“Trust Takes Years To Build, Seconds To Break And Forever To Repair” – Dhar Mann.
Trust is fundamental to building not only romantic relationships but also friendships and strong family bonds.
Many quotes prove that trust is everything, but how do you start trusting someone new when you are getting ready for another betrayal at the back of your mind?
This phenomenon is known as having trust issues. In this blog post, you will find out what it means to have trust issues, the common signs of having a lack of trust, how to deal with trust issues, and rebuild your ability to believe people.
What does it mean to have “trust issues”?
A person with trust issues has trouble believing others because of anticipating betrayal, rejection, and humiliation. Having trust issues means you have been hurt in the past and are struggling to trust your partner, friends, or family members due to fear of being taken advantage of or manipulated again.
Most of the time, trust issues stem from childhood trauma, for instance, when a dad cheated on your mom, or a friend neglected you and started hanging out with other kids. However, a person can experience disloyalty, abandonment, or manipulation in adulthood, significantly affecting their future life decisions.
So, at this point, you are probably asking yourself – “Do I have trust issues?“
12 Sings of Trust Issues And Do You Have Them?
1. Do you trust people who take advantage of you?
Surprisingly, a prevalent sign that you have trust issues is believing people who are most likely to take advantage of you.
A retired psychotherapist and MCC Mike Bundrant explains that if you have negative emotions, including humiliation and rejection that you are unable to eliminate, they become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
This means that unconsciously you trust people that you shouldn’t trust to confirm how dishonest they are. It happens because you have unresolved negative emotions and, as a result, start creating the situations you fear the most.
In simple words, humiliation demands humiliation.
We will come back to this later on in the article when discussing how to get rid of trust issues forever.
2. But question if you can trust a loved one?
Should be another way around, shouldn’t it? NYC-based relationship expert and love coach Susan Winter tells Elite Daily that “People with trust issues don’t believe that good thing can happen for them, especially in love. Their understanding of romance is that it’s fraught with unpredictability and dishonesty.”
A person with trust issues doesn’t necessarily spy on their partner but, instead, has a hard time believing that someone wants to love them and be in their life.
3. Do you speculate disloyalty from your partner?
It is a very common sign of having trust issues. You suspect that your partner has betrayed your trust without any evidence of betrayal. Although it is normal to lack trust with a person who mistreated you in the past, many people have trust issues with the nicest guy or girl they have met.
MCC Mike Bundrant explains in PsychCentral that we project our trust issues from past experiences into the present relationship. We will talk about trust issues for no reason later on in this post, so stay tuned!
4. Do you keep distance in a relationship?
You keep your relationship shallow. However, deep down, you are a very feeling person willing to open up.
You shield your true inner self with empty conversations and always redirect open talk to a discussion about something external.
5. Do you keep thoughts and worries to yourself?
At the end of the day, it takes trust to share your worries, thoughts, and feelings with a loved one, doesn’t it? Trust issues act as a defense mechanism warning you that another person can use this information against you in the future.
6. Do you anticipate betrayal at any time?
Being cheated on or treated like a teenage dirtbag at school, being yelling by your parents for no reason, or even binging on melodramas can make you doubt love.
All these previous experiences (not necessarily romantic) can make you feel that a new relationship will not work out. So, you are mentally getting ready for another heartbreak.
7. Do you test your partner and your relationship?
That is a very common practice among ladies (not saying that guys are not guilty of it too). And it does not necessarily come down to actual tests. You might be talking to your partner and asking them “What would you do if…” sort of questions.
It might sound like a playful thing to do at first, but when it consumes your daily conversations, it will drive anyone mad.
Asking your friend to flirt with your partner and see how he reacts alerts that you have trust issues. Putting a relationship to the test leads to a breakup.
8. Do you check your partner’s phone?
We all overlook what our partner is texting to a friend or a coworker from time to time. However, checking their phone obsessively to find something suspicious isn’t healthy, especially when your partner has never mistreated you.
9. Do you get upset when their replies are not instant?
For a person with trust issues, delayed replies lead to all sorts of conclusions. Who is he/she talking to? What is he/she doing? Maybe out somewhere drinking and flirting? A person with trust issues is obsessively searching for the signs of possible betrayal.
10. Do you prohibit texting with the opposite sex?
There is nothing wrong when your significant other chats with an opposite-sex coworker, but you will be very suspicious if you have trust issues.
However, asking them to stop texting won’t fix the problem. You will find other ways to accuse them of flirting.
11. Do you monitor your partner’s every step?
A loving and caring person expects their partner to let them know who they are out and about with. However, if you demand to report every single step + what were they talking about with others, that is a clear indication of the lack of trust.
12. Do you hate when they are out without you?
Every couple has some time apart, and it is normal. However, Christmas parties, family time, or Friday drinks will make a person with trust issues worried. You will assume the absolute worst of your partner and will look for justifications for your thoughts.
If you answered ‘Yes’ to any of these questions, then you have trouble trusting others. Let’s find out what causes trust issues in the first place.
What causes trust issues?
Mostly childhood traumas, but also negative past experiences in adulthood, cause trust issues. Here are several causes of trust issues:
- Loss of loved ones
Unfortunate life events like theft or damage to personal property, being cheated on or left for another person, being physically violated (rape or assault) can forever destroy the ability to trust others.
Why do I have trust issues for no reason?
You picked up the original fear of being betrayed, abandoned, or manipulated in the past, most likely, in childhood, when you had a similar experience (that you may have repressed). Therefore, trust issues emerge as a natural defense mechanism.
Your partner isn’t the cause for the lack of trust, you can ask them to stop talking to the opposite sex, but you will still find a way to be suspicious no matter if they didn’t do anything. That is because the insecurity is inside of you, and you are waiting to be hurt.
How do we first develop trust?
Developmental psychologist Erik Erikson established a psychosocial development theory where he discussed that in the first 18 months of infancy, a baby learns to trust those caring for him and fulfilling his basic needs for food, shelter, comfort, and love.
Researcher Danielle Kassow at Thrive By Five Washington says that when caregivers respond to babies’ cries, body movements, coos, or even words quickly with attention and affection all the time, those babies feel secure and learn to trust people around them.
So, the parent-child relationship is the first social bond, and it is building a foundation of trust for relationships later in life.
Can trust be rebuild and how to do it?
Rebuilding trust is, without any doubt, a challenging yet rewarding process. Whether your spouse cheated on you or your friend gossiped about you behind your back, it isn’t easy to trust them again. However, the desire to understand each other and rebuild a marriage or friendship results in a stronger bond.
Here is how to rebuild trust:
1. Take responsibility when you make mistakes;
2. Regain a sense of control;
3. Don’t humiliate your partner (avoid revenge);
4. Communicate your complaints without criticism;
5. Don’t talk about betrayal 24/7.
According to psychologist Joshua Coleman, it is vital to understand whether you can forgive your partner and assess if they are genuinely willing to change. Also, don’t be embarrassed to seek professional help.
How to deal with trust issues?
MCC Mike Bundrant points out that to overcome trust issues, you have to perceive them as self-sabotaging rather than self-protective. To deal with trust issues, you need to identify the insecurity within yourself first. So, getting rid of chronic negative feelings involves transforming the original feeling.
It might be a feeling of guilt, anger, rejection, or shame. Once you identify why you have trust issues in the first place, you can begin to deal with them.
Also, you need to understand that this is life and you will get hurt from time to time.
So, here is how to deal with trust issues:
1. Take the risk and be willing to trust;
2. Understand how trust works;
3. Open up to your partner;
4. Confront your insecurities and take calculated risks;
5. Find a trusted partner (a counselor or coach).
Sadly, in today’s world, the number of people with trust issues is on the rise due to various childhood traumas and negative experiences in adulthood. Trust is everything in all aspects of life: marriage, friendships, family, and work environment, so getting rid of trust issues ensures a happy and fulfilling life.
Although rebuilding trust is hard, it is totally doable. You just need to understand why you have trust issues in the first place, then figure out how does trust works, and, finally, not be afraid to take risks!