Why Is It Hard for Some People to Trust and How to Trust Again

Trust no one. This seemingly beneficial virtue for a happy life can be a bit counterproductive, making issues where there didn’t need to be one. A lack of trust can lead to a multitude of issues, including the inability to maintain relationships. But if you trust too much, you leave yourself vulnerable; a target for disappointment.

The concept of trust: the firm belief in reliability, truth, ability, or strength of something or someone; is a bit foreign when reclusive secrecy has become the norm. But the fact of the matter is, if we build our walls up too high, we doom ourselves to a fate full of solitude and loneliness.

The concept of trust is developed early on in life, leaving room for developmental issues down the line.

During our infant and toddler stages, we as humans being assessing our emotions and grasp on certain dynamics. Our concept of trust is one of the first to be established. More often than not, trust issues are developed early on in life as a direct effect of an occurrence or lack thereof during childhood.[1]

Children who did not receive consistent attention, nurturing, affection, appropriate discipline, or acceptance during their developing stages are likely to establish issues later on in life; and are likely to struggle with maintaining relationships. This is even more true for children who are exposed to abusive environments, as their view of normalcy in relationships has been permanently skewed.

Trust issues can develop during any stage of life due to a variety of reasons.

Trust issues are not exclusively linked to childhood experiences, they can really develop during any stage of life.[2]

Adolescence is another milestone for trying and developmentally altering experiences. Young teens who are bullied and teased at school or at home may develop a mistrust for their peers, as their self-esteem has been effected which in turn will play a monumental role on that individuals ability to trust.

Traumatic life events during any stage of life including adulthood can seriously hinder the trust spectrum. Occurrences such as theft, illness, or loss of a loved one. This person has been disillusioned, and have to come to terms with new emotions such as loss of control, abandonment, or loss of security. On a more heinous scale, experiences such as sexual assault or rape can leave the victim stripped of the ability to trust.

The most common of trust issues, relationship issues, can develop at anytime.

Now, these can manifest during a normally healthy relationship, stemming from a childhood experience that clearly has not been processed. But more likely than not, everyone goes through “that one” relationship that turns their world upside down and alters the way that they view relationships and themselves indefinitely. Those who have been cheated on are likely to carry the notion into future relationships that no one can be trusted, and if they didn’t answer your text in 5 seconds, then they must be cheating.

And yes, granted, in today’s hook up culture, it’s difficult to give people the benefit of the doubt. With the illusion of variety and adoration generated by social media outlets; the promotion of “side pieces” and “main squeezes”, there’s not much room for the die-hard romantic who wants to achieve a meaningful and monogamous relationship.

This may surprise you, but the cheater in the relationship is typically the one with real trust issues. There are very few reasons why people cheat, and although some of the reasons may be understandable, none are excusable.[3]

But usually people tend to cheat when they’re feeling insecure, like they don’t “have it” anymore, or they have a nagging suspicion that their partner could or is doing better than them. To avoid being the one who gets betrayed, they go ahead and cheat so that they are in control of the situation so to speak.

There is a direct connection between the existence of trust issues and mental health.

Perhaps some of the most tragic trust issues are those that are generated by PTSD, due to some horrifyingly traumatic event. Many adults who have underwent war and all of the experiences that come with it, often carry those experiences with them off of the battleground.

Many of these individuals feel that they did not receive the appropriate support from their government or their peers, after offering the ultimate sacrifice. That horrific experience leaves these heroes riddled with issues, trust being the main contender.

Often times, the presence of trust issues are often couple with a multitude of additional issues. Be it abandonment, humiliation, or a traumatic physical experience, trust issues don’t travel alone. These additional ailments are a good indication as to what has caused the trust issues to begin with.

Although the trust has been lost, you can still gain it back.

Unfortunately, there is no quick fix to this problem. Trust issues are deep seeded, stemmed from an early experience, ingraining itself into your overall development. But it is not the end all. It can be mended.

Therapy – the most direct and effective way.

This should be your first method of attack. I know, I know.

Going to therapy eludes to some kind of stigma, like you’re crazy or something, or can’t handle your life. But the truth is that none of that is true. You’re just a bit damaged, and you may not even be aware as to what has caused the damage. You’re battling the after effects and you deserve a rest.

Speaking to a counselor/therapist/psychologist can be incredibly beneficial, because you end up digging deep and unveiling aspects of yourself and memories that had been suppressed. This is helpful for both the individual as well as the couple, if the trust issues are within the relationship.

Communication – a good relationship takes two.

Just because your previous partner did you wrong doesn’t mean that every person out there is an insatiable, insecure sex fiend.

Talk to them. Tell them how you’re feeling. You might think that you’re coming off as needy and whiny, but those qualities are much more welcoming when you compare them to paranoia, insecurity, accusing, and eventually resentful. Tell your partner how you’re feeling, and why you think that you have these emotions. If they’re willing to work with you and get to a place where you feel more comfortable, they’re a keeper.

If they’re thrown by your concerns, then you need to move on. You’re sliding down a toxic path to nowhere.

Moving On – sometimes letting go is better than holding on.

Sometimes it’s not all in your head. Sometimes you’ve learned from your passed experiences, and although they have left you a bit jaded, they have also left you with a intuitive wisdom. Perhaps your lack of trust has left you cynical, yet observant. Regardless of whether or not your resignations stem from a very real place, you have to weigh your happiness with the satisfaction of being right.

If you’re mind is running a million miles a minute, trying to decipher if your partner is telling you the truth; it’s time to cut it off. It is bound to run its course eventually, otherwise you’re just stuck circling in the motions.

You deserve happiness, and eventually you will find someone who doesn’t make you question every little thing.

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

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