How To Rebuild Trust In A Friendship
Depending on what you did to betray someone’s trust—and who you did it to—getting back to where you once were with that person will likely take a lot of time and effort.
But not all hope is lost. If you truly value your relationship with this person, as well as your reputation, keep reading for tips on how to rebuild trust in a friendship.
How to Rebuild Trust in a Friendship
- Once You Apologize, Give Your Friend Space
When we do something wrong or fight with someone, and we know we’re in the wrong, we immediately jump at the chance to explain ourselves and hopefully smooth things over. After all, no one wants negativity and drama looming over them.
While you may immediately be ready accept your faults and bury the hatchet, the person you hurt will likely harbor a ton of resentment towards you—and while they may accept or listen to your initial apology, they need some space to process the incident and think about how they want to proceed in the long run.
Taking time apart is not only healthy for any friendship, but some distance will give you both a chance to grow and isolate yourself from what went down. After cooling off a bit, you can both then approach the whole thing from a clearer state of mind and with less animosity. Use the time apart to really think about what you did and why you did it. Then, when the timing feels right, you can reach out to your friend again, or see if you two are drawn to each other organically (which is often times the case).
- Be Honest About What Led to Your Mistake
There’s absolutely no excuse for betraying someone’s trust, but everything has a cause and effect. Chances are, if you hurt someone you’re actually friends with, there was some underlying motive that led to your decision.
Whether you harbored resentment for something they did to you a long time ago, or you’re plain and simple jealous or insecure around them, you didn’t just decide out of nowhere that you were going to hurt them. Once you acknowledge (to yourself and to your friend) what the underlying issue is, you can hopefully open up and talk through why you’re feeling a certain way. By letting your vulnerable side show, you’re proving that you value the relationship enough to let your guard down and show that you trust them.
If you and your pal are able to talk through what’s been bothering you, you should then feel confident enough in the friendship to not let trust be an issue moving forward. And express that to them, too.
- Approach Your Friend With Empathy
Regardless of the reason behind your negative behavior, the bottom line is you hurt someone you care about. Whether you feel like your actions were somehow justified or not, you need to see things from their point of view. How would you feel if they did to you what you did to them?
When you eventually get to chat with your pal, don’t come into the conversation from a defensive place. As much anger as they may express during your chat, it’s important that you come from a place of warmth. Tell them you know they’re in a lot of pain right now and that they have every right to be. Perhaps bring up a time when your own trust was betrayed by someone, and reflect on how that made you feel. Explain how upset you are with your behavior and talk about what you learned from your mistake.
- Avoid All Gossip
While you may have learned a big ol’ lesson by what recently went down between you and a specific friend, diving into gossip of any kind right now is only going to associate you with that behavior. Whether it’s about a girl who everyone in your group can’t stand, or it’s secretly bad-mouthing a pal for getting back with their ex, leave the gossip to the other folks, and keep everyone’s business out of your mouth. While you can’t necessarily remove yourself from every situation, when indeed you are able, step away, as the less association to negativity, the better!
- Don’t Go Into Great Detail With Others About You and Your Friend’s Issue(s)
Of course your BFF, S.O. and family are going to know about what really went down between you and your friend—it’s not like you’re only going to tell your diary! But, as far as everyone else is concerned, you two are just busy, but still friends of course. Whatever your friend chooses to tell people is her own business, but as for you, keep things simple.
The less you tell people, the less they have to say you told them. The last thing you need is your words exaggerated or twisted—and we know the game of telephone all too well. Your friend is likely expecting to hear back that you’ve been telling everyone what went down, so they’ll be pleasantly surprised when your lips are sealed.
- Let Time Work Its Magic
Even if the initial time has passed between the incident and your friend speaking to you again, there’s likely a lot more time that, unfortunately, must go by before they can even consider trusting you again.
However long it may take, this is when you just focus on being a solid friend—whatever that entails. You don’t want to come off desperate or overeager, and you certainly do not want to beg, but just be there for your pal if they need anything simple like a ride home from school, to something a bit more committed like taking over a babysitting shift for them over the weekend so they can go on a date. Continue opening up to them about your own personal stuff when it’s appropriate, and show them that you value a trusting relationship.
It’s anyone’s guess if trust can ever be fully rebuilt, but if you stay on a good path and don’t mess up again, you can only move forward.
- Don’t Bring Up the Incident (Other Than During Your Initial Apology)
Everyone’s different, so your friend may be someone who constantly throws your faults in your face—or your pal could very well be someone who finds it too painful to bring up the past. Either way, constantly think about moving forward, not backward. Even during times when it’s just the two of you and you seem to be bonding, do not bring up the incident. Just let your current actions do the talking. Bringing up the past will only reopen a wound, and if they don’t bring it up, they definitely don’t want to talk about it. After enough time goes by, they’ll slowly start to forget its impact and they’ll begin to associate you with fresh (positive) feelings again.
Of course, if they bring it up, give them a comfortable space to express how they feel, but don’t overdo it with your reaction. Just hear them out and tell them you understand. Bottom line: You want to focus on moving forward, so whatever you can do to keep pushing ahead, plow on through and don’t look back.
Fighting with a close friend is really hard, but look on the bright side by reading THIS list of ways you’ll benefit from spending time apart from your BFF!
- Don’t Bail on Plans
There’s nothing worse than getting a last minute text from a friend canceling on your plans. Obviously, some circumstances are understandable, but if someone bails for another person or a cooler opportunity, that isn’t okay. The next time you plan on hanging out with your friend, think twice before canceling. It’s important to show you respect their time, just as you don’t want them to waste yours.
- Stop Gossiping About Others
Nothing good comes from gossip. If anything, it leaves you feeling bad about yourself after putting someone else down. The only energy you should put into the universe is positive, so don’t flood it with negative thoughts and actions. Chances are, if your friend gossips with you, they’re also gossiping about you. Obviously, friends are here to serve as a sounding board when you need to vent, so don’t feel like you can’t share your angst about things or people who really bother you, but catty gossip just opens the doors for others to talk the same about you.
- Apologize When You Make a Mistake
Every now and then you’re going to mess up. Maybe you forgot about your friend’s birthday or you snapped at them in the heat of the moment. Whatever the reason may be, it’s important to realize when you’re at fault. A simple apology can go a long way. Rather than avoiding confrontation, take the first step to making amends. When you take responsibility for your actions, they’ll likely mirror that behavior and do the same.
- Give Your Opinion
You’re not going to agree on every topic—afterall, that would make for pretty boring conversation. If your friend brings up a subject that makes you uncomfortable or that you don’t agree with, express your feelings. Good friendships are built on trust and honesty, so make sure to unleash your bottled-up emotions and state your opinion. If you hold too much in, and smile and nod about everything, people will walk all over you.
- Remember Your Conversations
It’s not a good feeling when someone completely forgets about a conversation you shared. Not only is it awkward, but it’s totally rude. Don’t tune out of your discussions. Instead, devote 100% of your attention to the subject at hand. Your friend will think highly of you if you remember the small details at a later date, and it will inspire them to listen to you in return.
- Stop Looking at Your Phone When You’re Together
When you’re hanging out one-on-one with a pal, avoid devoting your focus solely to your phone. This will make your friend feel unworthy of your presence, which is probably the last thing you want to do. Maintaining eye contact and steering clear of other distractions will make your friend feel validated and like an equal—which will therefore make them want to behave the same way in return.
If you’re the one constantly making the decisions in a friendship, at what point will your relationship start to dwindle? Let your friend take the reins every now and then. Take a step back and loosen your hold on the need to be in control. Compromise when it comes to deciding where to eat, what party to go to and more. Friendships (like other relationships) are give and take. It shouldn’t be one person’s way or the highway.
- Be Confident in Yourself
This may seem like an odd piece of advice, but in order to have a proper, working relationship with a friend, you need to work on yourself first. Confidence doesn’t come easy, and it takes a lot of work. Start out by writing down positive thoughts, taking care of your body and surrounding yourself with like-minded people. Your friends will undoubtedly notice a difference in your life. Positive energy is contagious. If people see you smiling and being your best self, it will make them want to be around you more and treat you the way you treat yourself.
- Do Something Nice With No Expectations of Reciprocation
Make your friend’s day by doing something nice for them. It can be as simple as complimenting their new haircut, grabbing their fave coffee from Starbucks or driving them to the airport. A real friendship is not about evening out the score, so by performing a random act of kindness without expecting anything in return, you’re proving how much they mean to you.
Is someone mistreating you? You’ll definitely recognize these signs of disrespect.
Friends talking it out
Trust is foundational to any relationship. Trust is when you have confidence in someone or something, rely on someone and believe what he or she says is true. Trust involves honesty, integrity and justice.
How To Mend Broken Trust In A Relationship
Seek open communication. The person who betrayed you or broke trust must admit to the action and take responsibility without downplaying actions.
Be remorseful. If you broke someone’s trust, remorse needs to be evidenced. Without remorse, doubt remains.
Ask away. Once trust is broken, the person you betrayed should be free to ask questions in order to better understand what happened. The betrayer cannot complain about having to answer questions that might be uncomfortable.
Forgive the person who broke the trust. This doesn’t mean you condone the action of the person, minimize the impact or act like it never happened. Forgiveness means you acknowledge the breach and choose not to allow it to fester in unforgiveness and bitterness.
Give assurance when and where needed. Once trust is breached, lots of reassurance is needed in order to help the person see your efforts to make changes.
Be empathetic to the pain caused by the trust violation. Often, people want to admit to their mistake and then move on without further consequences. But pain is usually involved and takes time to work through. The violator needs to be empathetic to the time it takes a person to heal and be ready to try again.
Be patient. You can’t rush the rebuild of trust. It takes time to see if the person is trustworthy again.
Don’t use a trust violation as a weapon. What is done, is done. Focus on moving forward. You will remember the breach, but the pain will eventually go away. So don’t keep bringing it up the past and using it to make a point or fight.
No secrets. Relationships built on secrecy do not do well. Honesty is needed to rebuild trust, even when that honesty is painful.
Move towards reconciliation. Forgiveness takes one person. Reconciliation takes two.
If you are having trouble rebuilding trust, you may want to see a counselor to help move all parties through the process.
But how do we develop trust in the first place? Can trust that’s been broken be rebuilt?
This article explores how to build trust in a variety of relationships, including practical tips and activities that build trust.
Please note that the scientific literature on building trust is limited. Plenty of research exists examining the importance of trust and what it is, but that research doesn’t tend to lay out practical steps for building trust. Therefore, much of the research supporting the following article is from web sources, not journal articles.
If you wish to learn more, our Positive Relationships Masterclass© is a complete, science-based training template for practitioners and coaches that contains all the materials you’ll need to help your clients improve their personal and professional relationships, ultimately enhancing their mental wellbeing.
- Be true to your word and follow through with your actions
The point of building trust is for others to believe what you say. Keep in mind, however, that building trust requires not only keeping the promises you make but also not making promises you’re unable to keep.
Keeping your word shows others what you expect from them, and in turn, they’ll be more likely to treat you with respect, developing further trust in the process.
- Learn how to communicate effectively with others
Poor communication is a major reason why relationships break down. Good communication includes being clear about what you have or have not committed to and what has been agreed upon.
Building trust is not without risk. It involves allowing both you and others taking risks to prove trustworthiness. To navigate this, effective communication is key. Without it, you may find the messages you’ve intended to send aren’t the messages that are received.
- Remind yourself that it takes time to build and earn trust
Building trust is a daily commitment. Don’t make the mistake of expecting too much too soon. In order to build trust, first take small steps and take on small commitments and then, as trust grows, you will be more at ease with making and accepting bigger commitments. Put trust in, and you will generally get trust in return.
- Take time to make decisions and think before acting too quickly
Only make commitments that you are happy to agree to. Have the courage to say “no,” even when it disappoints someone. If you agree to something and can’t follow through, everyone involved is worse off.
Be clear about what you have on your plate, and keep track of your commitments. Being organized is a necessary part of building trust with family, friends, and colleagues. It enables you to make a clear decision as to whether to agree to requests of your time and energy.
- Value the relationships that you have—and don’t take them for granted
Trust often results from consistency. We tend to have the most trust in people who are there for us consistently through good times and bad. Regularly showing someone that you’re there for them is an effective way to build trust.
- Develop your team skills and participate openly
When you take an active role in a team and make contributions, people are more likely to respect and trust you. It’s also imperative when building trust in a team to show your willingness to trust others.
Being open and willing to make contributions and to engage demonstrates this. In other words, take what others say into consideration, show that you are listening actively, suggest your thoughts and feedback in a respectful way, and demonstrate that you are willing to be part of the team.
- Always be honest
The message you convey should always, always be the truth. If you are caught telling a lie, no matter how small, your trustworthiness will be diminished.
- Help people whenever you can
Helping another person, even if it provides no benefit to you, builds trust. Authentic kindness helps to build trust.
- Don’t hide your feelings
Being open about your emotions is often an effective way to build trust. Furthermore, if people know that you care, they are more likely to trust you.
Emotional intelligence plays a role in building trust. Acknowledging your feelings, learning the lessons that prevail, and taking productive action means that you won’t deny reality—this is the key to building trust.
- Don’t always self-promote
Acknowledgment and appreciation play an important role in building trust and maintaining good relationships. Recognizing and appreciating the efforts of others shows your talent for leadership and teamwork and increases the trust others have in you.
On the other hand, if people don’t demonstrate appreciation for a good deed, they appear selfish. Selfishness destroys trust.
- Always do what you believe to be right
Doing something purely for approval means sacrificing your own values and beliefs. This decreases trust in yourself, your values, and your beliefs. Always doing what you believe is right, even when others disagree, will lead others to respect your honesty.
Interestingly, when building trust, you must be willing to upset others on occasion. People tend not to trust those who simply say whatever they think others want to hear.
- Admit your mistakes
When you attempt to hide your mistakes, people know that you are being dishonest. By being open, you show your vulnerable side, and this helps build trust with other people.
This is because they perceive you to be more like them—everyone makes mistakes. If you pretend that you never make mistakes, you’ll make it difficult for others to trust you because you have created an unnecessary difference between the two of you. When all that a person sees is the “perfection” you project, they likely won’t trust you.
How to Build Trust With Your Partner in a Marriage or Relationship
Andrea Bonior, a licensed clinical psychologist, professor, and author, shares the following advice for building trust with a partner in a marriage or relationship. Bonior suggests that trust is necessary for emotional intimacy and that it’s necessary for a healthy, close relationship (2018). It’s much easier and faster to lose trust than it is to build it up.
To develop trust with your partner, Bonior suggests you “say what you mean and mean what you say” (2018).
As young children, we quickly learn to tell if someone is being untruthful. It may be that someone doesn’t follow through with their promises, or a parent makes threats they don’t follow through on. This form of self-protection evolved to help us survive, so nearly all of us are able to notice the “proverbial boy crying wolf” (Bonior, 2018).
As we grow older, we finetune our expectations and behavior by learning not to trust an untruthful person, which helps protect ourselves from being let down again. So, when trying to develop trust in a relationship, don’t say things that you won’t follow through with.
It’s also important not to say things that don’t accurately reflect how you feel. Consistently telling lies, even if they feel small or inconsequential, will result in the other person no longer trusting what you say (Bonior, 2018).
Another aspect of building trust is to become increasingly vulnerable in the relationship as it develops. People feel trust when they rely on one another. In the relationships we have, we build trust through vulnerability (Bonior, 2018). Part of this will happen automatically over time through our daily interactions—such as feeling assured that our partner will be there if they have offered to pick us up from work (Bonior, 2018).
It is also important to be emotionally vulnerable (Bonior, 2018). Building trust requires you to open yourself up to the potential risk of being hurt. This could be revealing things that scare you or exposing aspects of yourself that you don’t consider attractive (Bonior, 2018). In other words, trust is developed when our partners have the chance to let us down or hurt us, but they don’t.
Respect plays an important role in trust. One of the most emotionally enduring ways we can be harmed by our partners is if they belittle us or look at us with condescension or contempt, because a lack of respect destroys trust (Bonior, 2018).
Any relationship, even that between a sales assistant and customer, involves a basic level of trust, and thus respect (Bonior, 2018). But maintaining that basic level of respect becomes even more important the more emotionally intimate the relationship is (Bonior, 2018).
Unfortunately, we occasionally show our partners our worst qualities. We may be more prone to lash out at people we are close to than we would at a stranger. We lose sight of the fact that respect is even more significant to those we love due to the harm that lack of respect over time will cause (Bonior, 2018).
It’s not necessary to be perfectly polite all the time with your partner. However, remember that every time you treat your partner in a way that breaches a basic level of respect, you will damage the connection you have. Plus, it will make it more challenging for your partner to trust you over time (Bonior, 2018).
How To Deal With Broken Trust In A Relationship
Additionally, to build trust with your partner, be prepared to give him or her the benefit of the doubt. For this idea, Bonior gives the example of a patient and his doctor, who he’s been seeing for ten years and who he trusts and respects (2018).
Bonior describes the difference between how the patient feels about the trusted doctor’s opinion and the opinion of a doctor whom the patient has never seen before. While the patient may be prepared to have confidence in the new doctor because of her medical qualifications, it is likely that he will feel a lot more comfortable with the doctor with whom he has developed trust.
It may even be easier for him to hear difficult or surprising medical news from his regular doctor because he will be prepared to give the doctor the benefit of the doubt because of the trust and history they share (Bonior, 2018).
One more way to build trust in a relationship is to express your feelings in a functional, helpful way (Bonior, 2018). An important component of emotional intimacy is being able to talk about one’s feelings without shouting, verbally attacking, or shutting down the conversation (Bonior, 2018).
Therefore, in order to build trust, develop ways of discussing difficult feelings that are collaborative and respectful. To build trust, you need to give him or her the chance to connect with the “real” you—which includes your emotional complexity (Bonior, 2018).
Finally, to build trust with your partner in a marriage or relationship, it is important to consider reciprocity (Bonior, 2018). In other words, be willing to give as well as receive. It is necessary for both partners to feel comfortable with the levels of giving and receiving.
Rebuilding Trust After Cheating, Affairs, and Infidelity How to Rebuild Trust After Cheating
If you have been lied to or hurt, it can take a very long time to learn to trust again (Buckley, n.d.). You might automatically think you should break up with the person who betrayed your trust. However, others may wish to keep a relationship going, believing that their partners’ actions aren’t bad enough to give up on the relationship.
Either way, it’s important to build up trust again after difficult situations, either between you and your partner or you and future partners and friends.
When trust has been broken, such as after cheating, and you are trying to rebuild trust, it may not be wise to cast all your doubts aside in one go (Bonior, 2018). However, if you still hope to rebuild trust, you will need to let some of your doubts go, or suspend them, to give your partner the chance to come through for you (Bonior, 2018). Then, if your partner doesn’t, it is he or she who is disrupting the trust-building.
In any relationship, especially in one that’s been threatened by infidelity, healthy communication plays an important role. Each partner should be able to talk honestly, and if an argument ensues, both people should “fight fair” without drudging up the past (Love is Respect, 2014).
To rebuild trust, keep in mind that your relationship may look different after cheating, affairs, or other infidelities. However, it also is possible to build something new, though both partners need to be willing to build a new relationship together (Love is Respect, 2014).
It is extremely challenging to remain in the present and move toward the future after someone cheats—it can be easier to remain in or worry about the past (Love is Respect, 2014). While the someone who’s been cheated on has the right to feel hurt, angry or sad, if he or she cannot move on from those feelings, it may be a sign that the relationship cannot continue.
It is important, although difficult, to trust yourself. Learning to trust yourself and your own feelings and reassuring yourself that you will be okay moving forward is the key to any healthy relationship (Love is Respect, 2014).
Perhaps the most important aspect of rebuilding trust after a partner has cheated is to communicate openly (Love is Respect, 2014). Talk and truly listen to each other. Both partners should think about what the other needs.
Partners should openly share their needs, and consider whether they are willing to meet those needs. If either party feels that they are not willing or able to meet his or her partner’s needs, the couple may need to seriously reconsider whether continuing the relationship is the right thing to do (Love is Respect, 2014).
However, what if you’re the one who cheated? For example, maybe you cheated on your partner, but you have both agreed to try and make the relationship work. What do you need to do going forward?
To begin with, take responsibility for your actions. Admit to your behavior and assume responsibility for it. Also, have an understanding of how your behavior has affected your partner’s feelings. Reflect on your actions, and think about what made you decide to cheat (Love is Respect, 2014).
Going forward, keep your promises. To show that you can be trusted, follow through with what you say you are going to do. For example, if you say you’re going to call, make sure to actually call.
It’s also important to give your partner space during this time. Your partner may want some time apart to process what happened, and he or she has every right to feel hurt and angry about your cheating (Love is Respect, 2014). Give him or her the space to express these feelings to you.
The process of rebuilding trust takes time; it can’t happen overnight. Still, keep in mind that your partner has no right to treat you abusively. Despite breaking their trust, you still have the right to your own privacy (Love is Respect, 2014).
Self-trust is an important concept, as possessing it enables you to protect your own needs and safety (Tartakovsky, 2018). It allows you to have faith that you will make it through challenging situations and allows you to practice kindness toward yourself rather than pursuing perfection.
Self-trust includes having an awareness of your thoughts and feelings and being able to express them (Tartakovsky, 2018). To gain self-trust, honor your emotions and avoid relying on the opinions of others (Fahkry, 2016). This allows you to develop trust in your own ability to handle whatever arises. Self-trust is acquired by nurturing our deepest thoughts (Fahkry, 2016).
Self-trust also includes living according to your own standards and ethics and knowing when to put your own needs firsts. Having self-trust requires knowing that you can endure mistakes. Self-trust also enables you to pursue what it is that you want.
Avoid people who undermine your self-trust. Often, these people use you, and don’t want you to succeed (Tartakovsky, 2018). Although as children we often cannot control the negative people we have in our lives, as adults, we can certainly consider whether people support us and whether we actually want them in our lives (Tartakovsky, 2018).
Keep promises to yourself. Honor the commitments you make yourself, whether it be pursuing goals you set or following your dreams (Fahkry, 2016). An important part of this is making promises to yourself and keeping them (Tartakovsky, 2018).
One example of such a commitment is creating and sustaining a personal boundary. Or, go to bed earlier, or visit the doctor for a check-up (Tartakovsky, 2018). Building self-trust also includes becoming your own best friend.
Speak kindly to yourself. Everyone has a harsh inner critic, which sometimes takes the voice of a parent or a teacher from your past who made you think you weren’t good enough. However, you can reduce or eliminate the habit of listening to your inner critic. Try being more kind to yourself.
For example, if you make a mistake, you may immediately think, “I’m so stupid!” Instead, try saying to yourself, “That’s okay. It was just a minor error.” Showing yourself compassion when you make a mistake enables you to show a greater understanding of others when they make mistakes (Tartakovsky, 2018).
Self-trust is not about perfection—you must have faith in your own capacity to overcome a slip-up or failure. Self-trust is nurtured through us connecting with our emotional well-being and paying attention to any disturbances we may notice (Fahkry, 2016).
Check in with yourself. Ask yourself, “How am I doing?” Find out what is going on inside yourself rather than simply dismissing an emotional disturbance (Fahkry, 2016).
In other words, be mindful of your inner experiences (Fahkry, 2016). Self-trust develops when we honor our whole selves, regardless of whether or not we approve of certain aspects of ourselves.
Trust-Building Games and Exercises for Group Therapy
Jan Brinn from Michigan State University has compiled a list of suggestions for building trust and creating a safe environment (2014). Trust-building activities (or icebreakers) can be helpful in situations, such as group therapy, where bonding or building relationships is required.
The purpose of these exercises and games is to enable participants to discover similarities and differences between the members of the group and to develop empathy and respect.
Chairs in a Circle
Create a circle of chairs, and ask group members to sit down. Invite one person to stand in the middle and take the chair away, so there is one fewer chair than there are people in the group. Alternatively, the therapist can be a “model” and whose chair has been removed.
The person in the middle will then share something about himself or herself that other group members may relate to. For example, “My name is Jayne and I have been to Japan.”
If other members of the group either agree with the statement or have experienced the same thing, they stand up. Everyone standing (including the person in the middle) tries to find a seat on the remaining chairs.
Whoever is left standing is the new leader, and gets to make a statement. Setting a theme/topic for the statements is a possible variation for this activity.
Put the therapy participants into small groups, and ask them to talk about what they have in common. Encourage them to think of unusual things, as well as the obvious ones. Such as eye color.
Let the group know that they have 15 minutes to come up with as many common facts as they can. The group with the most things in common wins the game.
Tower of Trust
Divide participants into groups and explain that they have 15 minutes to build the tallest tower they can, using materials such as 50 to 100 plastic cups, or 10 to 25 pipe-cleaners.
After 15 minutes, measure each tower. Which one is tallest?
Then, ask each group to explain the process they used to build the tower, the challenges that they faced, and what they learned about working together as a trusting team.
Fear in a Hat
Once a safe and trusting environment has been established, this activity can be used to build empathy.
Provide the group with a hat, pieces of paper, and writing materials. Each member of the group will then record his or her personal fears anonymously on a piece of paper and place them into the hat.
Then, members of the group will draw a piece of paper from the hat and take turns reading them aloud and explaining how they imagine having that fear would feel. After all the fears have been read, discuss how experiencing empathy and having common fears may help teams to build trust.
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