So now you’re in recovery. You’re trying hard to manage your cravings, cope with the stresses of daily life and generally, show up with new, healthy behaviors. Yet, how do you convince your family and friends that you’re really trying?
First, let’s take a look at what’s happening from the perspective of those who care about you. If you’ve struggled with addiction, you know full well that your friends and family have been struggling too.
They’ve watched you “mess up”. They’ve dealt with your erratic moods and behavior. They’ve been frustrated when you didn’t follow through and been anxious when you said you were running an errand and were gone for several hours. They’ve heard you declare that “you’ll change”, then had to deal with disappointment when nothing changes.
Here’s the truth: you’ve not been easy to live with. Furthermore, you’ve not been very trustworthy. So even if you’re now in recovery, and are absolutely determined to show up differently, your friends and family are still wary.
Here’s the truth about trust: The people who care about you aren’t sure that they can depend upon you to support the things that are important to them. So to convince others that you are trying hard to be trustworthy, ask yourself these questions and try out some of these behaviors.
Are you sincere? Do you say what you mean and mean what you say? Do your actions align with your words?
To show that you’re sincere:
- Be honest with yourself: Pause before you promise anything and ask yourself “what do I really want”? It’s OK to have a different opinion than others; just have the courage to express it in a respectful way.
• Be aware of your behavior and “walk your talk”. Before you declare your intentions, your values or beliefs, consider whether your actions actually match your words.
• Check with people regularly to make sure your intentions align with their expectations. Ask people to tell you how they interpret what you’re saying or doing.
Are you reliable? Do you meet the commitments you make? Do you keep your promises?
To demonstrate that you’re reliable:
- Make sure you’re very clear about your commitments or your requests. Say exactly what you’re thinking and make sure everyone is in agreement with the expected outcomes. Don’t leave anything unsaid!
- If you find that you can’t fulfill a commitment, let the other person know right away. We’re all human and sometimes, we just can’t deliver. Say it, own it, and ask what you can do to make things right.
Do you communicate care and respect? Do you have other person’s interests in mind when you make decisions?
To show that you really care:
- Recognize that some degree of intimacy is essential for others to believe that you really care. This means you need to talk. Try saying what you want and expressing what you need in a calm and confident voice.
- How many times do you pretend to be listening to someone else when you’re really thinking about the next thing you want to say? Practice listening to others’ ideas WITHOUT comment until they finish talking.
How will you demonstrate to your friends and family that you can indeed, be trusted?
There are quite a few things you can do right now, to start rebuilding trust in all your relationships. Know that it will take time and will ask you to go the extra mile.
Interested in learning more about how to rebuild trust in your relationships?
Schedule your free consultation today with Lorie Obernauer today.