Recently, I finally got the guts to watch the horror movie “The Sixth Sense”. Friends have been recommending this for ages, but I was never courageous enough to watch it. 

It’s not difficult to understand why the movie obtains such a mass appeal even though more than 20 years have passed – an unmatchable horror masterpiece with superb acting from Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osment, a rattling good story and an A-bomb ending (trust me you can never see the ending coming). 

But what makes me in love with the movie is the important life lesson that it contains. A lesson that is crucial to building any worthwhile relationship. 

And it is this: 

People need to trust you before they can open up to you.

Cole can see ghosts, but he was scared to tell anyone about it, even his own mother because he didn’t think anyone would believe him. This left him to live in fear.

When Dr.Malcolm learned of this boy who suffered from severe anxiety, he didn’t rush into the treatment. As an experienced psychologist, he knew the child must trust him before he can confide in him the secret. So the doctor worked on it slowly. He showed up every day, trying to become a friend of Cole and helping him with his problems at school. Malcolm’s patience finally paid back. Cole told Malcolm the secret he never told anyone. 

A common mistake people tend to make as they work on improving their communication skills is to try to learn as much about someone they just met. They ask a whole bunch of questions about their family, personal life, etc., thinking it a wise move to do so. But showing “lots of love” in this way only leaves the other person annoyed and intimidated.

So here’s a wakeup call for amateur communicators out there who habitually interrogate others on the first encounter. They shouldn’t rush into acquiring information from strangers but should work to build their trust first.

Trust comes before anything in all kinds of relationship. When people trust you, they can share with you even their deepest secrets.

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