One of my closest friends got married about a month ago. We helped throw her an intimate shower to have the opportunity to honor her and share some time with her. It came out wonderfully and we truly enjoyed ourselves. Amongst the activities, was the traditional “give a piece of advice to the bride,” and we all huddled to bring in our tidbits of wisdom.
As we went around the circle, we nodded our heads on the advice and commented on how they were useful. One girl had something to share that really struck me. She said: “fill in the gaps with trust.”
Trust is at the core of any relationship. There can only be a relationship if there is trust, and based on it, it can grow. The amount of trust determines the strength. Different types of relationships require different levels of trust.
A close relationship is in part sustained by trust. We believe that the other person will be honest and has our best interest at heart. We believe that the other person will be there when we are in need. By the same token, we should comply with those beliefs towards those people in our inner circle.
Even so, when I first heard the comment I was startled. What does it even mean? What if this person is acting in a suspicious manner or legitimately crazy? Am I supposed to stand by and smile? No, not really. This is about trusting people in your life whenever there is uncertainty or when expectations were not met; believing that there is a valid reason and giving them room to explain or do their thing, and not going off on them as soon as things go upside down.
There are moments where all we have is trust. We don’t understand what is happening. Our close person is struggling through something or acting in a hurting manner. There is an unknown that is putting space in between us. In the midst of anger, confusion, and/or pain, we might respond in an unhelpful manner. We pull out our sword and get into battle position. Many times in hindsight we realize that our approach was premature. Instead of standing on the offense for ourselves, we should stand in the defense for us. The strategy is trust.
You want them to listen and give you the opportunity to listen. Coming at them with a swatter or a bitter tone does not help or even help the situation; it is just satisfying your upset heart. The main purpose there is not to fix the problem or pat the back, but to let your anger rip and your opinions known. That may help you relieve some internal pressure, but reconsider: isn’t there a better way to do that, about 99% of the time? Most probably. The attitude of offense mainly comes from us just feeling attacked, not necessarily being attacked. We haven’t stopped to consider that the other person might be flailing their arms in need of help or is overwhelmed or didn’t fully understand or just forgot and did not have the goal of hurting us. We haven’t remembered that we are in the same team, and not opponents in life. The change of perspective helps us breathe better and be available for problem solving and support.
So in the midst of an argument or disagreement, try to provide a platform of trust, helping the counterpart feel that you are there for both of you and that they can rely on you. Allow them the chance to go through their feelings and reasons until they disclose what is truly going on while you are right there besides them.