10 Myths about Trust Building in Relationships & Family

By | Last Updated: 14 January 2024


Building trust in relationships and family is like constructing a sturdy bridge—one plank at a time. However, as you embark on this journey, it's crucial to navigate through some common myths that might mislead you. In this guide, we'll debunk these myths and illuminate the truths that will help you cultivate trust in your relationships and family. So, whether you're just starting your adult life at 20 or seeking to understand trust better, let's unravel the myths together.

Myth 1: Trust Is Always Present or Absent

Myth: Many believe trust is an all-or-nothing concept. Either it's there from the beginning, or it's nonexistent.

Truth: Trust isn't binary. It can evolve and change over time. For example, when you meet someone new, you don't trust them as much as a lifelong friend. Trust is a spectrum, not a switch.

Think of trust like a plant. When you meet someone new, it's like planting a tiny seed of trust. As you get to know them, water and care for that seed by being honest and dependable. Over time, the trust seed grows into a strong tree. So, trust isn't just "on" or "off." It can grow stronger as you build a relationship with someone.

Myth 2: Trust Can Be Rebuilt Quickly

Myth: There's a misconception that trust can be regained overnight, just by saying sorry.

Truth: Rebuilding trust takes time. Consider a relationship where someone betrayed your confidence. It may require consistent actions and patience to rebuild the trust that was broken.

Imagine someone accidentally broke your favorite toy. Saying sorry won't instantly fix it. It takes time to repair, just like trust. If someone breaks your trust, they need to show with their actions that they can be trusted again. It's like fixing the toy piece by piece until it's whole again.

Myth 3: Trust Is Built Solely Through Words

Myth: Some think that just saying the right things will create trust.

Truth: Trust isn't just about words; it's about consistent actions. Imagine someone who constantly promises but rarely follows through—words alone won't build trust.

Imagine someone who promises to help you with your homework but never shows up. Even if they say the right words, their actions don't match. Trust is about keeping promises and being reliable, not just talking about it.

Myth 4: Trust Means Never Having Doubts

Myth: People often assume that trust means having unwavering faith without doubts.

Truth: Trust can coexist with doubts and uncertainties. In a romantic relationship, for instance, it's natural to have moments of doubt. Trust is about navigating those doubts together.

In friendships or family, there might be times when you're unsure about something. That's normal. Trust doesn't mean you never have questions. It means you talk about them and work through them together.

Myth 5: Trust Is One-Sided

Myth: It's a misconception that only one person in a relationship needs to trust.

Truth: Trust is mutual. It's a two-way street. Both partners need to trust each other for a healthy relationship to thrive.

Imagine playing catch with a friend. You throw the ball, and they catch it, then they throw it back. Trust is like that; it goes back and forth. Both people need to trust each other for the game to work.

Myth 6: Trust Can't Be Repaired Once Broken

Myth: Many believe that once trust is broken, it's beyond repair.

Truth: Trust can be rebuilt after a breach, but it takes effort and commitment. Think of a friend who let you down; with time and effort, trust can be mended.

If someone breaks your trust, it can feel like a torn page in a book. You can't make it perfect again, but you can mend it. It takes time and care, just like fixing a torn page with tape.

Myth 7: Trust Is Maintained Without Effort

Myth: Some assume that trust doesn't require ongoing effort.

Truth: Trust requires consistent communication and actions to stay strong. Consider a family member—regular contact and effort are essential to maintain trust.

Imagine having a pet fish. You need to feed it and clean its tank regularly. Trust is similar; you need to keep it alive by being honest and dependable.

Myth 8: Trust Equals Predictability

Myth: There's a myth that trust means knowing every action in advance.

Truth: Trust allows room for growth and change. Think of a parent's trust in their child growing up; it doesn't hinge on predictability but on the bond.

Trust is like watching a plant grow. You don't know exactly how it'll turn out, but you nurture it and give it space. Trust doesn't mean knowing everything in advance; it means growing and changing together.

Myth 9: Trust-Building Is a One-Time Effort

Myth: People often think that trust is established once and never needs work again.

Truth: Trust-building is ongoing. It's like tending a garden; you must nurture it regularly for it to flourish.

Imagine having a garden. You don't plant the seeds once and forget about it. You water and care for it regularly. Trust is like that; it needs continuous attention and care to thrive.

Myth 10: Trust Is the Same in All Relationships

Myth: Some believe that trust works the same way in every relationship.

Truth: Trust dynamics can vary. Trust in a romantic relationship isn't identical to trust with your siblings. It's important to adapt your trust-building efforts to the context.

Think of trust like different games you play. The rules are not the same for all games. In friendships, trust might mean one thing, while in family, it could mean something else. It's important to understand the rules of trust in each relationship.


As you venture into adulthood and build your relationships and family, remember that trust isn't a one-size-fits-all concept. It's a nuanced and evolving aspect of human connections. By understanding these myths and embracing the truths, you'll be better equipped to navigate the complex terrain of trust, ensuring healthier and stronger relationships with your loved ones. Trust-building, much like life itself, is a journey, not a destination.

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Santosh Acharya Closeup

Santosh Acharya is a Engineer, Technocrat turned on to Psychology Geek. He is a Proud Family Man, a Husband, a Parent to 2 adults, an obedient Son to my Parent, a Curious, Problem solver, Creator, Coffee Lover, Life-Long learner, Food Maker, Engineer, Psychologist, Marketer. His life took a sharp turn, when his mother asked him, "If you could rethink what you want to do with your life, what could it be." 

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