What is trust? Trust is that feeling you can rely on other people to be honest, fair, and respectful. Issues arise when the trust you have placed in others gets destroyed. You may have taken the risk of trusting another person but it has gone badly. You feel hurt, betrayed, and scared to trust again.
Trust is about believing that other people will behave as you expect. And, that they will act in an appropriate way. Trust comes into play in relationships between individuals. Social trust also applies to everyone as part of larger groups.
Social systems in any civil society revolve around trust. Trust is necessary for all kinds of human relationships and we are all social actors. All interactions with other people involve a level of trust, especially with your friends, family, and colleagues. A part of being a human being, it’s no wonder people have trust issues from time to time.
How you trust other people depends a lot on your experiences throughout life – from the time you’re in the womb even. The environment you’re raised in plays a big part in how you trust other people. Being raised in a mistrustful environment can result in a lack of trust later in life.
The choices and decisions you make as you grow into an adult also impact on your ability to trust. Traumatic events also affect our ability to trust. We make calls about whether to trust other people every day. Also in all kinds of situation. With any betrayal of trust, associated trust issues can come to the fore.
Trust issues are actually forms of defense mechanisms, but not necessarily healthy ones. People may create ways to avoid the risk of possible disappointment. Especially when they start to expect that they cannot ever trust other people. This can result in self-sabotage. They project what has happened in their past onto what may happen in the future. It becomes like a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Do you think you may have trust issues? Here are three signs that your levels of trust may have suffered:
Certain personality types may have trust issues. They are also found in mental health conditions and more serious illnesses. These can include depression, posttraumatic stress, adjustment disorders, and personality disorders. A health professional can diagnose these in consultation with individuals.
Building trust in relationships can be hard work at the best of times. Even more so if you have experience betrayals of your trust in the past. Feelings of mistrust can run deep. It does take time and commitment. Reflect on your past. Think about how it may impact how you feel. Accept other people for who they are rather than what you are afraid they will be.
People often think the betrayal of infidelity affects only the partners involved. Yet the mistrust and hurt from infidelity can affect us in all kinds of relationships. If we were aware as children of infidelity between parents or other adults it may affect our trust later. We can have difficulty trusting ourselves, and others, if we have been the cheater or cheated. Or, if we know our current partner has been unfaithful in prior relationships.
Overcoming trust issues is hard, but three ways to address trust issues after infidelity include:
Trust is at the core of just about any type of relationship we have in life. Learning to manage how you place trust in yourself and others is a fundamental part of being a human being. If you think you have developed some trust issues over your journey through life, take the time to reflect on how you can let them go and learn to become trusting again.
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