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Trust is the New Love

08 May 2019 | Chris Skellett

Summer Of Love

In 1967, the 'Summer of Love' swept across the world. Suddenly we were transported from a life based on materialism and scientific endeavour into a new world of bliss, peace and harmony. We bathed in a warm glow of positive emotions. Love had become the new social currency. The more we loved each other, the better life seemed. We were happy.

Now, some 50 years later, we face a new challenge. As we grapple with terrorism, internet fraud, corruption and fake news, we seem to have collectively lost trust in the world around us. Social issues involving abuse, infidelity and trauma seem to dominate our screens. We have become increasingly sceptical and we tend to view the world with suspicion and mistrust.

To find true happiness, we are obliged to reclaim a world where we can once again trust in each other and assume that the world is generally safe.  To contribute to a world where we can feel secure about our lives, immersed once again in a supportive, trusting community.

In the sixties we celebrated and embraced love as the key to a better world. But now it is trust that is missing in our lives. The challenge now is to re-kindle a stronger sense of personal and collective trust in each other and to address the fear and suspicion that permeates modern life.

How can we be happy and authentically engaged when we cannot trust each other? How can we ever find happiness again when trust has gone missing?

Trust Hands

In my new book When Trust Goes Missing I outline several practical techniques that we can all use to actively re-install a sense of trust when it has been lost.

Intended primarily for readers who may have experienced personal betrayal, trauma or a significant life crisis, it also considers how we can all respond constructively to rebuild trust following a collective traumatic event.  For example, we can learn:

  1. To 'trade' more in trust, and offer unconditional kindness and trust to those around us, especially strangers. Trust is reciprocal by nature.
  2. To actively become 'ambassadors for trust', promoting positive assumptions of goodwill between people. To notice everyday examples of trust, and to share those wonderfully poignant stories that we all can tell when trust has opened doors for us to connect with others.
  3. To embrace diversity and to challenge our tendency to be suspicious of difference. To offer trusting friendship across cultures rather than to withdraw behind a veil of sceptical mistrust.
  4. To personally re-commit to a life based on trust. To be trustworthy ourselves, and to look for small opportunities to assume trust in others, especially strangers.

Trust and love go hand in hand. Love is an emotion that is hard to control, but trust is an assumption, a set of cognitions, that we can choose to accept or not. Essentially, it is the assumption of trust that connects us in our intimate relationships, in our families and in our communities, while the assumption of mistrust divides and weakens us.

We should be actively promoting trust as a key value in our relationships at every level. Mutual trust is the key dynamic that connects us all, and true happiness can only be experienced when we assume trust both in ourselves and in each other.  

As we build on the lessons learned from way back in those heady Woodstock years, it seems certain that now more than ever, we need trust to become the new love.

By choosing to live a life based on trust, we are actively increasing opportunities to experience a greater sense of happiness and fulfilment, both at a personal and at a communal level.

 

About the author

Chris Skellett

Chris Skellett is a New Zealand based clinical psychologist and the author of When Trust Goes Missing available as both a paperback and eBook.  He is visiting the UK during June, July and August 2019 and is happy to speak to interested groups. He can be contacted at www.chrisskellettconsulting.co.nz

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