Thursday, September 5, 2013

Building trust

If you trust someone, this person will be more effective in taking away your fears, but at the same time you will make this person feel trustworthy. Most people think that trust is something you get, but it actually starts by giving it. When you trust people you automatically strengthen a mutual relationship. This has to do with the laws of equilibration and reciprocity in communication. You are more likely to trust someone who trusts you, thus giving trust, having faith in someone and showing genuine confidence, can make others also trust you more. It is as if we want to keep large differentials out of our world, whether in terms of trust or any other emotional signal that define interpersonal relationships. If we see ourselves in a trusting environment we are likely to trust others, and also ourselves, more.

As a species and as individuals are more likely to survive when we can trust each other. We are actually predisposed to trust each other, something we deviate from only if we believe we have good reason to do, whether due to our past experiences in general or something we know about a person in specific. Judging trust also helped us survive, and is therefore something we are also predisposed to. However, many people are more likely to see themselves at receiving than at the giving end of trust, which may also be due to our societies, cultures and what we learn at home. It is important to our survival to be prudent and stay safe, but in many instances we underestimate how much power there is in trusting someone.

Trust has a biological component. For example, it has been shown that the neuropeptide oxytocin in the brain plays a significant role in tuning trust up or down (Kosfeld, M., Heinrichs M., Zak, P. J., Fischbacher, U., and Fehr, E. (2005). Oxytocin increases trust in humans. Nature 435, 2005, 673-676). But trust is also heavily influenced by information we already hold or receive about people. This process requires communication, and to be more able to trust others - and make less mistakes while doing so - it is important to observe how we relate and communicate with others, what helps and what does not, how accurate we are in putting together information, and how clear and effective we are in our own communication.

In the following article we will look at trust and personality, which is where communication and biology intersect in a very interesting way.

Interesting books on communication by this and other authors: or search for "Christian Jonathan Haverkampf" on your local Amazon website or at your local book dealer. Suggestions for further explorations in communication: and You may also want to take a look at the following sites: (deutsch), (deutsch), (adventures), and (success stories).
© 2013 Christian Jonathan Haverkampf. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction and/or dissemination prohibited. Please note that no professional advice of any sort can be given in this blog. Always consult a professional if the situation and/or the risks warrant it. Thank you for your interest in my work. This means very much to me. Trademarks belong to their respective owners. If this article is marked as a work of fiction all references to persons, living or deceased, or organizations, including former ones, are coincidental. I know that this is reiterating the obvious, but thanks for bearing with me.

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