Will I Ever Trust Anyone Again?
After the break-up of a relationship, one of the questions you may ask yourself is whether you can ever trust anyone again. You may believe that all relationships are the same and your natural instinct is to protect yourself from further pain and disappointment. This is not true…
How much trust is left?
In the short term it is important to take time to heal yourself from the worst of the hurt and disappointment. Start to rebuild your life so that you can learn to trust again. Trusting yourself is the first step, then trusting others.
Actually you do already have some trust:
- The sun rises every morning
- Your heart keeps on beating
- When you put things down, they don't float off into the air
We learn to trust in things based on our past experiences. Your partner, and maybe some former partners, may have hurt you but, whatever your circumstances, you will have known some good people, who you could rely on and were worthy of your trust. Not all people are the same, and just because some treat you badly, it doesn't mean that everyone is like that.
It seems mercenary to set people 'tests' in trust, yet that is what we do in new relationships and friendships. For example, someone may tell you they will phone you on Monday. Monday comes and goes with no call and maybe you don’t think anything of it but then you bump into the person and they say they will call you the next day.
If they let you down again, you are already forming an impression of that person as unreliable. It takes longer to build up the reputation of being trustworthy; you may need several positive experiences of a person before you feel they deserve your trust. Don’t forget, the other person needs to see that you are trustworthy, too!
Remember that the way you respond to others teaches them how to treat you in future. If you act like a doormat, maybe you are teaching people to walk all over you?
Talking it over
It might be a help to talk your feelings through with a counsellor (see your GP), not just about trust but also about the end of a relationship in general. You may find a friend that will support you through this - and this will show you that you can trust this friend, which will in itself be healing!
One of the important things to work on is building your own self-esteem so that you know without doubt that you deserve to have trustworthy people in your life. In acknowledging your feelings about the betrayal of trust, you may also be able to find it in yourself to accept that not everyone you meet will let you down.
- Remember to heal, after you have been hurt takes time.
- Seek help from friends or a counsellor to discuss how you are feeling.
- It might be a good idea to stay single for a while before you get involved in a new relationship.
- Recognise that it is unlikely that any one person can meet all your needs and so the extent you will put trust in new people has only to be in the context you are involved with them.
- The first step to learning to trust again is to TRUST YOURSELF.
Read all about it
There are a couple of books that are really helpful with this issue, see our 'Books for You' article.