“Relationships” Session 4: Communicating Trust

Read chapter 6 of Keep Your Love On before beginning this lesson.

The Trust Cycle

We were designed to live out of trust. Unfortunately, many people develop patterns of mistrust early on in life due to the negligence of their primary caregivers. Our most basic need is to love and be loved, and it begins at birth. We develop trust when we are able to express this need and have it met by others. This happens in what is called “the trust cycle.”

1. Take some time to think about your childhood. Did your upbringing teach you how to trust or did you learn mistrust—becoming a “survivor”?


Expressing Needs

If you cannot effectively communicate your needs, you cannot expect others to meet them. One of the best tools for expressing your needs to others is the “I message.” The basic structure of the message is: “I feel [emotion] when [describe experience] and I need to feel [emotion.]”

1. How well do you express your needs to others? Do you struggle to communicate them effectively without becoming frustrated?

2. Practice using “I messages” with the members of your small group to get used to the formula.

Notice: the “I message” begins with “I feel,” not with “I think.” Make sure you are expressing your feelings and not just opinions, when constructing your “I messages.”