Mistrust often occurs as a result of negative past experiences either with parents, lovers or someone once trusted in the past. The pain caused by that person’s “betrayal” tends to create a significant level of anxiety which deters people from having confidence in another. This reaction although logical could drastically hinder interpersonal relationships and could ultimately destroy, if not prevent, romantic relationships. A number of people, probably more common in women, prefer to stay away from romantic relationships in order to prevent emotional dependence on another as that would leave them vulnerable to the pain of heartbreak. This anxiety, among other set-backs, could lead to depression and loneliness. However, if you are single due to trust issues it is not the end of the world. There are some solutions which could help your situation.
1. Trust yourself. People often blame themselves when they have been betrayed in the past and implicitly do not trust that they can separate the trustworthy from the untrustworthy anymore. It is very difficult to trust others when you do not trust yourself. Create inner confidence in yourself by exploring your fears and being mentally aware of how they hold you back.
2. Take a leap. Extra caution is your comfort zone, get out of it. Get close to someone who have had in mind and carefully steer the relationship by being as honest to them as you would want them to be with you. Let them know how you feel most times and ease into emotional bonding which you have feared so much in the past. Let the person know from the start that you want to slowly ease into the relationship. As you ease into the relationship, continually remind yourself that you should not punish this person for another’s mistake and give them a chance to prove their loyalty.
3. Learn from mistakes. We all make mistakes and will continue to, so why not learn from them? As quoted from Rafiki the Baboon from the Disney picture The Lion King, the past does hurt, but you can either run from it or learn from it. The wiser decision would be to learn from your past mistakes and let that pain from the past, if any, go. This is difficult but would be easier if you focus on the present moment and prepare for the future with whoever you choose. This awareness of the present moment, which is a core principle of mindfulness meditation, is vital in order to reduce anxiety and significantly improve interpersonal relationships.
There is usually a fear of not being able to handle being betrayed by the one person you finally decided to let your guard down for and trust. Don’t worry about that. Having taken these steps you will be self-assured and would find moving on with life much easier than you think. Do not be anxious about past mistakes or about the future. Enjoy each moment.
“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”
― Ernest Hemingway
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