Learning to trust

Trust is such a difficult and complex thing. For many people they wouldn’t question trusting someone and they would be able to take things at face value. But imagine if your trust has been broken. If it has been shattered in a way you never thought possible. Would you then be able to easily take things at face value again???

Relationships are complex and they are fragile. At the heart of any relationship is trust. It is fundamental and it is the primary foundation. Without it people are likely to feel unsafe, insecure, on edge, run down, at times low and even depressed. A lack of trust can leave people feeling anxious, questioning anything and everything. Reading into things that maybe don’t mean what they think they do. It can hugely impact a persons identity and it can leave them feeling very isolated.

Trust applies to all kinds of relationships. To the one we have with our parents, our siblings, our friends, our partners etc. To anyone we allow ourselves to get close to – and to anyone we share who we truly are with.

Trust can be broken in so many ways – for children they depend and rely on their parents – and parental figures. To guide them, to love them, keep them safe and to enable them to feel secure. Children look to the adults in their life to help them to build trust. They are totally dependent on the adults around them for everything. They trust those that look after them and they look to them for security and guidance. Imagine if trust is broken for a child by a parent or parental figure. If this happens then their foundation is completely rocked and they are left feeling unsafe in the world. Wondering who they can turn to and who they can actually trust and rely on. Their are huge implications for this as they grow up and develop future relationships.

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Families are fundamental to our lives and they form a huge part of our foundations. Ironically it is often family members that can let people down. Distance can form between siblings, extended family members can cause divisions in the family, ripples can happen , disputes can occur. And when they do it can shake people to the core. Family is something that people want to be able to rely on. Its something that indiviudals want to have in their life in a positive way. And while it can be for some – this isn’t always the case. And when it isn’t it can leave indivudals feeling insecure, unsafe and mistrusting of others around them.

The same can happen in friendships. The family people choose for themselves. It is often said that there is no greater betrayal then a best friend. Someone who you confide in all the time. Someone you turn to on a regular basis. If that person – that has always been there and shared everything, suddenly lets you down in a huge way or betrays your trust. Then you are left in a position of questioning all friendships, wondering if you can feel safe or get close to anyone. Feeling anxious and insecure, imagining in the end that all friendships will end anyhow. And sometimes pushing people away so much that this is created. Friendship can be so beautiful. It can be the one thing that pulls people through the hardest times in their life. But if its broken in some way it can be so hard to re build or to trust again.

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And then there is trust when it comes to partners. One of the hardest things in the world is fully trusting the person you are in a relationship with. Especially if that trust has been misused or broken in the past. It is not easy at all to give yourself to someone fully. It is hard to open up, to share who you are and to let someone in. And when you did trust really needs to be there. To be able to feel safe in the relationship being able to trust is key. If people have ever let you down – for example been unfaithful, lied , kept secrets, turned out to be someone their not or not been there for you. It then becomes so hard to trust someone else and to not feel anxious or worried that they will do the same thing to you.

These are just a few examples of how fragile trust can be and of how hard it can be to fully trust when life hasn’t shown you how too.

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The really important thing is learning how to trust again. How to let someone else in to your life and begin to feel safe and secure. This is not easy at all. But if you want too and you want to begin to move forward. Then it is possible to heal past wounds. And it is possible to start to have a different way of relating. And to learn that not everyone will treat you the same way. That not everyone will let you down or betray you. And that somewhere along the line other people can show you a different way of relating. One that does have a foundation of trust and one that can enable you to feel safe. Here are some of the ways to try and do this –

  • Openly communicate with those around you
  • Share your feelings with the person you are trying to trust
  • Express when you feel hurt or vulnerable
  • Talk about your insecurities
  • Practice good self care
  • Make some quality time for yourself
  • Think carefully about what you need to feel safe
  • Go for counselling if you find you cant get past things
  • Keep a journal for your thoughts, feelings and insecurities
  • Practice mindfulness when you can
  • Remind yourself that you deserve to be happy
  • Choose some positive mantras for each day
  • Remember that not everyone is the same
  • Remind yourself that when someone broke your trust it wasn’t your fault
  • Work on your own self esteem and self worth
  • Know that real trust takes time – don’t try and rush it
  • Trust yourself – and know that whatever happens in life – you will be ok.

None of the above is easy or said lightly. Putting all of this in to practice takes work and dedication. But once you start making these positive changes – you will see a real difference. Above all – remember how unique and amazing you truly are.