How To Build Trust

Davinci How can you go about building trust? When you don’t trust anybody at all, it might seem like an unachievable task. I want to look at building trust from a practical, pragmatic point in the hope that it might give you some hands-one ideas how to go about it. Trust will develop in any group or team when

•    The team is successful and reaches the goals they set themselves
The most important pointer for people in recovery is that they achieve progress. Without having a sense that things improve it will be difficult to keep being motivated. When everyone becomes aware that progress is achieved, they will not only trust the process, but also trust each other and the ‘team-leader’.

•    Team- members are reliable, stand by their promises, and follow majority decisions
When team-members are reliable and predictable, that means they mean what they say and they act accordingly. They will be open and honest about things they are not willing to do and will pull their weight in the mutual project of recovery. They will not find excuses like ‘I didn’t know’ or ‘nobody told me’, but will take responsibility to be informed and be on board.

•    Team-members show concern for each other and for the ‘whole’
Last but not least trust in teams also depends on team-members having a sense that they are cared for and trusted just as much as other members of the team. When team-members perceive that team decisions are made with the interest of all members in mind, trust will develop. Even if some members will not get things done ‘their way’, they can be assured that decisions are not made to hurt them deliberately. When the team appears that it does not care about its members, members will stop trusting the team. 

Some systems I have come across are very much organised like a democratic assembly of equals, who take part in decision making, and who share – depending on their skills – the care for the younger members of the team. Other systems have a main part, (host, protagonist) that makes decision with the team in mind, but not necessarily with consulting system members.

In any case, those who are ‘out’ the most need to be seen as role models, who are willing to stretch and do the hard things (i.e. confronting a disrespectful neighbour), and show a lot of caring and concern about the team they depend on. A leader is only as good as the team is. A good leader manages to find a good balance between a system’s need for being led and someone taking the control and the system’s need to be given enough room to flex their individual muscles and experiment with decision making.

An effective system is a system that is based on support and respect of each other. System that are competitive, where each team member is a Prima Donna rather than a team player, systems where people are more concerned about their wishes and their needs being met than about what is good for the whole, will not be effective.They will fight more about individual interests than achieving the bigger goal: RECOVERY

Those parts in a system that aspire leadership have the huge responsibility to be instrumental in building this trust. If you are ‘Me’ who considers the other parts as ‘my parts’, you will have to show strong leadership, strong caring and concern about the parts, and a willingness to collaborate. You have to show understanding and willingness to listen to the members of the system similar to what the therapist models in the sessions.

Will that ever stop, you may ask? No, not really. Multiple or Singleton (if there is such an animal), a balanced, happy person that achieves his or her goals, has a high awareness of his or her conscious and unconscious processes, is in touch with all the different needs each person has, and makes decisions that are meeting as many needs as possible. It's a way of life!

3 thoughts on “How To Build Trust

  1. s says:

    Thanks, that’s probably a good idea. It’s just I don’t trust what will come out of my mouth in some social situations and this can leave me quite embarassed at times. I don’t want to feel as if I have to keep appologising for myself. I’m getting better at the internal conversation thing, even that feels abnormal at times. We inside must learn to be gentle to each other too. You are right also, we don’t even really understand ourselves inside of one body. That is still a relatively new concept. Some don’t even acknowledge the one body, or at least struggle with that concept. They have been so seperate for so long. I suppose I could choose a safe situation in which to explain my condition of many parts. What have other multiples done at this stage of, what I presume is a stage of my, ‘coming together’?

  2. Gudrun Frerichs, PhD says:

    Hi S, it’s never easy to talk about being DID. It’s hard for the DID person to understand him/herself, even therapists sometimes have a hard time to get their head around it. Even those who have worked with DID before are at times at a loss because being a multiple doesn’t mean all multiples are alike. Dissociation establishes itself in so many different ways.
    I would suggest you adopt a ‘part-language’, which is usually pretty accepted in society: i.e. “A part of me is really excited about this whilst another part of me is worried this could turn into a disaster”. Maybe that helps you to feel more real without necessarily making the BIG DISCLOSURE!. When you are ready to share you DIDness, it will come easy!

  3. S says:

    I would like to trust myself to share the fact that I have multiple parts to me and that I hve spent most of my life trying to come to terms with this. Do you think now that I know my inner family and how they opperate, (reasonably well, although a few can still take me by surprise sometimes and some are really hard work!)that I could trust others to know about me. My partner knows, but since I told him, we have hardly even talked about it again. So it’s still one of those shameful secrets. I know he is uncomfortable with it, and I am uncomfortable discussing it with him because I never know how he is going to respond. I am tired of keepig this to myself.sometimes it seems to grow too big inside me. But then again, why does anyone need to know anyway? And why do I feel I have a need to tell?

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