How To Trust Someone Again

My best friend and I just had our 3 year “friendaversary” and we went on a “friend date” a couple weeks ago (cheesy…I know).

As much as I would love to say it’s been a perfect and easy friendship for the whole three years we’ve known each other, it hasn’t been.

There has been highs and lows. And lower lows.

Last summer, we had a huge fight that ruined the friendship for almost two months. I can’t speak for her, but it hurt me terribly and I was crying everyday. I’m not going to go into details, but it wasn’t entirely her fault. It wasn’t entirely mine either. We were both acting in ways that weren’t healthy to the friendship and ignoring all the signs of doom. The fight was bond to happen, but we didn’t expect it at all.

This happened in the middle of July and we started talking again at the very end of August.

Regaining trust wasn’t easy. It took time and effort.

But it was worth it. We’re better and healthier than ever before. I’m so glad that I still have her as my best friend.

In a way, I’m glad the fight happened as it made us stronger than ever.

It being a year later, I decided to write this blog post and share some of the things that helped me to regain trust in her.

  1. Time and space. As hard as it can be, sometimes you have to walk away and lose all or some contact with them. Spending time on your own can help you clear your head, slowly start get over the hurt, and figure out what you truly want. Even when you two do start talking again, distance is important. Don’t jump back into old routines right away. If you always used to take your friend to annual (monthly, weekly, etc.) events, go with someone else this once; or if you normally call/text each other frequently daily just to chat about your day, spread the calls/texts out more; or if you usually talk to your friend about your problems or ideas about your life, think them through or/and share with someone else first before telling him/her.[1]
  2. Focus on the positives of the relationship. What do you love about your friend? Is the friendship worth recovering? I’ve had friendships that I didn’t bother to fight for due to many underlying issues. But this was a friendship I wanted to save. This is a person who I adored. I knew it was going to take awhile to recover from the hurt, but she’s an amazing person. I wanted her back as my best friend. I wasn’t going to give up on her and I’m really glad I didn’t.
  3. Be self-reliant. Part of the reason my best friend and I got into that fight was because we were too reliant on each other, causing a strain. I had to learn to do stuff and cope by myself because I had no other friends at the time. Even though this isn’t always the cause for broken trust, I believe that self-care/self-reliance is really important. Show yourself and your friend that you can survive without him/her. When you become friends with her/him again, make sure you keep those skills and use them as much as you can.
  4. Work together. Talk about the incident. Take responsibility (for your part). Explain what you need from him/her. That might be an explanation, apology, answer questions, time/space.[2] It might be hard, but you should talk about the incident so you’re not holding anything in. It most likely won’t be done in one sitting, so you and your friend should be prepared to talk about it for a while.[3] Accept responsibility for your actions too and apologize.[4] Don’t put all the blame on your friend. Unless it really is all their fault, which is rarely the case. People don’t hurt their best friends for fun. Ask what is expected of you. You need to work together; not one person giving 100% and the other none.[5]It took almost a year to fully regain trust in my best friend again. She didn’t rush me and I didn’t rush myself. Overtime, I asked all the questions I had and said everything I needed to say. She answered my questions truthfully and gave me all the reassurance I needed. At this point, there are no unanswered questions and I am confident in our friendship. I don’t think I would be as confident if there were still questions unanswered and things I still needed to say.
  5. Don’t rush it. “Friendships can get stronger after a betrayal, but it won’t happen overnight … you need to take it slow and do things at your own time.”[6] Same goes for your friend; she might not want to jump right back into the friendship either. You and your friend should be careful not to say ‘you’re over it’ when you’re really not.[7] You shouldn’t say you fully trust your friend again if you’re still having doubts. Never criticize each other for taking time to heal and trust or rush each other. A little bit of self-reflection and time can go a long way when healing a friendship.[8] Rushing the process may cause future arguments and problems. As I said, it took over a year to get to a place where I was comfortable and confident about the friendship I have with my best friend.

References

[1] Burbach, C. (2014). Learning to Trust a Friend Again. About.com. Retrieved from http://friendship.about.com/od/Problem_With_Friends_Behavior/fl/Learning-to-Trust-a-Friend-Again.htm

[2] Burbach, C.

[3] wikiHow. (n.d.). How to Regain Trust in Someone. Retrieved from http://www.wikihow.com/Regain-Trust-in-Someone

[4] Barr, K. (n.d.) What Is the Best Way for Your Best Friend to Earn Back Your Trust. Demand Media. Retrieved from http://classroom.synonym.com/way-friend-earn-back-trust-21912.html

[5] wikiHow.

[6] Burbach, C.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Sanders, A. (2015). How to Restore a Broken Friendship. LIVESTRONG. Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/97663-restore-broken-friendship/

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