Business, Community & Government, Wellness

Building Trust

Esther Perel

Lesson time 13:02 min

Building trust involves taking risks. In this lesson, Esther encourages members to take micro-risks as a way to cultivate trust and discusses the realities of betrayal.

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Topics include: Explore the Relationship Between Trust and Risk • Take Micro Risks to Cultivate Trust • Rebuilding Trust • Try This Essential Practice: Reflect on Trust and Risk


[MUSIC PLAYING] INSTRUCTOR: One of the questions that people often ask about trust is, how does it get built? How do we develop trust? What do you need to feel trusting? When have you felt trust? What are the experiences that accompany the word "trust" for you? Are you going to say, the fact that I can rely on you, that you're there for me, that you show up? Look at all these expressions-- that you have my back, that I can lean on you? When I think of the word "trust," I always think of this game that we played on the beach as kids, where there was a circle of people, and then one person was in the center, and they had to let themselves fall and be picked up by the other person and close their eyes and let themselves go and know that they would be held up so that they wouldn't hit the ground. You won't let me fall. You have my back, literally. You are supporting and sustaining me. What is it for you? Trust is one of these concepts that suffers from a definition of vagueness. We all know when we feel it, and we all know when we don't. But what is it? Is it a feeling? Is it a condition? Is it an outcome? Is it a state? What is trust? And the research is all over the place. At the end of many, many, many papers, what you hear is the sentence, the research could use more research on how to define trust. Trust is physical. It's an embodied experience. It's emotional. It's mental. And, for many people, it's also spiritual. [MUSIC PLAYING] This very important question around trust is the relationship between trust and risk. Some people say that you need to trust someone before you are feeling okay to take risks with that person. But some people will say-- and this is how the research divides around trust as well-- that it is actually by taking risks that the trust develops. For example, trusting in order to risk-- I need to know that you will not abandon me, reject me, laugh at me if I talk to you about something that is deeply personal, if I come out to you, if I tell you about a certain medical condition that I have. Do I wait till I trust you more-- more is the important piece-- before I reveal those things about myself? Or is it the very act of revealing these things about myself to you and your response to me that will be the actual developing of the trust in the moment? Rachel Botsman, who studied trust, has a beautiful line where she says, "Trust is an confident engagement with the unknown." If you need to know you're not trusting, trust in itself is a leap of faith. So do you need to have trust first to then take risks, or is it the act of engaging with risk that actually builds the trust? I'm going to put the question forward to you, not to answer it, but to actually reflect, think, and discuss with those people that are close to you about it. [MUSIC PLAYING] In a relationship, there are certain small steps that we take that actually confirm or disconfirm the d...

About the Instructor

Known for her innovative approach to love and relationships, Esther Perel is sharing her methods for building deeper connections with every person in your life. Whether it’s with your partner or project manager, you’ll learn how rethinking the basic principles of intimacy, communication, and trust can improve the quality of your life in the bedroom, boardroom, and beyond.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Esther Perel

Renowned psychotherapist Esther Perel teaches you the power—and the art—of connecting with others.

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