20 Things to Avoid If You Want to Gain Trust from Others

Trust is the cornerstone of all meaningful relationships, personal or professional. It’s an integral part of our interactions and dealings with people, but trust is not given freely; it must be earned. Unfortunately, there are common mistakes people make that can undermine the trust others place in them. Let us explore 20 things that can erode trust.

Tell Lies

Lying is perhaps the most obvious way to break trust with someone. When you’re caught in a lie, it’s hard to regain credibility. Lying is a conscious decision, showing you have little respect for the truth or others. It’s always better to be honest, even if it means admitting fault or facing consequences.


When you talk about people behind their backs, it shows a lack of respect and integrity. It also creates an atmosphere of negativity and can lead to misunderstandings and hurt feelings. If you have an issue with someone, it’s better to address it directly instead of spreading rumors.


Betrayal can come in many forms, but it all boils down to breaking the trust of someone who has confided in you or relied on your support. It could be sharing personal information without permission or going against a person’s wishes. Betrayal can have long-lasting effects and is difficult to repair.

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Manipulating others for your gain will quickly erode trust. People want to feel like they are being treated fairly and with respect, not used for someone else’s benefit. If you manipulate others, you may get what you want in the short term, but it will cost you their trust and potentially damage your relationship.

Be Selfish

Similar to manipulation, being selfish shows that you prioritize your needs above those of others. It can lead to a lack of trust because people may feel you don’t have their best interests. Collaboration and compromise are essential in building trust, so being selfish will only hinder that process.

Be Inconsistent

Consistency is crucial for establishing trust. If your words and actions don’t align or you keep changing your mind, it’s hard for people to believe in you. They may question your motives or wonder if you are sincere. Being consistent builds reliability, an essential component of trust.

Not Communicate

Communication is vital in any relationship. When there’s a lack of communication, it can lead to misunderstandings, assumptions, and mistrust. People may feel like you’re hiding something or not being transparent. Open and honest communication is necessary to build and maintain trust.

Break Promises

Broken promises damage trust because they show a lack of commitment and follow-through. People rely on your word, so when you don’t keep it, they may question how much they can count on you. If you can’t keep a promise, apologize upfront instead of making excuses.

Non-verbal Cues

Non-verbal cues like eye-rolling, crossing arms, or frowning can also undermine trust. These actions show disapproval or lack of interest and can be interpreted as disrespectful or dismissive. Pay attention to your body language and make sure it aligns with what you’re saying.

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Overpromising can lead to unrealistic expectations and disappointment. It’s better to under-promise and over-deliver instead of the other way around. When you consistently make big promises and fail to deliver, people will lose trust in your abilities.

Lack Empathy

Empathy is crucial for building trust. If you cannot understand or relate to someone’s feelings or experiences, it may look like you don’t care. Empathy allows for deeper connections and understanding, so make an effort to listen and show compassion.

Lack Transparency

Transparency means being open and honest about your intentions, actions, and decisions. When there’s a lack of transparency, it can lead to suspicion and mistrust. People want to know what’s happening, so don’t hide information or keep secrets.

Take Credit for Others’ Work

Taking credit for others’ work is not only unethical but also erodes trust. People want to be recognized for their efforts and contributions, and when someone else takes the credit, it shows a lack of respect. Acknowledge and give credit where it’s due.

Blame Others

Blaming others for your mistakes or failures is another way to break trust. People want someone who takes responsibility and owns up to their actions. Blaming others shows a lack of accountability and can make people question whether you can be relied upon.

Ignore Feedback

Ignoring feedback or dismissing others’ opinions can signal that you don’t value their input. To foster trust, take the time to actively listen and genuinely consider others’ perspectives, engage in meaningful dialogue, and foster a culture of open communication and mutual respect.

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Be Arrogant

Arrogance can be perceived as condescending, undermining the establishment of trust. Individuals are more inclined to place trust in someone humble and approachable. While confidence is necessary, it’s essential to remain humble and recognize that others’ opinions and contributions are just as valuable.

Ignore Boundaries

Respecting boundaries is essential for building trust. When someone has established boundaries, ignoring them can signal a lack of regard for their feelings and wishes. Always respect others’ boundaries and make sure to communicate your boundaries.

Ignore Messages

When you ignore messages, whether emails, texts, or phone calls, it can create mistrust, making it seem like you’re avoiding someone or not interested in communicating with them. Communication is vital to building trust, so respond promptly and acknowledge others’ efforts to reach out.

Display Incompetence

Competence is a crucial factor in establishing trust. When someone displays incompetence, it can lead to doubts about their abilities and reliability. Continuously develop your skills and knowledge so you are always equipped to handle any task or responsibility.

Be Defensive

Being defensive can mean not owning up to your mistakes or taking criticism personally. It can create a barrier in communication and hinder the building of trust. Instead, listen without becoming defensive, acknowledge any errors, and work towards finding a resolution.

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