LOVE Involves Trust: Why It’s Time to Deal With Your Trust Issues
You want to LOVE your Life. Hopefully you want to have lots of LOVE in your life and learn how to trust again in new relationships. You want all the LOVE you can have! Love involves trust so let’s jump right into this worthwhile and significant topic! I will first say that I know more than enough people with trust issues who do not know how to trust people. It seems extremely common if not pervasive in our society. So, I will explain the importance of trust and what causes trust issues, as well as how to deal with trust issues and insecurities, below.
The Importance of Trust
Trust is important not just in your personal relationships but also in business. Plenty of businesses have recognized the almighty importance of being trustworthy to their current and potential customers by making mistakes that cost them financially. What consumers willingly choose businesses that are not trustworthy and reliable? Not too many. There are plenty of books and scholarly articles for business leaders on how to be trustworthy and how to have their business entities be viewed as trustworthy to customers. Trust is the foundation for love and relationships of all kinds.
What Is Trust?
Trust is defined generally as a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability or strength of something (synonyms: confidence, belief, faith). In this post I will cover the benefits to being able to trust others as well as the possible negative impact to trusting, the general components of trust, signs that you have trust issues and ways to build your trust muscles. For me, the biggest benefit to being able and willing to trust other people is the gift of LOVE. I LOVE the people in my life. I actually LOVE my life even though some other people are horrified at what I have been through. All that matters is that I LOVE it. There is nothing better than LOVE. Feeling loved and appreciated and showing others that you love and appreciate them. Loving your life! Being trusting, open and vulnerable allows to connect with people on a deep level, which is something that I appreciate because it makes life so much richer for me.
I am, however, guilty of being too trusting. It is my Achilles heel. It is also a choice I have made deliberately after weathering what could only be called an extraordinary betrayal and exploitation. I powerfully decided that I was still going to be trusting. After all, my ability to be trusting was one of the things that I loved about myself prior to the betrayal and exploitation. Why would I give that up because of one bad person or one bad experience? Yes, I will be a lot more judicious about who I trust and to what level, which goes without saying. And yes, I have learned about narcissists, psychopaths, and con artists, which is all very helpful in avoiding people who are not trustworthy. My choice to continue to be trusting is actually therapist approved so woo hoo for me! You don’t have to let one or more betrayals completely ruin your ability to be trusting.
Let’s say that you already know that you have trust issues. It is okay to have trust issues. You are okay just the way that you are right now and the ways that you are not. You want to have full compassion for how you are organized and how you are not organized. You want to love yourself including your imperfections, your issues and your problems. Okay, maybe not love your problems but at least deal with them. The power for you is in understanding that you have trust issues because then you can use that to set up your life to support you instead of triggering your trust issues. If you are not sure if you have trust issues then you can take a look at the list below of signs that you might have trust issues. You could have one or more of the signs and that is only an indicator that you might have trust issues not necessarily that you do.
You can easily live the rest of your life with your trust issues although you might want to be aware that trust issues are reasonably high on the list of reasons why intimate relationships don’t work out. Plenty of people function quite well in life and in relationships with trust issues so it’s not a deal breaker. If you are planning on holding onto your trust issues, which I totally understand and validate by the way, you might want to have some frank conversations with your significant other as to how the two of you can work around and support you with your trust issues. That can absolutely be done, but it would take a partner with empathy and the willingness to do what is necessary assuming it is within reason. Who in life has not either been betrayed, cheated on, lied to or otherwise exploited?
Where Do Trust Issues Come From?
What causes trust issues? It often happens in childhood within the family of origin, or in early intimate relationships or sometimes much later in life. Most people have felt the sting of betrayal, which can even happen in non-sexual friendships. It’s what we do with the feelings of betrayal that matters. These events do not have to leave you scarred for life although that happens often enough. You do not have to be defined by any betrayals or exploitations in life. Your understanding of how you are organized or wired as a person can give you power.
Being the proponent of growth and development that I am, of course my thrown way of dealing with life is “Oh, there’s an issue – YAY – it’s simply an opportunity for growth and development.” That’s just my approach to life, which I am well aware is not the norm. Regardless of whether or not you ever decide to “do the work” on your trust issues, simply understanding that you have them is very powerful. I also happen to believe that once you can own your trust issues and share them with the appropriate friends, family or partners that you can gain even more freedom and power over that issue. I’m not saying that it will change the issue, but you taking ownership of your trust issues will free you up and help those who love you support you in a loving and compassionate way.
Just in case you are new to my blog, my usual disclaimers include that I am not a therapist of any kind nor am I a medical professional of any kind. If you are depressed or suicidal please call 911 and get help immediately or call your local suicide hotline. Nothing in this blog is intended as medical or therapy advice.
Benefits of Being Able to Trust People:
- Allows you to be in relationships with people – easier, faster, better.
- You get more love because you are open to it.
- It’s much easier to make friends.
- It’s much easier to be in life – freedom from worry and the side effects of not being able to trust others.
- Allows you to connect deeply with others.
- It opens doors – in my opinion.
- It’s got to be way easier than not trusting.
- Provides for less anxiety in life.
- Definitely better for your health.
Risks to Being Trusting:
- You might get hurt.
- You might get betrayed or exploited or used.
- You might suffer a financial loss – large or small.
I assert that yes, being trusting has risks. There is no doubt about it. Yet, in my opinion, the risk of possible pain or possible betrayal is worth it because when you win you can get deep love, meaningful friendships, and the joy and happiness that comes from love in any form. The components of what goes into trust are not readily agreed upon at this time. The top contenders include reliability or dependability, integrity, good judgement, sincerity, empathy, and good character. Other components to trust, which are not necessarily less important include communication, benevolence, openness, vulnerability, past and present behaviors, the ability to trust, accountability, and transparency.
As I discussed in my past post about integrity (The Sheer Joy and Magic of Integrity), people simply are not going to trust you if you don’t keep your word. Integrity and keeping your promises have a side benefit of being seen as trustworthy, dependable, and reliable. So, if you want to be trusting I assert that integrity is front and center. There are a lot of variables.
Signs You Have Trust Issues:
- You are viewed as self-righteous, impossible to please or unforgiving.
- You have difficulty making a commitment.
- You view simple human error as a breach of trust. Innocent happenings are given a negative slant.
- Your relationships tend to lack depth (superficial).
- You expect people to let you down.
- You feel lonely, isolated or depressed.
- You are overly cautious or protective.
- You spy or snoop on people.
- You sabotage situations or relationships because of your belief that they will let you down.
- You don’t believe that you deserve happiness.
- You are emotionally closed off or not vulnerable.
- You are overly sensitive or defensive.
- You cheat.
- You have feelings of confusion.
- You constantly test your partner.
- You don’t communicate or shut down.
- You get triggered and you don’t know why.
- You push away the people who love you or care about you.
- You feel out of control.
- You run away from relationships or have short term relationships.
- You won’t let new people into your life.
- You can’t be present or live in the moment.
- You have to be in control.
- You are suspicious or paranoid about being talked about by others, lied to or somehow deceived.
How to Deal with Trust Issues and Insecurities:
- Love yourself. Self-acceptance and self-love, distinct from the narcissistic kind of self-love will help you build the muscle of being trusting.
- Personal Growth– Of course this is on the list! It’s on every list! No, it’s not on every list just almost every list. Knowing yourself and what makes you tick is incredibly powerful if you want to have a happy life. Almost all of my blog posts are about growth and development on some level so there is a lot of material in this blog to help you.
- Be METICULOUS about your integrity. Take keeping your promises seriously. Ask people to help you if needed. Take your integrity to heart. Where is your integrity missing? Do you keep every promise you make or clean it up if you can’t keep your promise? Be intentional with what you say and do.
- Have a plan for your life. Having a plan for your life will help you in many, many ways. Why would you want to live life without a plan? I know that plenty of people do that but I don’t get it. What do you want to have in your life? What would make you happy? Focus on moving your life forward and that will help you build lots of muscles not just the trust muscle.
- Manage yourself and your life. If your life is a mess then get busy. Start making a list and then work off of the list. If you can’t manage yourself or your life it should be no surprise that you have trust issues. You can’t even trust yourself. You can do this. I know that you can. Start at the beginning of my blog and read the posts. Do the work. One day at a time.
- Deal with your problems. There is no time like the present to deal with your problems. Own up to them. There’s no shame in having issues or problems. We all have them. It is just that some people feel like they have to be perfect or have the perfect life. No, you don’t need to have the perfect life. Love the life that you have right now – as it is- and work towards whatever would make you happy. Owning your problems is very powerful. Own them and then get to work on them.
- Lighten up! Life’s too short. The more you can laugh and play the happier you will be. Life is way too hard to be so serious. Lighten up and have fun whenever and wherever you can!
- Deal with your past traumas that are at the core of your trust issues. It is very likely that past traumas or betrayals are at the core of your trust issues. Deal with them. You can definitely heal from past betrayals and traumas so what are you waiting for?
- Open up to friends or family – people who you know love you. Share with friends or family that you are finally owning the fact that you have trust issues – and they will probably laugh! Or hopefully if they are good friends or good family members. Ask them to support you in building your trust muscles. They are probably already very aware that you have trust issues. They may have the same issue.
- Consider the benefits for trusting others. I listed some of the benefits of trusting others above. Are any of those benefits of interest to you? I think it’s a ton of benefits. Rich and rewarding benefits. Consider what your life would look like if you did not have to worry about people being out to get you, betray you or hurt you. It’s both freedom and power.
- Get into therapy if needed. If you can’t build the trust muscle on your own then consider a short course of therapy to get some coaching in this area.
- Take on learning the habits and practices that will give you a happy life. If you simply took on the daily, weekly and monthly practices that I list in this blog, you would eventually start loving yourself more and your life more too. The more you can love yourself and your life the easier it will be to build the muscles of trusting others because you will trust yourself more.
- Live in the NOW with an eye to what you are creating. If you are being present, in the moment, right now, you are not worrying about the past or anything but BEING in the PRESENT moment. The more you can practice being PRESENT, the less you will worry about life. Of course, this is best done when you have a plan for your life and you know what you are creating.
- Life offers plenty of opportunity for trust. Practice. Try it. Fail. Try it again. Don’t give up. You will get there if you persist.
- Choose to be trusting. What if trust was a choice? What if you could simply choose to be trusting? At least when the opportunity presents itself – choose to be trusting.
- Ask people to help you with this. You probably have lots of people in your life who have trust issues. Ask people to help you. Why not? The worst thing that could happen is that they could say no. So, what. Who cares. Stop caring so much about what other people think of you and get busy working on yourself and your life.
I personally can’t image dealing with some of the signs that having trust issues includes like being worried that people are out to get me, always waiting for the other shoe to drop, feeling alone or isolated, believing that I don’t deserve happiness, feeling hurt by every little thing someone does or says (or doesn’t do or say) or constantly getting triggered or defensive. I just cannot imagine living life that way. Many, many people live with those feelings and fears every single day. Life is difficult as we all know. Building your muscles to be able to trust the people in your life will help you get more love and happiness in your life as well as give you more freedom, power and less anxiety.
There is definite power in simply owning that you have trust issues and being able to name that area of your life. You don’t have to fix it or change it although you certainly could. If you wanted to you could make a commitment to working on it. You will be able to build muscles to trust others out of your commitment when you back up the commitment with actions that align with the commitment. Regardless, trust is an important component of living life. Anything you can do to build your ability to trust or even to be trustworthy in life will help you in many ways. I am here to help you along the way. Do you have trust issues? What do you have to say about trust issues? How can I support you in having a life filled with more love, happiness and freedom? How can I support your journey in life?