Trust is one of the most basic requirements for true closeness between people. We might feel connected with those who share our work, history, family ties, community or spiritual practice, but without trust we will not experience the same depth of feeling or intimacy in the relationship.
Trust allows us to lower our barriers, to be vulnerable to emotions, to let ourselves be seen as we really are. Trust is not always easy to achieve; it grows slowly as we get to know one another, as we learn to recognize honesty, caring, consistent actions and mutual respect.
But just as trust allows us to be close to others, in all kinds of relationships, anger destroys trust and drives a wedge into our connections with others. Anger – whether our own, a partner’s, a co-worker’s or a friend’s – immediately puts others into a defensive mode. Instead of lowering barriers to communication and closeness, it raises them; instead of rewarding vulnerability and emotion, it punishes them.
The only thing we “trust” around an angry person is that he or she will get angry again and might hurt us or someone we love, even if the anger is directed outward – at the economy or society, for example.
After a burst of anger, we often feel regret and we may try to re-establish trust by apologizing and begging for forgiveness. But while apologies are necessary, they are merely a band-aid, not true healing.
To heal our trust and to heal our relationships, we must first treat our anger. The time to start is now, before the damage is irreparable.
For a free phone consult, call Dr. Fibus at 818.395.2831.