Trustworthiness is an important quality that can help establish and develop relationships in all areas of your life.
At work, it can contribute to a positive and open working environment.
And in your home life, help create both meaningful friendships and relationships.
Trust is especially crucial if you have a partner, as it’s one of the essential factors of a strong relationship.
So, how can you show you’re trustworthy? And without saying a word, nonetheless?
Here are 12 ways to show you’re trustworthy without saying a word.
1) Make and maintain eye contact
They say our eyes are the windows to our soul. And that’s true, in a sense.
Because when you make and maintain eye contact, it can tell people a few things.
It can show you’re confident for one. Honest, too.
That’s why it’s been said that people often look away when they’re lying.
But another benefit of looking people dead in the eye is that it helps build trust.
So, make sure to lock eyes with people and hold eye contact. Don’t hold that eye contact for too long, though, as it might make the other person uncomfortable!
2) Give a warm and genuine smile
Along with eye contact, a warm and genuine smile helps show you’re trustworthy.
It also gives people a great first impression of you.
Why? Because people who smile seem warm, open and approachable.
It also helps the person on the receiving end feel relaxed around your company. And naturally, this can help establish trust.
Just make sure your smile is genuine, though.
Sincere smiles have a real impact. Studies even show that true smiles make people seem more trustworthy.
How can you tell the difference between a real and a fake smile?
It’s all in the eyes.
People’s eyes tend to crinkle at the sides when their smile is real. They also show a lot less teeth.
3) Give a firm handshake
Believe it or not, a firm handshake is also a factor that helps show off your trustworthiness.
The handshake has to be firm, though. A flimsy or tight handshake won’t do.
A flimsy handshake can seem half-hearted. And a handshake that squeezes your hand to death? That can come across as controlling and aggressive.
A handshake that’s in the middle is the sweet spot.
When giving a handshake, put a little pressure into it. It also helps to match the pressure of the handshake with the other person.
Top that off with eye contact and a genuine smile, and you’re set.
4) Show up on time
It’s all well and good making eye contact, smiling genuinely and giving a firm handshake.
But if you don’t show up on time to a meeting, event or occasion, these efforts may all be for naught.
When you turn up on time, this tells people you’re dependable and take your commitments seriously.
Make sure to leave the house on time. Better yet, leave 5-10 minutes earlier to account for the traffic, delays, etc.
5) Keep your body posture open
Did you know we tend to use body language more than speech to express ourselves?
Over 60% of our communication is non-verbal, so it helps to pay attention to the signals your body gives off.
Using the right body language will help give the right impression and further establish trustworthiness.
That means keeping your posture and body language open.
You can do this by:
- Standing and sitting up straight
- Leaning forward to show you’re engaged and listening
- Facing your body towards the people you’re engaging with
- Leaving your arms and legs uncrossed (crossing your arms and legs makes you seem closed off)
Keeping your body posture open makes you seem approachable, relaxed and friendly. All good traits of a trustworthy person.
6) Be attentive and engaged
Another good use of your body language is showing that you’re attentive and engaged in conversation.
You can do this by putting away your phone, making eye contact, smiling, and using other facial expressions to show you’re listening.
Being attentive and engaged shows you care about what someone has to say. This all helps to build trust.
7) Don’t spill confidential information
If you’re attentive and engaged in conversation, people may also trust you with confidential information.
So, it goes without saying. If someone tells you something in confidence, it’s best not to tell anyone else about it.
Imagine someone told you a secret, let’s say, at work. And you told someone else. Next thing you know, that secret has spread around like wildfire.
Secrets always have a way of getting out, even if you told just one other person about it.
Showing you can keep information confidential will help people see you as trustworthy.
8) Don’t get involved in gossip
Another thing that spreads is gossip.
Now, gossiping is not a nice thing to do in the first place. You’re essentially talking about others’ lives behind their backs.
But if someone gossips about everyone’s business, that’s not someone I would trust with my secrets!
Personally, I believe if someone can freely gossip about other people, particularly their friends, they’d do the same to me once my back is turned.
And this is what others would think if you got involved in it.
The best thing you can do to show you’re trustworthy is to steer clear of gossip.
9) Respect personal space
We all have our comfort zones.
When someone steps into it, it can feel like someone’s invading our space. And when this happens, it makes you feel uncomfortable, right?
So be aware of this and keep a comfortable distance between yourself and others, respecting their space.
Along with this, there are boundaries when it comes to touching too.
For example, someone might not feel comfortable if you’re too touchy-feely. This can be the case if they’re not on familiar terms with you.
But if they pat your back, hug, or engage in other friendly touching, this next point can help.
10) Mirror body language
Mirroring body language can help build a rapport and connection with people. It’s also common with people who are attracted to one another.
Mirroring someone’s actions is usually done subconsciously, but you can also do this to help build trust.
For example, if the person you’re speaking to shifts and sits up, you can do the same.
Or if they brush a strand of hair behind their ear or adjust their shirt, follow suit.
Just make sure not to go overboard and copy every single movement they make. They’d start to notice, and it would probably creep them out!
11) Stick to your commitments
When you commit to do something, try and stick to it.
If you’re the type of person to cancel plans last minute and do so repeatedly without a good reason for it, you may come across as flaky and as someone who can’t be trusted.
And chances are, they won’t ask you to make that commitment again (because they won’t trust you to fulfil it)
So, if you tell your friend you’ll be somewhere at a certain time, be there.
And if you tell your boss you’ll have a project finished by the deadline, aim to get it done by the deadline.
Sticking to your commitments time and time again will help to show you’re trustworthy.
12) Be consistent in your actions
It’s no use doing all the points above once and then abandoning ship.
Building trust takes time. This means you have to be consistent in your actions by doing the same thing over and over again.
Doing this will add up to prove you’re reliable, dependable and trustworthy.
So, show up on time every time. Keep your posture open around others, and don’t let that eye contact slip.
As you can see, there are many ways to show you’re trustworthy without saying a thing.
Everything on this list counts and adds up, especially when you do them consistently, from making eye contact to keeping your posture open.
Keep this list handy to help you build positive working and personal relationships and make a good impression every time.