Skip to main content

Relationships: Moving from Distrust to Trust

Written By | Mar 24, 2016

WASHINGTON, March 24, 2016 – When we are in conversation with someone, a great deal depends on the mindset of both parties. Is there a state of trust or distrust?

Now… what if you could make those difficult conversations easier to navigate, to get productive, positive results? The answer is, you can!

But first, in order to move from distrust to trust, there are several things to understand about the way our brains function. Understanding how our minds work can result in building healthy, trusting relationships with greater ease.

In a state of distrust, we are seeing reality through fear and threats, and we close down. We tend to retreat, and this puts us into a “protective” mode. We feel stressed or threatened triggers our primitive or reptilian brain. Our body releases higher levels of cortisol and adrenalin, and the fear networks in our brain puts us in a flight, flee, freeze or appease state, which has been termed “Amygdala Hijacking.”

In Judith Glaser’s book “Conversational Intelligence,” she discusses how trust changes our reality in her REALITY model. According to Glaser, when we are in a place of distrust we:

Reveal less

Expect more

Assume the worse

Look with caution

Interpret with fear

Tell secrets

Yes’ people

On the other hand, when we are able to shift to the state of trust, our body releases those “feel good” hormones, oxytocin and dopamine. Thinking shifts to the prefrontal cortex (where executive functions reside). It’s there that we have access to the faculties of empathy, judgment, higher decision-making and creativity.

Once there, we can then relax, create a state of trust, and are become open to engaging. In this “trust state” Glaser spells out Reality with very different results. In our “trust state,” we are able to deal with REALITY:

Reveal more

Expect less and over deliver

Assume the best

Look with an open heart

Interpret with facts

Tell the truth

Yes to confronting the truth

When we understand how the human brain functions, the invisible becomes visible and we can better understand the perspective of our conversations with others. We can actually retrain that lima bean shaped amygdala – the area(s) in our brains that are seen to have a primary role in processing memory, emotional reactions and decision-making – to react in a healthier way. Then, we can shift our conversations from transactional (exchanging information) to transformational (share and discover).

So, next time you are stressed, know you have a choice. You can react with stress and close yourself down (where distrust lives), or you can choose to calm yourself and move into a more open, trusting state.

As Judith Glaser points out in “Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Get Extraordinary Results”: “To get to the next level of greatness depends on the quality of the culture, which depends on the quality of relationships, which depends on the quality of conversations. Everything happens through conversations.”

For more Information Contact:

Susan Commander Samakow, PCC, CPCC

Certified Business, Life & Leadership Coach Focusing on Confidence & Resilience Strategies, Life & Career Transition, & Business & Leadership

Certified Mediator

Twitter: @SelfTalkCoach
301-706-7226 & 703-574-0039!/susan.samakow

Ask Susan about her coaching packages and the Stress Reducing techniques she teaches: EFT (Tapping) and Breathing Exercises.

Susan Samakow

Susan Commander Samakow, PCC, is a Certified Business, Life and Leadership Coach. Susan focuses on life and career transition, business and leadership, and confidence and resilience strategies. Susan is also a speaker and facilitator, as well as a Community Content Producer for WUSA 9 TV. She is the former president of the ICF Metro DC Chapter, the largest in North America. Susan’s clients are individuals, any size business and the government. Visit Susan’s website: Susan is on Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In.