Trust is tricky. No one likes to be betrayed or let down. Depending on how you were raised or your experiences with other people throughout your life, you may have some trust issues. Maybe you find it very difficult to trust others. It’s even possible you might be too trusting.

Think you might have trust issues? See if any of these signs below ring a bell: 

  1. You push people away from getting close to you.  So, your relationships are shallow (even though you aren’t.)
  2. You assume betrayal is going to happen. You expect others to let you down. So, you tend to avoid any kind of deeper commitment. 
  3. Your biggest concern in relationships is self-preservation. You want to feel protected. So, you feel like you have to have control of what’s going on in a relationship.  
  4. You find it hard to forgive genuine mistakes. They’re seen as evidence that you can’t rely on anyone. 
  5. You grew up in a home that was erratic or unpredictable. 
  6. You trust people too quickly. These are the ones most likely to take advantage of you. You don’t require others to earn your trust. 
  7. You feel lonely, isolated, and like people don’t “get you.” 

Do any of these sound familiar? Well, welcome to the club; you are not alone. 

You see, nobody trusts perfectly. Trust, by its very nature, is a risk. And risks are challenging in relationships. Especially if you’ve been hurt before. 

However, you can work on trust issues. You don’t have to go through life believing you can’t rely on anyone. As a matter of fact, trust is essential to any sincere relationship. When you don’t trust, you’re robbing yourself of human connection and authentic living.

Here are some ways to begin working toward overcoming trust issues in your relationships:

  • Understand all people have both good qualities and shortcomings. In other words, we’re all flawed humans. 
  • Spend some time considering why you trust the way you do. Does it have to do with your upbringing, childhood experiences, or past relationships? Consider visiting a professional counselor to help you wrestle with these questions. 
  • Remember, trust issues aren’t about not having enough trust. It’s about having an appropriate level of trust for a particular relationship. Healthy trust comes from being in a relationship over time and observing the other person. Trust should be based on what you know, not what you assume about a person. 
  • Know that trust isn’t something  you should give blindly. Trust has to be earned. Ask yourself, “What has this person done to show me their trustworthiness?” Look for ways they are trustworthy, and trust what you see. 
  • Do what you can to leave past betrayals behind you. Dwelling on those who wronged you in the past is a roadblock to building healthy trust with the people you know in the present. 

Let me share one more thing to consider. It’s possible that if you have trust issues, it could mean you don’t see yourself as trustworthy. You may project the negative feelings you have about yourself onto others. It’s easier to deal with the thought of everyone else’s trustworthiness than your own. 

Acknowledge whether this is something you might do. Give yourself a break for your shortcomings, and work on what you can to change to become a better version of yourself. 

Trust is a precious commodity in relationships. Maybe the most precious commodity. The internal gauge we use to determine an appropriate level of trust in a relationship can easily damage. But it can also repair. Start slowly on this journey and take it one step at a time. Your connections will become richer and deeper as you seek to build healthy trust. 

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