Trust is the foundation of any relationship, no matter if it is familial, platonic, or romantic. Without trust, it may be challenging to form meaningful and long-lasting connections with others.
When combined with hurtful past experiences, our human nature may cause us to question the intentions of people. While most people have an uncertainty of whom to trust, having trust issues is typically a more serious issue that causes further detriment to an individual’s life. These suspicions and feelings of doubt may deter an individual with trust issues from building functional relationships.
The negative impact of having trust issues
Apart from trust issues hindering an individual’s ability to form meaningful relationships, they are often associated with other mental health conditions as well. Examples of some of the bigger problems trust issues are often linked with are:
- Social Anxiety
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Fear of abandonment
- Attachment Issues
- Paranoia, delusions or hallucinations
Signs of trust issues
People make decisions about how much they can trust certain individuals almost every day. It is undeniable that some individuals may be more prone to wear their heart on their sleeve than others.
A complete lack of trust in those around them is one of the biggest tell-tale signs that an individual may have trust issues. This could be in the form of always assuming the worst about people, even if they have proven themselves to be reliable in the past. An example of this could be assuming that someone has ill intentions or hidden motives when they offer to lend a hand. Individuals with trust issues tend to be excessively cautious and wary of everyone around them.
Another sign that an individual may have trust issues is when they distance themselves from others. With a fear of disappointment and betrayal, those with trust issues tend to build a wall between themselves and others. In their mind, they have decided that it is best to limit their relationships and isolate themselves, no matter how much they may care for someone.
Causes of trust issues
Research has found that distrust in others is primarily associated with environmental and socialisation factors, such as family influence. Those who have trust issues have likely been hurt or betrayed in the past. In particular, experiences in one’s childhood often play a major role in shaping an individual’s ability to trust from a young age.
Some common causes of trust issues include:
- Witnessing conflicts among family members (for example, witnessing parents struggle with infidelity or divorce)
- Betrayal in past relationships
- Social rejection or being bullied by others
- Having experienced negative life experiences such as a traumatic event
- Childhood trauma such as being abused or abandoned by a parent or caregiver
- Being mistreated or manipulated by a loved one (for example, gaslighting, isolating you from others, passive-aggressive behaviour)
Overcoming trust issues
Even though it may be a difficult emotional undertaking, it is possible to overcome trust issues. Taking small steps to build trust slowly in a small group of loved ones can help immensely. This could be in the form of taking certain emotional risks to open up about your struggles so the people around you can be more aware of how their actions might be interpreted.
Getting to the root of your trust issues is also helpful in helping you overcome trust issues. Should you require any assistance with this, you might want to consider therapy. Not only would you be able to learn more about the reasons why you struggle with trust, the relationship you build with a professional therapist may be an effective tool for learning to trust others.
If you or someone you know is struggling with trust issues, our psychotherapist at Emotional Wellness can help you develop new coping strategies to begin to re-establish trust in your relationships. Psychotherapy is an in-depth treatment that focuses on addressing the root causes of an individual’s struggles. Here at Emotionally Great, we provide a range of counselling services in Singapore that adopt integrative counselling and psychotherapy techniques to help free you from emotional distress and build meaningful connections.
Schedule an appointment with us today and let’s work together to overcome your trust issues.