Last month, two friends broke trust. One offered to do something vital, he did not tell me or tell me. Another shared private information about me with a stranger. I don’t know what felt worse. I know it is a sign to relearn the lessons. Do you remember when you felt betrayed?

“Trust is the glue that holds relationships together.” ~ Pritchett price

Remember that flush of recognition when you first realized that someone you knew would act in a way and they didn’t? To do? How not to become bitter or cautious? It’s funny how a betrayal is closely followed by another heartbreaking experience, or so it seems. Even if one’s life is fairly balanced, a trust-breaking situation makes the second more difficult, if we allow it.

“Sometimes you can’t believe what you see; you have to believe what you feel. And if you’re ever going to make other people trust you, you must feel that you can trust them too, even when you’re in the dark. you’re falling. ~ Morrie Schwartz, quoted in Tuesday With Morrie by Mitch Albom.

My first reaction was to replay the heartbreaking situation in my mind, over and over, digging a deeper groove in my memory. Silly, right? Those scenes dominated my thoughts more than recent joyous times.

Consequently, he viewed others through a cautious and narrow-hearted lens. That breeds a self-fulfilling prophecy. People feel discouraged.

“No idea will work if people don’t trust your intentions.” ~ Marcus Buckingham, now, discover your strengths

We have all faced devastating trust breaches, and we will do so again. On the contrary, we have betrayed the trust of others and have dodged rather than rectified the situation.

“You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you do not trust enough.” ~ Frank H. Crane

For more than a decade, I have studied, taught, and written about how to focus on the positive parts of every interaction. However, like breathing, it is not a unique practice.

“Character is who you really are. Reputation is what people say you are. A person of character is trustworthy. The other guy looks for an easy way out.” ~ Wooden john

Getting back into balance means leaving a better past behind. All negative action comes from the root of fear.

“Trust is the heartbeat of every important relationship” ~ Cynthia L. Wall and Sue Patton Thoel

That does not mean that we have to stop in the street and let the same car hit us again. The next time you lose confidence, try these steps toward equanimity for yourself:

1. Let all the emotional effect of the betrayal sink in and do not replay the scene more than three times.

2. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes to see the interaction their way. Is this a pattern in their behavior towards you or is it an anomaly?

3. Notice the potentially positive part of that person’s intention, especially when they seemed to have none in that situation. You will see the whole picture with more clarity and peace of mind.

4. Praise the part of that person’s behavior that you want to reinforce and prosper. (Ironically, this is one of your most self-protective tools right now.)

5. Ask for a time to talk. Then, using factual and blameless language, describe the specific behavior that upset you. Describe your feelings below. Then wait for an answer.

6. Listen carefully and with your heart and mind open to the answer. If her image of her actions was accurate, and if she is solely on the defensive, not offering a change in behavior, then she has learned a lot.

7. If someone breaks trust with you twice, chances are there will be a third time, so why put yourself in that position? My friend Paul Geffner says that we meet many friends and acquaintances throughout our lives. The key to living well with them is knowing the proper distance to hold them. The ones you enjoy and trust you bring closer to.

Asking someone to change their behavior after they have described its harmful effects on you will rarely lead to positive change. It is more likely to generate defensiveness and avoidance. Unfortunately, the relative power in the situation (who needs who else) will determine how they will communicate in the future. But you don’t have to determine the safe distance you choose to have with that person.

8. Choose your distance. You always have three options in any situation: change the way you act with that person, accept their behavior, or leave (avoid future contact).

“No idea will work if people don’t trust your intentions.” ~ Marcus Buckingham, now, discover your strengths

The lesson:

Sooner rather than later, take these steps. Choose what you can do positively for yourself rather than against another. The faster you get out of that negative rut of “repeating” thoughts and turn to the positive side of that person, the more likely you are to become stable again and the more likely you are to be able to do so. preserve a properly distanced relationship.