Can You Ever Trust Again? My Honest Answer

how to trust once again

If you decided to open and read this article, chances are a memory lighted up in your mind. Whether that memory is clear or fuzzy, something within you resonated with the question I made. Can you ever trust again?

When we put this question to ourselves, it usually means our trust was either taken for granted or violated. We felt betrayed and wronged. Perhaps, we can’t even believe or process what shattered our trust in the first place.

My focus here won’t be who or what can lead us to trust issues but the emotional experience of having one’s trust hurt and how we overcome the consequences that seem to come with it: numbness, confusion, anger, and mistrust.

The American Psychological Association (APA) writes that trust is

the degree to which each party feels that they can depend on the other party to do what they say they will do

APA Dictionary of Psychology

And I surely resonate with this definition. Over the past year, I have seen my trust shattered into a million pieces. It’s nothing new, of course; people get disappointed on a daily basis. No human being is immune to life’s hurdles. No one is perfect, and thus someone will eventually not do what they said they would.

However, today I felt like writing about trust. At least, from the perspective of someone who knows she had to make a conscious choice about it at some point. On one hand, I could choose to stay bitter, closed, and suspicious of everyone. In another hand, I could opt for investigating the root cause of past events that triggered the question of trust.

Lacking Trust

It is only natural to have a zero-trust policy after being exhaustively and emotionally abused. You don’t want to have to deal with another situation in which your emotions are used as tools to control and manipulate you. You may even get hypervigilant and be in self-protective mode all the time.

That is not, of course, a happy way to live. It is not even healthy. We crave connection and bonds. It is impossible to have that without allowing yourself to be relaxed and take some pleasure in allowing someone into your world.

So how do you crack this equation, right? It’s a tough one to solve, especially if you have repeated accounts and disappointments that touch on the same thread we are discussing here: trust. How do you ever trust again, and is that even possible?

The short answer is yes, it is possible.

Is it easy? No.

Below is a brief glimpse of the journey that might await you.

Step 1: Restoring Trust In Yourself

The first step is to decide you are ready to give trust another chance, and the first person you have to practice that with is solely yourself. You have to learn to trust yourself and restore the belief that you are capable of learning what is best for you at any given time or situation.

In the past, I truly questioned if I could trust myself. That is one sure consequence of gaslighting. You start to doubt every single perception, thought, feeling, and experience. Every decision made comes back to haunt you and you feel stuck, unable to move forward.

I remember thinking and telling very nasty things to myself. My greatest hit was probably how could I ever be so stupid? Rightly followed by how did I not see it?

We are not stupid. We have blindspots, perhaps, and we are so familiar with our own ways that we don’t know any better. Nonetheless, You need to trust that you can figure it out, reconnect with your intuition, and slowly move into Step 2.

Step 2: Understanding Your Patterns and Blindspots

Once you make the decision and choose to tell nicer things to yourself, it’s time to do some serious dirty digging into your shadow. I call shadow to all those details about us that we can’t see clearly yet. We sort of know there is something that sets us up to repeat the same old story over and over again, but we don’t know yet what it is. That’s what Stage 2 is about.

I wish I could say this stage is a piece of cake and that everything gets better once you get here but this is probably the most difficult phase, and reality might get worse before it gets better. You will be facing your old ways and learning new, healthier ones. Change is inevitable and the road can be bumpy. If you can, working with a competent and sensitive professional can really make a difference as you will be guided to question topics that otherwise you probably wouldn’t, and which will help you move into Stage 3.

Stage 3: Nurturing New Patterns

By now you should have a better understanding of your behaviours and patterns. More than that, you are able to see your share in the whole equation and know what needs to change. A good therapist, coach, or counsellor will have also helped you with learning new tools and strategies that are adequate for your unique profile and needs.

So now it’s the moment in which you might be fearful and yet excited about the idea of meeting new people and putting what you learned about yourself and healthy relationships into practice. Go at your own pace. Remember to take small steps and do reality checks regularly. Also, be realistic and compassionate toward your progress. It takes time and several practising opportunities before you feel super confident about your new skills and trust.

Final Thoughts

When we lose trust, it can be very hard to get it back. If you ask me if we can trust someone who broke our trust, I would say that’s very hard to achieve and sometimes it’s not even healthy. However, it is totally possible to learn to trust again – in yourself, in others, and in life in general.

A positive sense of trust is essential to wellbeing. Without it, the world becomes a grey and cold painting. There is no hope in the future too, which in turn blocks us from seeing and experiencing the beauty and magic of human relationships.

If you want to work on this concept further with me, I’m available for digital consultations. The best way to reach me is through my contact page.

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Published by The Wellbeing Blogger

Wellbeing Designer, here to help you make Art with your Life

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