If I was to ask you, how important having trust in your relationship is to you? How would you answer?
I recall one of my mentors telling me that it’s impossible to build a secure functioning relationship if there’s no trust, and he’s absolutely right because trust in embedded in every fibre of the relationship. How A.T.T.U.N.E are you to your partner? Let’s break down this acronym so you can start to have a deeper understanding of what I’m talking about here.
A – Aware of their emotions
T – Turn towards their emotion
T – Tolerance of 2 different viewpoint
U – trying to Understand your partner
N – Non defensive response to your partner
E – respond with Empathy
Having trust in your relationship makes it possible for each of you to experience emotional safety and this allows for a deeper connection which gives both of you the motivation to endure the difficult times your relationship will inevitably experience during its lifespan. Not only is trust important to your relationship, it’s also important to your overall physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing.
How Do I Build Trust?
As referenced in my last blog “What’s the one thing happy couple do the most?”, trust is built in the little moments of everyday life. In every interaction, you have the opportunity to turn towards or away from your partner (please read last blog which goes into this idea in more detail).
Reflecting on the acronym of A.T.T.U.N.E the one quality needed at each of these stages is the quality of awareness.
How much attention are you paying your partner? As communication experts have shown, only 7% of our communication is interpreted verbally, the remaining 93% are non-verbal and out of this 93%, 37% is focused on facial expression and tone of voice. So, if you are not paying attention to your partner’s non-verbals then you are missing out on a huge chunk of information.
In order to you to be present to your partner, first you need to be aware of yourself. What I mean by this, is your ability to track and notice your own physiological state because when your nervous system detects threat, it will go into fight/flight/freeze mode and when you are in this mode the only goal is for you to ‘survive another day’. Which means your ability to remain curious and open to your partner’s experience is no longer possible. In these moments, your breath is your best friend. Remembering to breath, at least 5 deep breaths with longer exhalation than inhalation will help to calm your nervous system and by doing this you are offering yourself the gift of building your tolerance for those uncomfortable/challenging moments.
To finish, I would like to share a quote from Victor Frankl “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom”.
Till next blog, take good care.