Just saying sorry is not going to cut it. And really, deep down you know it—it shouldn’t. You have done things, said things, lied about things in your life. You lost the trust of the people who care the most about you. Of course, you were also giving into an addiction on a regular basis and it took the central role of your life hijacking everything you thought and wanted. Still, how can anyone trust you again?
The reason you are in a situation where you have lost trust is that, most likely, you repeatedly hurt people who put their trust in you. You might have stolen from them, neglected them, put them last in your life. And not just once but over and over.
So when you want to earn trust back with people in your life, the key word is “earn.” It won’t be easy. And it will cost you. But it can happen. People in recovery from addiction can be trustworthy people. They can deserve the faith of their friends and family. Here are some important skills to focus on to earn trust again from your loved ones.
Give trust time
First off, remember, you are not going to earn trust overnight. You lost your loved one’s trust over a series of actions and events. So it is going to take a series of actions and events to regain their faith in you. In fact, if you lied to someone three times it might even take five honest interactions for your friend or family member begin to feel like they can begin to give you a chance. Give it time.
With that said, don’t be a flake. Make sure you are telling the truth and you are doing it on a consistent basis. If you tell the truth three times, then lie once, all of the trust you have built will be lost. And it will be harder for those close to you to believe in your personal transformation. It’s tough, but important. Be consistent in your life and follow-through.
Apologizing is fine. But making amends means doing something about the wrongs you have committed. When you make amends, you compensate for how you have treated someone. Did you miss rent because you spent it on drugs? Pay your roommates back. Or at least make it clear that you intend to pay them back with a payment plan. Making amends includes actions to your apology. Fix what you broke. It’s as simple as that.
Part of being a trustworthy person is being someone who simply does the right thing in all circumstances. You may have stigmatized these kinds of people in the past: goody-two-shoes, Pollyanna, Boy Scout. Whatever it is, this is who you are now. Being above reproach is a good state to be in. This is how you earn trust. And yes people actually do this—they do right or try to do right in all situations. Walk the extra three feet to throw your trash away. Keep your temper at bay while you are dealing with a jerk at the store. Help an old lady across the street. Be a boy scout. There are definitely worse things you could be.
Don’t expect a reward
If you are being a trustworthy person simply to be noticed as such, then your motivation is wrong. And it won’t get you very far in earning trust back.
Wait a minute, you might be thinking, I thought I was doing this for a reward: trust.
That’s the tough part. A trustworthy person is a person who is being trustworthy simply because it is right and it is good. That needs to be your reward. Remember, recovery goes deep. It is a total transformation. If you were not the kind of person who did the right thing before, look where that got you. Embrace goodness for goodness’ sake. It’s authentic, and it’s how you earn trust.
Let your yes be yes
This last tip takes “doing right” one step further. It is the step that will outshine most everything else: be a person of your word. If you say you are going to do something, then do it. This is the development of personal character. It is the bedrock of all the trust you will receive. Never stray from that centering aspect of your recovery. You are a person of your word now. Believe that, and live by it.
Of course, you can’t guarantee that this will work with everyone. Some people will just never be able to trust you again. In that situation, you simply have to move on. If you are consistently living by these trustworthy guidelines that is all you can do. And you can only be the best version of yourself. Everything else is out of your control.
Have you lost the trust of your family and friends as a result of your addiction to drugs or alcohol? The truth is, if you have not gotten treatment for a substance use disorder, you will simply continue to hurt those around you. Before you can rebuild trust, you have to take the first step of reaching out for help.
However, you might be surprised. This one action is pretty significant. Your friends and family love you and want to trust you.
Get help today and give them a reason to hope and trust again. Call SoCal Detox today for a consultation with one of our addiction specialists: 888-590-0777.