If your trust has been shattered once or many times and you have learnt to never trust anyone again, you are missing something very big in life
It’s like, you feel safe at home so you stay at home all the time but you are missing out on witnessing the beauty of the amazing world outside the home.
Same is with people who are keeping themselves safe by choosing to not trust anyone again.
Missing the trusting ability in our lives is like missing the fragrance from a flower.
What you are missing?
- You are missing beautiful and fulfilling friendships or companionships.
- You are missing the joy of sharing happiness and sorrows.
- You are missing the feeling of belonging.
- You are missing the feeling of being understood.
Let us understand what exactly happened when you really learnt how to NOT trust.
So here are a probable couple of situations which could have caused you to lose trust in people:
1. You shared something very important and intimate with someone and expected it to be confidential and you discovered that confidentiality was violated. You start to distrust people and stop sharing your deep inner feelings or confidential information in order to protect yourself.
2. You observed someone talking bad about someone else behind their back. You start to assume that this person could do the same behind your back too.
3. Someone started acting differently suddenly without telling you the reason behind it. You start to feel confused about their changed behaviour. With no information or sometimes half information due to non-communication, you start to assume the possible reasons and mostly they are wrong assumptions.
4. Someone lies to you on your face or you get to know about their lie and upon confrontation, they don’t accept it.
5. Someone pretends to be your friend and they don’t show up when you really need them. It makes you feel that the behaviour of that person which showed you that this person is reliable is not true. And after the moment of need, that person comes up to justify the reasons for not showing up.
6.When you see someone not keeping their word. No amount of justification can make you trust a person who never keeps their words.
7. When you observe a person in and out of touch in phases. You don’t trust that the person may disappear again.
8. When a person does not own up to their mistakes and only defends themselves with justifications.
9. When a person keeps their position higher than their relationship quality. For example, A boss may think that he is the boss and even if he knows sometimes he has made a mistake, he will never accept it. Or, sometimes, parents make mistakes and they don’t apologise or accept that they have made a mistake in front of their children. On the other hand, when you meet a person who owns up to their mistakes despite their position of authority, you trust the person despite having no personal relationship.
When you think about any of the above situations, which could have made you not trust people again, and really go deep inside the feeling, what exactly did you feel at first right after you experienced the trust break?
After the shock, the first feeling is the feeling of regret that you feel for trusting that person or expecting something from that person.
What exactly is regret?
Regret is actually the feeling of failure of your own ability to make a decision to trust someone.
So while you are thinking that due to your certain experiences, you have stopped trusting people, you have actually stopped trusting your own ability to trust people.
So instead of putting certain conditions of expectations from other people in future for them to prove themselves and based on which you will try to consider opening your heart(Which never happens), try to invest your time and attention on building your lost ability to trust yourself again.
For example, if you have started to distrust people because you found that someone you trusted has been found talking bad behind your back and showed a loyal friend image on your face- Ask yourself this question-
If I feel betrayed by someone for talking bad behind my back, have I ever done the same thing with someone in my life? Or maybe enjoyed listening to it without objecting?
If you realize that you have done this too, do not start to first give reasons to yourself or start to judge yourself harshly. Understand that this is something in you that you need to change in yourself for your own growth and owning your mistake will only make you more humble and a better person.
Do not feel shame or regret sharing it with someone you trust. It is possible you may find that you have no one to trust but sharing this with someone you consider close will help you gain trust in their eyes and more importantly, your own eyes. Remember, You give what you have. So if you have self-trust, you will be able to trust others.
When you are learning how to trust again, it’s not for others, it’s for yourself. When you trust yourself, others start trusting you. And then they observe you and learn from you.
Sometimes, people learn this non-trusting behaviour from their environment. They observe everyone talking bad behind their back and being nice on the face. They feel that this is how things work here or this the part of their culture or why do I need to do anything differently?
When I shifted new in my area, I started to get to know my neighbourhood. At first, I realized one neighbour was talking bad about another neighbour and showed nice behaviour on their face. I formed an opinion about that neighbour that maybe these two neighbours don’t get along. Then I got to know the other neighbour and observed the same behaviour. Slowly as I got to know more people in my neighbourhood and understood that this is their culture and most people here behaved in the same manner. On understanding this, I decided not to ever start behaving as they did. It’s not okay for me to do something wrong if many others are doing it just to fit in or feel accepted. If someone has leaked my secret, I will not leak their secret because that defines who I am. If someone has leaked my secret, it defines who they are.
Becoming someone worthy of someone’s trust is much more meaningful than finding someone trustworthy.
How does it feel when people trust you?
It brings a feeling of self-love and esteem. You feel good about yourself. We should always do things which nourish our self-love, self-esteem and self-respect. The focus and attention have to be brought to our inner self. We cannot choose to behave like others. Because we are not them. We can always get inspired by others to inculcate certain good qualities from them. But doing wrong things just to fit in or to impress someone else is something which can damage your mental health in a long run. You will only feel regret later.
There is a possibility you may get an answer that you have never betrayed anyone’s trust ever still you have met people who have betrayed your trust. In this case, you need to introspect and see if this is a pattern. If you find it a pattern then probably your lesson is to wait and find a trustworthy person. You cannot trust anyone whose basic nature is deceit. You need to spend a long time with a person to observe his/her behaviour with yourself and others in many different situations to be able to give him a special place in your life to be able to share your confidential information.
There are many therapies which can help you break the cycle of distrust and help you trust yourself and build quality relationships in your life, more important, a quality relationship with yourself. You can find a trusted therapist to work with him/ her and enjoy more free life.