Communication and Shit

How does one build a relationship that can get you from the altar to the grave (just like you said you would)? Two things: Communication and Shit.

It starts with communication.

As I’ve written in my books, there’s a trust/communication equivalency that’s important to understand: if I trust you completely, you don’t even have to talk to me because I know that you are acting in my best interests at all times.

If I trust you not at all, then I literally won’t hear anything that you say. This works in reverse as well and therefore high fidelity honest communication is the key to building trust.

But that’s not enough. 

In Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai it says: “The extent of someone’s courage or cowardice can not be measured in ordinary times. All is revealed when something happens.” Since courage is the foundation of all virtues, your integrity and trustworthiness can also be measured only when something happens.

So, in order to develop a high trust relationship, you have to go through some shit. In doing so, you have to show yourself to be upstanding and worthy of trust.

Of course, this is a two way street, but leadership matters. If you don’t have the courage to go first, then you’ll probably never build true trust. 

via Ben Horowitz

So much truth. The reason that my wife and I believe we can pull something off like splitting-time between San Francisco and Honolulu is because we have a great culture of communication and we’ve been through some shit. Some serious, serious, serious shit. And we have survived.

But, not every relationship survives: