At some point in your life, it is inevitable that you will meet someone who breaks your trust. Humans are, by our very nature, imperfect and therefore subject to selfishness and mistakes.
However, one of these shortcomings can often color your ability to trust others in the future for fear of another mistake. Pushing people away seems like the only way you won’t have the possibility of getting hurt again. This can often lead to more suspicion because relationships cannot grow without the foundation of trust. So, how do you become more trusting again?
One of the first things you can do for yourself is to practice forgiveness and let go of past situations where you were lied to or betrayed. Obviously, this is easier said than done, but it is essential to move forward despite what has happened in the past. Carrying around your feelings toward the person or people who betrayed you hinders growth and emotional maturity.
Oftentimes, a traumatic or painful situation can cause generalizations to be made about people, or expectations that others will behave in the same way as those that hurt you. However, everyone is different and should have the opportunity to show they are worthy of trust by their individual actions and behaviors.
Practicing meditation can help with acceptance and the realization that everything is temporary. It is possible to move on from the pain and let people into your life again.
Learn to Trust Yourself
Learning to trust your own judgment is also necessary to trust others. It all starts with you and how willing you are to be vulnerable. Oftentimes even this can become a struggle because of a lack of self-esteem. When someone hurts you deeply, it’s not uncommon to place the blame on yourself; you should have seen it coming or you deserved it somehow.
But learning to trust again also involves understanding and accepting the fact that everyone can and will make mistakes. Once you know this to be true, it’s much easier to trust because you can let go of unrealistic expectations.
When you are able to open up to another person, you will feel closer to them and allow for a relationship to develop. Sharing even a small secret can often be enough for trust to be established. As you gradually share more parts of yourself, you’ll be able to see how much you can trust someone. Do they keep your secrets? Do they not gossip about you? Are they loyal? Are they good people? Through the recognition of a person’s good qualities and establishing effective communication, you can begin to let people back in.
Learn to Recognize Trustworthy Qualities
Recognizing trustworthy qualities may seem difficult after a major betrayal, but it is possible to learn how again. Even if you can’t pinpoint why exactly you’re unable to trust, it’s possible to work through it. Therapy is often helpful in a situation where mistrust has led to the development of paranoia, fear, depression, or anxiety. If you recognize these symptoms in yourself or another person, don’t be afraid to get help.
A trained therapist can guide you through the recovery process so you can figure out where your trust was compromised. They can also help you reexamine your relationships and establish whether your distrust of people is warranted or not.
Some things to consider might be: have they been honest with you until now; are they emotionally stable; do they have morals and boundaries; are their intentions good and they’re not purposefully trying to hurt you? Reexamining your beliefs can help you see the truth about someone’s trustworthiness and allow you to give them a chance to be trusted.
Every day you trust strangers with your life. You trust the other drivers on the road to drive responsibly. You trust your co-workers, bosses and subordinates to do their jobs. Ultimately, however, you are trusting in the fact that everything will be OK and that you are capable of overcoming anything regardless of what happens. After all, in order to trust others, you must first trust yourself.
You also have to know yourself and be OK with who you are. When it comes down to it, trust is about optimism and choosing to remain optimistic despite a pessimistic world. Although your experiences may have colored your view of other people and the world around you, letting go of the situations in the past that caused the initial mistrust will allow you to open up again and rebuild the trust in your life. Doing so is also a lesson in overcoming fear — fear that the past will repeat itself and that you will get hurt once again.
Trust is about acting in spite of fear and having faith in yourself and the inherent goodness other people. Stay open and open you heart once again.