intact is important to having healthy relationships. On the other hand, losing trust is a two-way street, as is rebuilding it. Every story has two sides and here's what must be done for both.


Part 1 of 4: Taking responsibility for your actions

Transgender Guy Talking

Step 1. Be honest

If you've betrayed someone's trust, you'll have to be honest and own up to what you've done. It is necessary to speak the truth in any personal relationship, especially if lying is to your advantage. Speaking the truth on your own initiative will show the person that their well-being is more important than their interests, while denying everything will make the situation worse; mistrust will deepen even more if the truth is discovered.

Admit your mistakes. Even if you don't run the risk of getting caught in the lie, you should open up to the person. The only way to be forgiven for your mistakes is to admit you were wrong

Man Helps Unhappy Child

Step 2. Expect an emotional reaction

Confessing a betrayal will not magically solve the problem. In reality, hearing the truth will cause a tantrum, screaming, crying, etc. Still, to do the right thing you will have to be honest.

Guy Gives Flower to Sad Woman

Step 3. Apologize

While this part is obvious, it's easy to miss it. Also, how you apologize will make all the difference in the person's decision to forgive and continue the relationship or not.

  • Don't justify your attitudes when you're apologizing, or say that the person doesn't understand, (You got it wrong), don't reduce their suffering (It didn't even hurt) and don't tell your sad story (It's just that when I was a child…).
  • Admitting that you hurt her, saying where you went wrong, acknowledging what should have been done, and adopting that attitude from now on are the best ways to take responsibility for what you did.
  • Fail because you're apologizing. If the person knows you are asking for forgiveness out of guilt and shame, they will likely forgive you. However, if she thinks you're feeling sorry for yourself, the chances that she'll excuse you are much smaller. Unlike guilt and shame, punishment does not show regret and places the offender above the offended.
Woman Hugging Cat

Step 4. Forgive yourself

Breaking someone's trust can cause so much remorse that the need to forgive yourself becomes a burden. A heart broken by your own actions will certainly convince your friend to forgive you, but you will have a hard time doing it yourself. Learn to accept that you were wrong, you did your part to make amends and get on with your life.

  • Remember that nobody is perfect. No matter how big the mistake, you are a human being and you will make mistakes many times over. Accept your flaws and try to be better daily.
  • Rumbling over your own blunders will negatively influence the way you see yourself, which will sabotage your motivation to be someone better. Try to think of other things when you find yourself brooding over what's been through.

Part 2 of 4: Moving on after cheating on someone

Silly Man and Woman On Phone

Step 1. Open your life to the person

Personal information is important to everyone, but you'll have to give up some of your privacy to regain her trust. Be transparent, prove you're not trying to deceive her again.

In love relationships affected by betrayal this is even more important. Give full and unrestricted access to your SMS's, call logs, emails and calendar for a few weeks or months after the dust settles. Let me know where you are and who you are with whenever you can

Man and Worried Woman

Step 2. Let the person vent

Hurts are inevitable after a betrayal. She will need to let her emotions out for a while, until she fully recovers. For you this will be unpleasant, but for her it will be fundamental.

  • One of the worst things you can do at a time like this is to try to get her to shut up while you talk. It just shows that you don't take her feelings seriously.
  • Let it heal at its own pace. Everyone handles things in different ways and for different times. Don't rush her so you don't appear to have no regard for her.
Confident Woman

Step 3. Keep your word

Attitudes speak louder than words and maintaining trust requires you to be consistent and trustworthy for a long time. This is the time to make promises and apologize, but that alone won't restore trust for long. If you can't be honest in the future and you can't keep your promises, the person will see that you haven't changed anything and therefore not to be trusted.

  • don't repeat the same mistake no way.
Confused Woman

Step 4. Be patient

Regaining trust takes time, be patient with the person and keep working.

  • This process can take weeks, months and even years, depending on the severity of the situation.
  • Don't pressure her to show more confidence.
  • Recognize the possibility that things will never be the same after that. Still, show that you are trustworthy and a good part of that relationship can be won back.

Part 3 of 4: Preparing to Trust Someone Again

Transgender Guy Thinking

Step 1. Analyze the situation

Assess whether you want to maintain this relationship before trusting the person again. Ask yourself:

  • Is this her first time doing this?
  • Did I really I can trust again if she tries hard?
  • Am I able to forgive her?
  • Are the relationships we have important enough to make this effort?
  • Is this behavior the default or is it the first time it happens?
Upset Girl Walks Away from Man

Step 2. Think about the attitude she adopted

Is she sorry for being found out or is she truly sorry for having hurt him? What is her level of effort to listen to what you have to say and to change? Does she assume the error?

If the answers to these questions are negative and the person shows no remorse, no desire to be better, this relationship is not worth it

Woman Listens to Man

Step 3. Keep an eye out for possible slips

As the relationship evolves, keep evaluating. After a few weeks or months you will have more evidence of the person's trustworthiness. While it's hard to detect if someone is lying, there are signs that can tell you if that's the case:

  • Whoever is lying takes longer to respond and gives shorter answers than usual.
  • The liar tells more unusual stories with less detail. In addition, he's also less direct, pauses more, and gestures less.
  • In general, someone who is lying corrects himself less than someone who is telling the truth.
  • Whoever is telling the lie may be restless, as can be seen in a higher pitch of the voice and nervous tics.
Upset Woman Talks to Man

Step 4. Talk about your feelings

Show the person that you are hurt by their actions and tell them exactly what hurts them the most. Close by saying what it would take to trust again.

Part 4 of 4: Getting on with life after a betrayal

Man Relaxes

Step 1. Let go of anger

Once you've got all your anger out, let it go in the past. You are feeling that way now, but it will pass. Don't talk about it in future fights, especially if your partner has been striving to be better and make it up to you.

When you realize you are holding a grudge, think about what is making it difficult for you to overcome it. Does your partner still break your trust? Or do you have problems in your own history to deal with?


Step 2. Reset expectations

No matter how much effort they put in, no one can give us what we want, exactly how we want it, all the time. When you understand that you shouldn't expect anyone's perfection, you'll have a clearer sense of how much trust the person deserves.

The idea is not to be exploited, but to be realistic. Accept that everyone makes mistakes from time to time, including you. This doesn't justify anything they do to you, whether on purpose or negligence

Woman Rests Head on Woman's Shoulder

Step 3. Give and accept love

For this to work, you will have to accept whoever betrayed you and their love for you, and love her back. When the person expresses that love, know it's real and admit they're being honest.

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