Home Personal development 9 Actions That Destroy Trust and What You Can Do About Them

9 Actions That Destroy Trust and What You Can Do About Them

by Vidya Sury May 13, 2023 1 comment
9 actions that destroy trust and what you can do about it

Here are nine actions that destroy trust and three actionable steps you can take right away—I’ve added a list of suggested readings for more information.

You will agree that trust is vital to all our relationships. Whether it is your partner, spouse, family, or friends—they need to trust you and know they can rely on you.  At work, your coworkers and colleagues need to trust you.

And yet, trust is such a fragile thing. Takes time to build and can be irreparably harmed by certain seemingly simple actions.

9 actions that destroy trust

For me, at least, here are 9 critical actions that destroy trust.

9 actions that destroy trust turned on brass-colored train station analog clock

1. Failing to Show Up on Time

Now, this might seem small, but showing up when you say you will is critical. Being habitually late or not texting or calling when you say you will plant seeds of doubt as to your trustworthiness. Also, it shows a lack of respect for the other person’s time.

2. Not Walking the Walk

Nothing is more annoying than someone committing to do something and not doing it. Authenticity begins by doing what you say you will do. When you don’t, your partner or other loved ones will question everything you say. When your actions don’t line up with your talk, you are telling the world more than you think.

3. Refusing to Admit Mistakes

This is an annoying offender that can destroy trust. You are going to be wrong once in a while. If you want others to trust you, admit when you are wrong. It’s better to admit you made a mistake than to play it off or push it onto someone else. The blame game is not something anyone enjoys playing.

Also read: What is the blame game? How do you stop playing the blame game?

4. Not Listening to Others

Can you just imagine how it feels to be talking to someone and finding they are not paying attention? Spacing out when someone is sharing their emotions with you hurts the relationship. If they cannot trust you to listen, they will be less likely to share, and the relationship will be damaged. After all, communication is the glue that strengthens a relationship.

9 actions that destroy trust secret, whispering, ear

5. Gossiping About Others

Spreading gossip may make you feel better about yourself, but it doesn’t do much for trust. If you are willing to talk about others behind their backs, what do you have to say about those closest to you? Can they trust you to keep a secret?

6. Being Bad-Tempered

Do you lose your cool quickly? Do others feel like they must walk on eggshells around you? That’s not a good sign. It reinforces to your family and friends that you cannot be trusted to hear bad news. Imagine being that person with whom people always have to think twice before approaching.

9 actions that destroy trust

7. Telling Too Many White Lies

Dishonesty breeds mistrust. White lies may be common for you, but that doesn’t mean your relationships won’t suffer. How can someone trust you if they know you will lie to get out of sticky situations? People will always wonder if you are really telling the truth even when you are telling the truth!

8. Refusing To Compromise

Some give-and-take is needed in all relationships, especially romantic ones. If you are never willing to compromise, you are giving out the message to others that your needs are more important than theirs. Who loves a selfish person?

9. Not Sharing Personal Matters

You don’t have to share everything with everyone. There are times and places to do so, but a lack of sharing can also put a wall between you and others. Walls can destroy trust.

What can you do to be more trustworthy?

Here are three quick steps.

  1. Stop and consider how you may be subtly sabotaging your relationships. For example, if you are always late, set an alarm to remind you to leave on time. Even 15 minutes early can mean a lot to others.
  2. Ask others to weigh in on your trustworthiness. It can be hard to hear what they have to say, but it will be worth it. You will know how others see you and can make the change. Soon, your relationships will benefit as you become someone to be trusted.
  3. Take feedback and process it. If you are told that you have a hair-trigger temper, find strategies to control it. The goal is to take one piece of information and use that to change habits to become a trustworthy person.

Research on trust building: Effective Engagement Requires Trust and Being Trustworthy

If you are interested in learning more about building trust, here is a great reading list: (the book links are all affiliate links. I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you–and I will donate this commission to charity)

  1. Building Trust: How To Get It! How To Keep It!

  1. The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything

  1. The Thin Book of Trust

  1. I Love You But I Don’t Trust You

  1. Building Trust: Exceptional Leadership in an Uncertain World

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1 comment

Shahzad September 16, 2023 at 11:36 pm

Absolutely agree! Trust is the cornerstone of any healthy relationship. Your insights on these trust-destroying actions are spot on. Taking steps to be more trustworthy is vital for strengthening bonds with loved ones. Thanks for the valuable advice and reading recommendations!


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