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Successful Relationship
  from Infants about 

Pamela Levin, R.N., T.S.T.A, 1/18/11

"Who should I trust?" "Who should I not trust?" "When do I switch from one to the other?" "How do I know when to decide?"

These are some of the confusions about trust we often carry as adults. The who, when, how much and even whether to trust ever can seem overwhelming. But for infants, this a no-brainer. What can infants teach us to clear up this confusion?

Why is this confusing for adults but simple and procedural for infants? In a nutshell, it's because as adults we have layers and layers of different experiences covering over our basic trust-building process. And these experiences - many of them painful and perhaps even unresolved and remaining to be healed - often result in our taking on a fixed position about trust.

* "I will never trust no matter what." 

* "I just have to trust everyone, no matter what they do or say, otherwise there's something wrong with me."
* "I should trust people."
* "Trusting others is just plain stupid!"
* "It's inconceivable to me that people just trust naturally."

While these various trust positions are put in place for good reason - to protect the person maintaining them—it is these fixed positions themselves that cause the problem and give rise to all those questions and conflicts about trust.

Infants teach us two simple strategies to address these issues:

1. Remain open and willing to trust or not trust based on one's own intuition in any given relationship.

2. Gather real-time evidence about whether the other person demonstrates trustworthiness or not.

Because infants don't have a fixed position about trust, they are free to assess each situation as it comes up. They take a reading on a person or situation, and in less than a heart beat make up their minds about whether to trust or not. They make no apologies for it. If they don't trust, they put out a wail that can set everybody's teeth on edge until they're sufficiently reassured. And they don't rely on somebody else to decide how much reassurance they need. They just stay upset until they feel sufficient reassurance.

We can translate that into our adult lives by quietly focusing on our trust level in any given situation. In other words, just like infants, we take a trust reading and then let ourselves know what that reading is.

"Hmm, this person seems just fine, but my gut is getting tight and I'm hesitant to trust, so I'm going to listen to that and stay tuned and see what develops."

"This person/ situation is too much like (X situation) in which I got really burned, so even though it might be fine, or fine for somebody else, but I'm not ready to trust yet, so I'm not going to!"

"Sure, I'm willing to trust you - all you have to do is demonstrate to me that you're trustworthy!"

Of course, since we are not infants, we can keep this assessment process to ourselves instead of wailing until sufficiently reassured.

Or, until we trust the other person or the situation enough to share our trust level with them.

Doing so is how we can build successful relationships that are truly supportive and nourishing.


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For resources that help you increase the nourishment and satisfaction in your relationships and your life right away, a great place to start is my free minicourse "Raise EQ: Seven Simple Steps to a Higher EQ" at http://www.raiseeq.com. In a few minutes per lesson, you'll discover which of six primary areas is the right next step for you, the better to save yourself from needless relationship conflicts, headaches and heartaches.

--from Pamela Levin, R.N.,Certified Teaching and Supervising Transactional Analyst, "Better HealthResources for  Body, Mind and Spirit".    Providing health improvement information and services, including Clinical Nutritio and Herbology that nourish body, mind and spirit.

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Pamela Levin is an R.N. and a Teaching and Supervising Transactional Analyst who has been in private practice offering health improvement services for 40 years.

She has over 500 post-graduate hours of training in clinical nutrition, herbology and applied kineseology.

She has published many professional journal and lay audience articles and has an international reputation in the fields of emotional development, emotional intelligence and Transactional Analysis.

For her work in these areas, she was awarded the prestigious Eric Berne Award by members of the International Transactional Analysis Association in 72 countries.

She has lectured and trained both lay and professional audiences all over the world.

Her work is continues to be used  throughout North and South America, The UK, Europe, Asia and Australia.

She has personally researched the key emotional nutrients™ she makes available through this site.

They have consistently been demonstrated to be the core nutrients people need to feed all the six parts of their emotional selves. 

People from all cultures and languages in all parts of the world have used them since she first made them public in 1974 to feed their emotional selves, move from surviving to thriving, release limiting beliefs, improve parenting skills and more.