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By Chandrama Anderson

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About this blog: About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and grief and have lived in Silicon Valley since 1969. I'm the president of Connect2 Marriage Counseling. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in ...  (More)

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Uploaded: Mar 26, 2021
"Trust is habitual reciprocity that becomes coated by emotion." - David Brooks*

What a fantastic definition of trust. I am often asked, "What is trust?" and "How do I know if I can trust a person?"

Building trust initially is a process that inherently needs to go slowly. Does s/he do what s/he says s/he will do? Does it happen when it was said it would happen? How do you feel as you do things for the other, and when things are done for you? Are you noticing red flags (or pink flags)? Please don't ignore those; that is your intuition letting you know there may be something to pay attention to.

If things are moving very fast with this person, is that trust or lust? Maybe it feels like trust . . . However, when we are attracted to and desire someone, a cocktail of pleasure chemicals and hormones are released in your brain, and you may ignore your gut feelings or the questions you have about the person or some of the person's actions. This love cocktail may last up to two years before turning to mature love (or breaking up). So go slowly with each other, and get to know one another, and each person's friends and family. Notice through all four seasons of a year or two.

How does s/he treat others? How do his or her parents treat one another? How do they treat each other under stress? It is possible, even likely, that your lover may behave in a similar way toward you when s/he is stressed because that is what s/he learned is "normal" in his or her family while growing up. And what you are used to growing up, while it feels most comfortable, may or may not be healthy behavior.

These are important areas to observe.

Remember, you get to choose how you want to behave. If you have old patterns and/or behaviors that are getting in the way of building the trust and intimacy that you want and deserve, you can do something about that. It is work. It can be hard work. And it is worth it. Trust in yourself. It will make you more trust-worthy.

* From The Social Animal, pg. 155
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