Once a person has been hurt, there are always significant issues of trust. You’re dealing with someone who had their trust betrayed – someone who’ll be very reluctant to offer their trust again. Many suggest avoiding such people calling them damaged goods. However with kindness and patience, it’s possible to build a loving and trusting relationship that is very meaningful for both of you.
- Lead by Example
Leading by example is a good way to help them regain their trust again. Share some good times with them that don’t require any commitment. Create elements of shared enjoyment that can overcome the bad experiences bit by bit, in incremental steps. Share the love of nature, art, a beautiful landscape or a dramatic sky. Share with smiles and laughter that are always genuine and never contrived. Show them that you are dependable, do as you say, and help them see the good in people again.
2. Be Patient
Be patient and gentle with the person you care for. Understand that they are coming from a place of hurt and may do things you won’t like. When this happens, don’t scare them with shocking actions that are loud or troubling in any way. Rather, be patient, talk it out and eventually, they will be willing to extend a small tendril of trust that you can share until he or she is willing to commit to a more long-term relationship.
3. Allow for Space
You’ve decided to engage in a process that involves healing and recovery, so give them the space they need to heal. Allow them to come to you when they are ready. Listen to your intuition and watch their non verbal communication to evaluate what your next steps should be. Their actions and responsiveness will guide you, so be alert, attentive and perceptive.
4. Ask Questions
Ask for information to understand their needs during this time of recovery. What do they like and dislike? How can you make the relationship easier on them? How can you avoid making the same mistakes that they were hurt by? Talking these things out will give you a better roadmap of where you are and where they are in the healing process.
5. Be Present
Learn how to feel comfortable with silence and to deal with those painful moments that often creep up when bad past experiences resurface in their minds. After an argument or tough moment, most people leave or walk away. Challenge yourself to stay and show them that you are there- through thick and thin.
6. Do Things Together
One way to move into trust from mistrust is to share something constructive together. You can try learning a new sport or other skill, participating in volunteer work, building some furniture or making a garden. Working together to make something new can be just the rewarding building block your relationship needs to grow.
Sometimes the most challenging experiences and relationships that people have can be the most rewarding. Focus on mending a broken heart by fully offering yours, and see how much stronger you can be together. Sharing that strength and the commitment to succeed will allow the relationship to flourish and last for many years to come.
Culled from http://askdearlove.com/how-to-date-someone-who-has-been-hurt-before/