So here we are asking everyone to go out and be social, have new experiences, meet new people, and just get out there in the community.
Yet so many people have a difficult time with thoughts of “I do not trust anyone".
I have been let down so many times by people that I do not even want to make friends. Dogs are my best friend, I do not need humans”.
Do any of these sound familiar?
Without trust, there cannot be healthy relationships, but I am sure each of us can bring to mind a time when we trusted someone and our trust was broken. It really hurts and we wonder whether we can ever trust someone again or if our trust can ever be rebuilt. As children, we learn about trust when we have a best friend that we tell a secret to and then we find out that other people in the class know your secret too. Or a parent who did not follow through on something that they said they would do and if they consistently do it, we learn over time not to trust that person. Let’s face it, trust is a survival mechanism, so on the one hand we need to protect ourselves, but on the other hand, if we do not trust others then we cannot survive.
Trusting others happens over a period of time. As our relationship grows with that person we tell them a little bit about ourselves and we see what that person does with the information and how they react. If they respond how we want them to, then we provide them with a little bit more information which helps us to build trust in them. Remember building trust is a slow process, so do not expect too much too soon.
How we turn up in our relationships is also important. We need to honor our own words which involve us keeping to our commitments and not overextending ourselves where we cannot follow through. How many times have you said that you will do something and then not be able to follow through because of prior commitments?
Believe it or not, this is how trust is broken, so if you believe you are not able to do something just say “no”. At least that way we are not breaking any promises.
Mean what you say and say what you mean. Always be honest with how you are feeling, share your emotions and do not hide from being your authentic self. People are not going to trust you if you are one person in one situation and another type of person in other situations. Doing what you believe is right is also important in building trust because believe it or not, people that tend to people please are not following their own beliefs and values and others can sense that. Sometimes we have to disagree with people, but this also goes towards building trust.
I have had so many people come to me and say “I do not trust anyone and I am not going to trust anyone ever again”. I ask them to look at the person who hurt them together with how they showed up in the relationship. Did that other person have red flags at the beginning of the relationship that indicated that they were not to be trusted? Was the other person not able to have healthy relationships, or did we trust too soon? Did we tell the other person too much about ourselves and then become upset when they did not respond in a way we wanted them to?
Do not punish other people for the mistake of one person. Allow yourself to be vulnerable, be open with your heart and learn to build trust with those people around you.