Relationship Minute: What is trust?

Trust expert Rachel Botsman defines trust as having “a confident relationship to the unknown.” She illustrates trust as the bridge between the known and the unknown, over a river of uncertainty.

So how does that apply to relationships?

What’s known is how your partner shows up for you—their presence, the way they interact with you, the things they do and say. The unknown is the meaning or intention behind that—what they’re thinking, how they perceive things, their core feelings.

Trust is believing or being confident that your partner has your best interests at heart. It’s acting in good faith, giving them the benefit of the doubt, or holding the belief that they are doing their best.

Trust, like a bridge, is built. You can improve your belief in your partner, and your partner’s belief in you, over time through small, intentional acts.

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The Relationship Minute is from The Gottman Institute. You can sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.