It’s harder and harder to make friends in the digital age. People are so used to having these small online interactions where they’re making promises they’ll never have to keep and getting into arguments that will have no repercussions. This prevents them from developing the skills necessary for establishing important relationships. One of these skills is building trust.

Some say we’re facing a friendship recession, a worrying matter. Others struggle to find a partner.

Remember that this doesn’t have to be a significant other. It could be a business partner, a friend, a coworker, or a boss. Generally speaking, here are the top ten things that will lose you someone’s trust the fastest.

1.   Breaking promises

No one is forcing you to make a promise. If you don’t think you can do something, admit it up-front. They should understand; if they don’t, it’s on them. However, your word should be your bond; you must stick by it when you tell them you’ll do something.

Sure, people sometimes make promises without knowing what they’re committing to. Sometimes, you don’t know what you vowed to be beyond your capabilities. No one is asking you to be omniscient; just to be more careful when giving verbal promises. Also, you’re not allowed to get away on a technicality. Don’t be vague. When you can’t commit, be open about saying no.

2.   Badmouthing them

People have nothing against you talking about them behind their backs. If talking behind their back is the problem, why are they never offended when someone tells them you sang their praises when you weren’t around?

What hurts the most is not just the fact that you’re talking bad about them; it’s that you think poorly of them. Have you ever been in a situation where you say something bad and no one gets offended, but then you say something that is not so bad in your opinion, and someone gets hurt? People often read the subtext, not just sticking to your words.

3.   Gossiping

Another thing you need to understand is the fact that people are connecting more dots than you give them credit for. If you’re constantly gossiping about others or telling them secrets of others, why do you think they’ll expect you to keep their secrets? It doesn’t make sense, right?

People are thinking about you when you’re not around. They’re also thinking about you when they’re not around. Well, most of them (at least the most intelligent ones) will assume that you talk about them the way you talk about others. So, if you want to impress them, be charitable toward someone you don’t like.

4.   Spy their phone

Don’t get us wrong; sometimes you must learn the truth. It’s better to know that your partner is cheating, even if it causes a massive heartbreak than to commit to someone who doesn’t deserve it. When it comes to this, installing surveillance apps is not the worst thing you can do.

At the same time, you need to ask yourself about the consequences. What if you do all that, only to discover they’re doing nothing wrong? What if they reject everyone’s advances and even defend you when someone tries to badmouth you? What if, after all of this, you’re discovered?

You should generally do this before making a decision in life – think of the consequences!

5.   Lie about your finances

Everyone’s finances are their private matter, but whining about your finances, lying to get out of donating to a charity in the workplace, or hiding money from a partner can be quite bad. Even if you are in full rights to do so, it might erode the trust.

Remember that to increase your income; you’ll have to work more hours or even start a side hustle from home for this task. Can you imagine how they would feel if you lied to them about how much money you’re making off it? They’re your partner, and disclosing some of this information indicates trust if you heavily rely on their support for your work.

6.   Disloyalty

You need to have people’s backs, even if it’s inconvenient or potentially dangerous. You don’t have to expose yourself for the sake of others, but don’t be surprised when they won’t do the same or develop a negative opinion of you.

Just think about why friendships formed under pressure (in times of war, distress, or on the line of duty) are so strong. These people never gave up on one another, even when their life was on the line. Keep in mind that you can have amazing chemistry with someone, but until your relationship gets tested, you won’t really know where you’re standing. Other people sometimes have the same view of you, as well.

7.   No one trusts a people-pleaser

Don’t say nice things just to be nice. Also, remember that being a jerk is not the only alternative to being nice. What’s wrong with keeping your mouth shut when you have nothing positive to say? The bottom line is that you’ll be seen as disingenuous when you’re nice all the time, even when people do not deserve it. For the most part, you will be.

People respect individuals with a backbone more than people pleasers. If you’re always nice, your niceness has no value. If you always tell them that they look good, your compliments have no real weight. Remember that inflation applies to gestures; being too generous will quickly devalue yours.

8.   Manipulation

Sometimes, it’s really easy to get what you want from people. The problem is that these tactics won’t work indefinitely. Every time you convince people to do something they don’t want, they’ll grow more dissatisfied with your relationship. Moreover, other people will pick up on this, as well.

People don’t have to understand how you fooled them. You won’t be able to hide that you’ve gotten your way again (at least not every time), and they won’t necessarily like that. Next time, they’ll be more cautious around you. Not only that, the word spreads.

9.   Public humiliation

There’s time and place for everything; if you disagree with someone, you might want to wait and confront them privately. Even if you’re 100% right, being right is not everything. If you humiliate people in public, they might never forgive you. This is how you make enemies for life.

People are very sensitive when their public image is in question. From personal experience, you know that some people act differently in private. This is not because they are bad people; it is just human nature for everyone to want to carve out their place in society. Don’t jeopardize this, and you’ll avoid making enemies.

10.  Ignoring boundaries

They say that the only people who will be mad at you for having boundaries are people who benefit from your lack of boundaries. You don’t want to be that person to someone. Just remember that different people have different boundaries, and you have no right to call them unfair when it comes to boundaries.

If you can’t work with someone’s boundaries, maybe you’re not destined to be close friends or partners. You have no right to insist they change them, even though they do have the right to change them for you (on their own accord).

Always think about the relationship in the long run

The main reason why people fumble relationships is that they don’t think long-term enough. Sure, you can spread gossip to fill in for a lack of an interesting conversation topic, get out of an obligation, or manipulate to get your way, but this won’t work indefinitely. The problem is that people figure out what you’re doing sooner rather than later, and you can bet they won’t be charitable when they catch up. Remember that relationships take time. So, focus more on the foundation.

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