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How to Rebuild Trust with Someone You Hurt Without Making Excuses

Sometimes we make big mistakes that hurt the people we love. Learning how to rebuild trust with someone you hurt is possible, but it’ll take some work.

how to rebuild trust with someone you hurt

We all make mistakes. Most are relatively small and can be overlooked by the people around us. However, there are some mistakes with huge consequences. And if you’re asking how to rebuild trust with someone you hurt, it was probably big.

For example, forgetting to pick up your friend from school is a pretty minor mistake, and most likely, your friend will forgive you. Now, if you slept with your friend’s partner, this is a huge violation of trust. Rebuilding your relationship with them isn’t going to be easy.

In fact, it may not happen. I should tell you that. I know, it’s not what you want to hear, but it’s the truth. [Read: How to be a good person – 10 small changes to transform your world]

How to rebuild trust with someone you hurt

I had a friend in high school who slept with my ex-boyfriend. I was a virgin and pretty inexperienced when it came to relationships. Anyways, she violated our friendship. She came over to my house a year later with a letter in her hand and tears running down her face, but I didn’t feel anything for her.

I forgave her because my mom forced me to, but I never spoke to her again. I couldn’t trust her anymore. She was no longer an important person in my life.

You may want to know how to rebuild trust with someone you hurt, but depending on what happened, you may not be able to rebuild the relationship. Keep your chin up though, there’s nothing wrong with giving it a solid try. Can you mend a broken heart?

#1 Be honest with yourself. You need to get your facts straight and come clean with yourself. It’s not easy accepting your actions, but if you want to fix the relationship, you’re going to have to do this first. Knowing what you did was wrong and taking fault is a crucial step. If not, you’re not doing this for the right reasons. [Read: Your guide to grow up and face life like a mature adult]

#2 Talk to a third-party. Before you approach this person, talk to someone you trust. Sometimes this can help you see the wrongdoing in your actions or they can help you release the emotions behind your actions. You may have pent up anger, sadness, and frustration, so relieving these emotions beforehand is a good idea.

#3 Meet up with them. No, not over Whatsapp or FB messenger. You need to meet up with them in person. You screwed up, right? So now you need to confront them face-to-face if you want any chance of rebuilding trust with them. You cannot be a coward in this situation or else they’ll never accept your apology. [Read: How to overcome the things that keep you stuck]

#4 Are you actually feeling bad? If you are apologizing because you feel forced to, then don’t apologize. You’re clearly not understanding the full extent of your actions or feel remorse for what you did.

You can only apologize when you truly feel that you screwed up. The situation would be making you feel horrible. Saying “I’m sorry,” doesn’t mean a damn thing unless there’s emotion behind it.

#5 Soul searching time. If you’re wondering how to rebuild trust with someone you hurt, before you talk to them, you need to do some serious soul searching. You can’t talk about why you did what you did unless you actually know why. You need to look within and really find the root cause of your actions. Was it out of jealousy? Fear? Insecurity?

#6 Be open. These are huge steps you’re making and I’m proud of you. It’s not easy pointing out our own flaws. I know, we all have egos. In this case, it needs to be done. When you’re talking to the person, make sure you remain open and communicative. They’re going to do a lot of talking and you need to listen with empathy. Don’t judge them. You don’t like being judged, right? [Read: How to be mature, grow up and face life like an adult]

#7 Make the conversation meaningful. This is a great opportunity for you to make use of the conversation. You’re both open and listening to each other which is great. You came clean, you talked about what happened, and now it’s time to heal the broken trust.

When everyone has calmed down, it’s now your turn to talk about why and what you did. Remember, don’t blame the victim, use the conversation as a way to show them you’ve learned from your mistake.

#8 Talk about why you did it. I said it above and I’ll say it again. You need to talk about why you did it. Let’s be honest, that’s all they want to know. They want to know why you felt the need to break their trust. Tell them why and be as honest as possible. Whether you cheated, stole, or used someone/something. Be honest and explain why. [Read: How to fight fair with someone and grow closer]

#9 Be calm. Expect the person to show emotion. They’re going to be pissed off, it’s natural. They feel betrayed by you and now you need to face the consequences. There’s no point fighting with them, you’re going to need to be calm and face the storm. Don’t make excuses for your actions or blame them. Take responsibility, admit your fault, and ask for forgiveness.

#10 Present a solution. Of course, this won’t always work. In some cases, the person will be so angry or hurt, they won’t be able to talk any further with you. And if that’s the case, you will need to respect their wishes. If they’re willing to move forward, then present them with a solution to the problem. Come up with a reasonable plan for them to regain your trust again. 

#11 They may not want to be friends with you. I know you want to rebuild trust with someone you hurt, but depending on what you did, your actions could have really hurt them. In some cases, they will not want to have a relationship with you.

I know you wanted to regain their trust, but if they’re hurting too much, it’s not going to happen. Sadly, you’re just going to have to back off and give them space.

#12 You can approach them again at a later time. Give them space. If they didn’t completely shut you off from their life, you may still have a chance. However, this may mean giving them time to calm down and reflect. You can try to reach out to them again in a couple of months time and see if they’re willing to talk again. [Read: The 11 calm steps you need to take to win back your best friend]

#13 Don’t make the same mistake again. If you want to really show you’ve learned your lesson and you’re ready to regain their trust, don’t make the same mistake twice. If you do it again, well, you’ll definitely lose them. They just gave you a second chance and you’re going to shit on it? Then, you really don’t deserve their friendship and love.

[Read: The golden rules you need to become a better person]

Understanding how to rebuild trust with someone you hurt isn’t easy, but it can be done. You’re going to need to put in a lot of work, but if you manage to make it work, you’ll get the person back into your life.

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Natasha Ivanovic
Natasha Ivanovic is an intimacy, dating, and relationship writer best known for her writings on Kiiroo, LovePanky, Post Pravda, and more. She's the creator and ...
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