Building Trust, Part 3

Trust Through Crisis

Everyone’s least favorite way to build trust in a group is a shared experience of crisis, which doesn’t stop it from being highly effective.  The classic case is surviving a natural disaster together. Total strangers grab on to each other in a storm, survive the night, and by morning are friends for life. 

In cohousing crisis tends to be somewhat less dire, but the same principle applies. Circumstances provide the vulnerability. There is little choice but to trust, and yet, the experience of trusting someone who in turn stays with you and offers support, still builds connection. 

One place this happens is during development when the project hits unexpected snags in zoning or budget. The community works together to keep the project alive and to help members who fear they will be priced out. A similar effect can happen with unexpected expensive repairs in older communities.

On a smaller scale when a person has a health crisis and a neighbor takes them to the ER or sits with them during recovery connection often grows.  While this sometimes happens between people who are already fairly close and bonds deepen, it can also happen that the person who is available is not very close to the person needing help and new bonds form.  

Whatever the cause, communities that come together to support one another through challenging times tend to become more connected, more invested, and yes, more trusting of one another.  

Category: Creating Relationships

Tags: Community support, living in cohousing, relationships

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