Untrusting Artichoke

Why trust anyone?

Over and over I’ve been told or asked to trust someone: “please trust me”, “you can trust me”, “do you trust me with your secrets”, “I’ve got your back”, etc.

To me this means if I trust you, you will tell me the truth, listen to what I say, that I can feel safe with them, that they will not hurt of violate me, that I can be vulnerable and open with the person, and that I can feel secure & confident within their company. It means that I can tell someone I trust a confidence and they will not use it against me at a later date, that they will act consistently, show compassion, humility, respect my boundaries, not try to compromise me, and show me respect and gratitude.

Trust is built slowly, over time. It is earned through communication, actions, consistency, and decisions. By being true to your word, honoring your commitments, and keeping promises. Trust is only accomplished if you tell the truth. Trust requires you to show your true feelings/emotions, and by genuinely caring about the person.

Trust is not about constant self-promotion, sacrificing your values, or saying yes all the time when you can’t/won’t do it or mean it.

When we gossip negatively we allow for the potential development of harmful thoughts, actions, or emotions. Negative gossip is jealousy which turns into resentment & defensiveness. Jealousy is not a sign of love or trust but rather desire and insecurity, it can be reflective of seeing your partner as an object to be possessed. Gossip that centers around the celebration of misfortune of others, is negatively charged, invokes conflict, damages reputation or credibility, or is something that is said that you wouldn’t say to their face (behind their back) is not trustworthy! Negative gossip declines trust and gradually degrades morals, it’s limits productivity, wastes time, creates drama, increases anxiety, spreads rumors’, creates sides, causes hurt feelings, produces toxic culture, is power-over mentality, and is coercive power.

Trust is a daily commitment, like love. It takes effort, daily rituals, eye contact, time spent together, accomplishing tasks/errands together, paying attention to each other, routines, making the person you trust a priority regardless of life’s responsibilities.

Trust also means that you can spend time apart, taking a break from each other, having personal space and quality time for yourself. True intimacy means you have closeness AND separateness. This maintains an individuals needs, one’s own independence.

When you trust someone and have been together for a long time, but are bored or stuck in a rut, introduce spontaneity! Have FUN! Shake things up a bit, be a bit unpredictable, focus on novelty (something new, original, unusual, adventure/adventurous, thrilling, projects, socializing), variety, and surprise.

Trust Busters: Withholding/hiding information from someone that trusts you or that you trust; these details are things that must be shared such as medical diagnosis, mental health conditions, addictions, criminal charges, major debts, etc. Keeping important secrets like these from the people that trust you will violate their trust.

Trust Busters: Trespassing upon another’s privacy without their permission; this includes reading their emails, text messages, a private journal/diary, snooping through their belongings, pockets, purse, car, monitoring what they do online, tracking devices, spying covertly, recording/filming etc. Information about one’s childhood, stories from past relationships, family secrets, etc.

Note: Some people are comfortable sharing this type of information others are not; this is when EXPECTATIONS comes into play, clearly define what constitutes the difference between privacy and secrecy in your relationship.

Lack of Trust: Focusing on negatives, feeling like you have all the responsibility, being suspicious, avoiding intimacy, holding grudges, picking fights, keeping to yourself, avoiding commitment, assuming and/or anticipating betrayal, overly protective, distancing, refusing to forgive even the smallest of mistakes, excessively wary, feeling lonely- depressed- anxious, previous experiences, PTSD, cheating on, abandonment, childhood experiences and interactions, abuse, violation, mistreatment, dramatic and stormy relationships, suspicious or anxious of friends/family, believe others are deceptive or malevolent without evidence, etc.

Trust Issues and Mistrust: Past disappointments, abandonment, and betrayals can be the root cause of the issue. Lack of care and acceptance as children, social rejection, bullying, treating others as outcasts by peers. Being belittled impacts self-esteem, this plays a large role in a persons capacity to trust. People with low self-esteem may be less likely to trust others. Traumatic life events cause trust issues such as accidents, illness, theft/damage to personal property, loss of loved one, being cheated on or left for another person, being physically violated or attacked (rape or assault), veterans of military combat and wartime violence, PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder)- exposure to sever or perceived danger (to feel safe those with PTSD may also isolate themselves from others or become overly dependent).

I awoke this morning wondering if it is possible for me to trust anyone every again? WHY?

I can think of only one person in my life that did not violate my trust in one way or another, my grandmother who died when I was 14yrs old.

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