Jonathan Levy LCSW on Trust
Social systems, relationships, businesses, and so on all revolve around one very crucial element. Trust. Trust is required to develop all forms of human relationships, but what exactly is trust.
According to Psychology Today trust can be:
Trust is a set of behaviors such as acting in ways that depend on another.
Trust is a belief in a probability that a person will behave in certain ways.
Trust is an abstract mental attitude toward a proposition that someone is dependable.
Trust is a feeling of confidence and security that a partner cares.
Trust is a complex neural process that binds diverse representations into a semantic pointer that includes emotions.
Now that we have established how complex trust can be, lets move on to an even bigger issue. People who struggle with trust issues and some signs that you may have trust issues:
You build walls and keep people away: Most people want deep and meaningful relationships to share their lives with. Despite this, your relationships are extremely shallow and superficial. If this is true, you may find it difficult to open up to others and really share yourself with others out of fear of them hurting you. This keeps people on the fringes of your life and doesn’t allow you to truly develop intimate relationships.
You are pessimistic and always expect the worst: Pessimists tend to be on-guard and anticipate people letting them down or betraying them. This happens even if that person has given you absolutely no reason not to trust them. These feelings come from a previous experience of betrayal and now you feel like you can not trust anyone.
You are skeptical and think what people tell you is a lie. Honesty is the foundation of any relationship and once someone has lied to you, your trust is in them is gone. If you find yourself always fact checking what someone else said, there is a strong possibility that you have significant trust issues. This does not always mean literally researching what someone states. It could also be as simple as asking if that was really true or did that really happen.
What is so interesting about trust and relationships is that the issue of trust usually falls upon us, not the either person. Yet, we often may think that the person is untrustworthy based on things they say or ways that they act. But in reality the person has given us no reason to not trust them.
The follow up to this will be posted tomorrow and we will discuss how experiences and decisions have shaped our inability to trust. Once we identify those traumatic experiences we can begin the healing process. Trust in relationships is only possible once we begin to heal and move on. That will be our focus going forward.