POSITIVE CHANGE: Deepening relationships with trust
At the start of the year, we make a commitment to change our lives. We get a gym membership, buy a ton of healthy food, create a monthly budget, but when the Special K runs out, we can quickly slip into old routines. This year, I'm doing things a...
At the start of the year, we make a commitment to change our lives.
We get a gym membership, buy a ton of healthy food, create a monthly budget, but when the Special K runs out, we can quickly slip into old routines.
This year, I’m doing things a bit differently. I’m tackling resolutions one month at a time because I’ve realized that change is gradual not instantaneous. Each month, I’m focusing on making a new positive change in my life, and this month, I sought the guidance of licensed in-home counselor, Susan Dubray, to help me understand and navigate my personal relationships.
As a reporter, I’ve never had a problem making connections. I love interviewing strangers and asking them about their lives, their passions and their adventures. Meeting strangers outside of work is just as easy. It’s almost as if I slip into reporter mode and start interviewing them. I’m a good listener, so it works.
My problem has always been opening up, being myself and allowing a deeper connection. As soon as someone starts getting (too) close, I push them away. It’s not intentional but rather involuntary.
I often pin my problem on the frequent moving my family did when I was a child. Every time I found a new friend, we’d relocate. The same bad timing continued later in life with friendships and relationships. As soon as I let someone into my life, he or she was ready to turn around and walk away.
With each new heartbreak, the shield around my heart became stronger until no one was able to break through. I stopped letting myself get close to people, so I’d stop getting disappointed and abandoned.
It’s not that I don’t want to form lifelong connections with friends. I just can’t seem to let myself. But, with the help of Dubray, at least I know what’s stopping me.
Dubray said trust is a big ingredient in deepening a relationship and that trust is given not earned. “You have a choice as an individual as to whether or not you want to trust somebody,” she said.
The second piece of advice Dubray offered is to not let what has been be a guide to what will be. She said you should let each new relationship stand on its own without applying components of past relationships.
It’s not a quick-fix change, but I’m applying Dubray’s advice and working to deepen my relationships. Simply knowing that giving someone my trust will allow me to form deeper connections is helpful. And, I’m doing my best to look at each relationship and situation individually without applying past issues.
Dubray also reminded me to not be afraid of losing someone to distance because there are always methods of staying in contact, whether it’s through weekly Facebook messages, monthly letters, yearly visits or a combination of all three.