Do you know someone, perhaps a partner, a friend, a parent, a therapist, or a coach, who gives you the space to authentically be yourself, and shows continuous faith and support in your highest potential? Do they actively listen to the best of their abilities what you communicate from a deeper level of the soul? In their presence, you can comfortably be vulnerable without having to defend or maintain a certain self-image. You are confident about their motives and intentions, and very transparent with your own. There’s a profound level of trust in which you existentially understand and respect each other, while recognizing the ways you can grow and transform. The relationship becomes a continuous activity of mutual openness and support for each other’s journey to self-realization.
Trust is a reciprocal act of mutual openness: one takes the role of a receptive listener and the other of an expressive communicator, and switch roles when necessary. The level of understanding of the receptive listener, toward what is being expressed by the communicator, is relative to their level of self-awareness. When a person goes through extensive personal or spiritual work, they gain intuitive understanding of the meaning and roots of their behaviors, habits, motives, and feelings. They realize that these personality traits are surface expressions of unconscious mental patterns stemming from past beliefs, concepts, experiences, and repressed emotions. For example, feelings such as jealousy, anger, hate, or envy are unconscious, defense mechanisms to cope with stored, unreleased pain— and when finally released, awareness expands. The person’s identity eventually becomes a manifestation of the essential, spiritual qualities of the self. When one expands their awareness, they become more open and accepting of others’ personality’s flaws, knowing that beyond this surface dwells an expansive, spiritual self waiting to be manifested.
Receptive listeners, who have gone through extensive personal and spiritual development, have the openness to understand and support the communicator in a non-judgmental, unbiased, and empathetic way. They accept the communicator’s feelings, behaviors, and motives as superficial expressions of unconscious mental patterns, and try not to make judgments or assumptions about them. Instead, these listeners honor the highest, spiritual qualities of all individuals, and recognize their ever-expanding creative potential. Coaches and therapists are great examples of self-aware, competent professionals, who provide this quality and depth of listening, by asking inquisitive, thought-provoking questions. Whether you’re a coach, a friend, or a stranger on the listening end, always keep an open-mind, be accepting, compassionate, empathetic, and patient with what a person is trying to communicate. As a communicator, specify from the beginning the purpose of the interaction and the type of support you’re expecting from the listener. Remember to express gratitude and appreciation for the listener’s presence and willingness to understand. To trust, and be trusted, be your highest and most honorable self.
To conclude, here are three main indications that you are in a relationship of deep mutual trust:
1- You are at all times being your highest, most authentic self. There is no need to maintain a self-image or be self-conscious of anything. You are transparent with your motives and intentions.
2- Feelings are embraced and respected. You can open up with confidence and in a vulnerable way what you truly feel inside, with the other person offering their full presence, acceptance, and understanding.
3- You believe in each other’s expanding potential. You support each other’s decisions in life, and celebrate your blessings, achievements, and successes.
Elie Abou-Jaoude is a Certified Life Coach, ICF, FCC, who brings a transpersonal and holistic approach to coaching, and helps individuals go through major life transformations and reach their fullest human potential. Always provides a culturally-sensitive, compassionate, and supportive environment.