4 Minutes Read

Article 1 in a 4-Part Series

When you were a child, how did someone you never met become your best friend?

In young adulthood through college, how did your friendships develop?

As an adult, how have you developed relationships with your neighbors and co-workers?

When you reflect, I imagine you invested time, energy, and attention into that person, and they did the same with you.

That investment in one another is how we find out who we like and more importantly, who we trust.

We call that “Having T.E.A.” with one another.
Sharing Time, Energy & Attention together.

It is something we do every day. It’s part of being human. To survive, we must develop relationships with others.
It’s hard-wired into us as one of the ways we stay safe in the world, and it’s how we develop communities where we can thrive.

Let’s take a minute and look at why having T.E.A. builds trust relationships.

When we discuss the concept of “TEA” (Time, Energy, and Attention) in the context of building trust in relationships, we’re tapping into some fundamental aspects of human interaction and psychology.

This acronym beautifully encapsulates the key ingredients that foster deep, meaningful connections between people.

Let’s break down why each component is crucial in building trust and how they collectively contribute to strengthening relationships.



Actively engaging in developing a relationship with your time and energy shows that you are not just physically present, you’re also emotionally and mentally invested, which is crucial for building trust.


This level of acknowledgment is essential for trust, as it creates a safe space for vulnerability.

The Synergy of T.E.A. in Building Trust

When Time, Energy, and Attention are combined, they create a potent formula for building trust.

Trust grows in environments where people feel valued, respected, and understood.

By dedicating your time, investing your energy, and giving your attention to someone, you are laying the groundwork for a strong, trust-based relationship.

These actions demonstrate your commitment to the relationship, your interest in the other person’s well-being, and your desire to understand and support them.

Moreover, these elements feed into the psychological needs for belonging, esteem, and validation, which is crucial for forming deep emotional connections.

When people feel genuinely cared for and valued, they are more likely to reciprocate, creating a positive feedback loop that further cements the trust and bond between them.

In essence, “having T.E.A.” with someone is about more than just spending time together; it’s about intentionally creating a space where meaningful interactions can occur, leading to the development of trust and the deepening of relationships.

Think of someone you haven’t spoken with for a while and whom you miss. I invite you to reach out and ask this person to T.E.A. by sharing this acronym of Time, Energy, and Attention to let them know you care.

Prioritize connecting with this person, then put all distractions aside to check how they are doing. This kind of nourishing connection is the action that shows your friend they are a priority in your life.

If you’d like to see how this process is beneficial beyond personal relationships,
check out the second article in this four-part series.

You’ll learn how T.E.A. can also be applied to professional interactions, where trust and rapport are equally vital for success.

Marla Mattenson in collaboration with ESI team
Founder & Creator of Ethical Sales Institute
With a 25+ year career, Mattenson is a trailblazer in transforming sales paradigms from transactional to relational for professionals who prioritize the integrity & fulfillment of their services. She is a champion of consent-based sales.


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