A hard truth is that you cannot trust others until you can trust yourself.
But trusting others is what most of us worry about. You worry that your partner will lie or a friend will gossip behind your back. Trusting others requires a faith in the unknown. No one can prove that they are trustworthy. It's up to you to decide.
On the other hand, trusting yourself means honoring your own experience. There is an old belief that children should be seen and not heard. If you grew up hearing this, it made you discount your perceptions. So if something feels off to you, pay attention. Don't dismiss it or call yourself crazy.
Learning how to trust yourself takes practice. Trusting others becomes less important because ultimately, when you trust yourself, you'll know what to do in any situation.
Reasons not to trust
When you don't trust someone it's because:
- Something in your current relationship is causing you not to trust.
- Something in your past relationships is impacting your ability to trust.
You've been friends with Katie for years but for some reason you don't really trust her. You dismiss it and decide to tell her something really private. She ends up betraying you.
Your fears are confirmed, you knew it. You can't trust her. Looking back you remember that she tends to gossip but since she's been your friend for awhile, you choose to ignore it.
There are always reasons you don't trust. The fear of being hurt or betrayed are the most common reasons.
People hurt each other, intentionally and unintentionally everyday. You can't avoid it. It's the risk you take for being in relationships.
If your ability to trust is damaged from past relationships, the work is much deeper and long term. Journal writing, group support and seeking therapy can help identify where it started and how to repair it.
What does trust look like?
It may be a gut feeling, an inner voice indicating right action, or in some cases, no action. Some people call it intuition.
It may feel like a twinge in your stomach that's unfamiliar. Later you realize your hunch was right. Over time, you learn to pay attention and trust when those feelings surface.
Once you start listening your intuition, rely on it for guidance. In relationships, you'll start to recognize what works for you. You can begin setting healthy boundaries and make better choices.
As you practice this new skill, you will naturally feel more confident in your ability to tell your truth.You'll know when something isn't right and you won't ignore it. It takes time but it's so worth it!