Trusting others: Why we don’t & How We can


Or read:

"I just can't trust people."
"People always let me down."

Trust: to rely upon or place confidence in someone or something

Trust is perhaps the hardest thing in relationships.

Ever notice "I love you" is so much easier than "I trust you"?

Love is one thing, right? But trust… trust is a deeper, more vulnerable feeling of intimacy.

And I'm sure you haven't been immune to the disappointment when someone else doesn't live up to the commitments or promises they offered. (In fact, I'm sure we've all experienced letting someone else down too.)

We're human and one truth will stand:

We will hurt each other even if that is not the intention.

Trust as a human can be a tricky thing because we have expectations that somehow, if everyone just acted and spoke exactly like we wanted them to, we would be able to trust others better.

The problem with this vision is that there are over 3 billion of us on the planet and we all have different experiences, ideas of what is right, ways of being a friend, and values.

Why we have a hard time trusting:

Look inside yourself and see if these sound familiar…

Past experience

Of course, we only remember the worse, isn't that right? When we think of why we have a hard time trusting, it certainly wasn't that time a co-worker brought you coffee without asking or when that friend showed up even when you were too in the dumps to ask her to. People do show up, we're just focusing our attention on the few who don't.

Independent Culture

In our culture asking for help is often looked at as a weakness or a fault. The idea of inconveniencing someone else or taking energy from them without some type of compensation can feel selfish in such a culture. But then we don't trust people because they only do things for compensation. It's cyclical.

We're a bunch of control freaks.

"If it is going to be done right, I'll have to do it."
That right there is a choice. I cannot count the number of times I felt angry that someone wasn't doing a task the same way with the amount of efficiency as I did. However, when I took all the tasks on so that they would be done 'right', I felt resentful. When I feel resentful, I can start telling myself all kinds of stories about how others can't be trusted.

Ways we can shift our relationship with trusting others:

Focus on the people who show up for you & have earned it.

We focus on the ways people let us down instead of all the times that people showed up for us. Sure there's a risk that someone will hurt you, but not trusting people means missing out on the joy of when we find the right people who show up for us in amazing ways.

Tune into your own knowing.

Not everyone is in a space to hold space for you. When we force people to do things that they aren't fully available for, we put ourselves in a space of being disappointed.

It makes me think of this Brene Brown quote:

"Don't share your story with people who haven't earned the right to hear it."

You choose from your own knowing who to trust and who has the capacity to truly offer what you might need.

Ask & Allow the Opportunity of Service

We all want to help those we love, yet we take away the opportunity for others to be of service if we never give them the option. Personally, I love it when people ask me for exactly what they want. It helps me be of the best service to them if I am available.

Just because you ask, they may not be available.

Be the person who asks, yet doesn't expect the yes. Stop making it personal when they can't say yes. They may have a million reasons they just aren't capable. Be grateful for their honesty. It's much better than a promise they don't intend on keeping. It's not about you. If you think it is, ask before torturing yourself with stories about how they just don't want to help you.

Trust yourself first.

This is so much harder than we think it is. So many of my clients tell me they trust themselves, but then they show up and haven't done the alignments we talked about or get angry when someone who broke their trust, again and again, does it again. You are older now, you can trust yourself to sus out red flags. The real work may be listening to your inner judgment rather than the schmoozing of others. Or stronger boundaries.

You have the ability to have intimate, trusting relationships. Sometimes it means standing up for what you need in relationship and can feel hard -- but that's how we develop trust.

Have questions about trust and how you can step into more of it?

Email me direct and I'll answer it live in one of our Live Conversations in our Facebook Group.


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