Trust: The Foundation of Strong Friendships

Trust: The Foundation of Strong Friendships


Friendships are important to everyone. They make us happy, provide support, and give us someone to share our thoughts and feelings with. For people with developmental disabilities, having strong friendships can be even more crucial. One of the key ingredients to building and maintaining these friendships is trust. This article will explain what trust is, why it is important, and how you can build trust to create stronger friendships.

What is Trust?

Trust means believing that someone will be kind to you, keep your secrets, and be there when you need them. It’s like having a safety net that makes you feel secure. When you trust someone, you know that they will not hurt you on purpose. Trust helps you feel safe and comfortable with your friends.

Why is Trust Important in Friendships?

  1. Safety and Security: Trust makes you feel safe. When you trust your friends, you know that they will support you and keep you safe from harm.
  2. Honesty: Trusting friendships are honest. You can share your true feelings and thoughts without being afraid that your friend will make fun of you or tell others.
  3. Support: A trusted friend is there for you when you need help. Whether you are happy or sad, your friend will be by your side, offering support.
  4. Confidence: Trust gives you the confidence to be yourself. You don’t have to pretend to be someone else around trusted friends.
  5. Respect: Trust involves mutual respect. You respect your friends, and they respect you.

How to Build Trust in Friendships

Building trust takes time and effort. Here are some simple steps to help you build trust with your friends:

  1. Be Honest: Always tell the truth. If you make a mistake, admit it. Your friends will appreciate your honesty.
  2. Keep Promises: If you promise to do something, make sure you do it. Keeping promises shows that you are reliable and can be trusted.
  3. Listen: Pay attention when your friend is talking. Show that you care about their feelings and thoughts.
  4. Be Kind: Treat your friends with kindness. Small acts of kindness can go a long way in building trust.
  5. Respect Privacy: If your friend shares a secret with you, keep it to yourself. Respecting their privacy shows that you are trustworthy.
  6. Be Supportive: Be there for your friends during good times and bad. Support them when they need help or are feeling down.
  7. Communicate: Talk openly with your friends. If something is bothering you, share it with them in a kind way.

How Trust Makes Friendships Stronger

  1. Better Communication: When there is trust, friends communicate better. They can talk about their feelings openly and honestly without fear of judgment.
  2. Deeper Connection: Trust helps create a deeper emotional connection. You feel closer to your friends because you know they understand and support you.
  3. Conflict Resolution: Trust helps friends resolve conflicts easily. When you trust each other, it’s easier to forgive and move on from disagreements.
  4. Long-lasting Friendships: Trust makes friendships last longer. Friends who trust each other are more likely to stay friends for a long time.

Activities to Build Trust

Engaging in activities together can help build trust. Here are some fun and simple activities you can try with your friends:

  1. Team Sports: Playing team sports like basketball or soccer can help build trust. You learn to rely on each other and work together.
  2. Group Projects: Working on a group project, like a school assignment or a community service task, can strengthen trust. Everyone has a role, and completing the task requires mutual trust.
  3. Trust Games: Play trust-building games like the “trust fall,” where one person falls back and their friend catches them. These games are designed to build trust in a fun way.
  4. Sharing Stories: Take turns sharing stories about your lives. This helps build trust by allowing you to understand each other better.
  5. Outdoor Activities: Go for a hike, picnic, or camping trip. These activities require cooperation and build trust as you navigate and solve problems together.

Dealing with Broken Trust

Sometimes trust can be broken. Maybe a friend told a secret you asked them to keep, or they didn’t show up when you needed them. Here’s how you can deal with it:

  1. Talk About It: Have a calm and honest conversation with your friend about what happened. Let them know how you feel and why you feel that way.
  2. Listen: Give your friend a chance to explain their side of the story. Listening is just as important as talking.
  3. Forgive: If your friend is sorry and wants to make things right, try to forgive them. Everyone makes mistakes, and forgiving can help rebuild trust.
  4. Take Time: Sometimes, it takes time to rebuild trust. Be patient and give it time if needed.
  5. Set Boundaries: If trust is broken, set new boundaries to protect yourself. Let your friend know what you need to feel safe and secure in the friendship.


Trust is the foundation of strong friendships. It makes you feel safe, supported, and understood. Building trust takes time, but it’s worth the effort. Be honest, keep your promises, listen, and be kind to your friends. Engage in activities that build trust, and don’t be afraid to talk about your feelings if trust is broken. With trust, your friendships will become stronger, happier, and more fulfilling. Remember, everyone deserves friends they can trust, including you.