Pride yourself on never trusting anyone? You aren’t doing yourself the favour you think.

What are trust issues?

Trust issues mean we don’t believe that others can provide us with what we want from them, but are sure they will in fact provide us with what we don’t want, or even fear.

For example, if we want to feel safe, we are sure others will hurt us. If we want to feel loved, we are sure we’ll be left feeling rejected and abandoned.

In order to avoid our fears? We just never give others a chance to give us what we want and need. Or we make tentative attempts and then shut down, pushing others away.

Why do trust problems matter?

Trust issues don’t come out of nowhere. We aren’t born suspicious of everyone we cross.

Trust problems happen because of difficult childhoods. We weren’t given the love and safety we needed, or had adverse childhood experiences, or even went through trauma. Our sense of self and of safety was ruptured.

And trust issues leave us lonely. We are unable to have healthy and supportive relationships, whether that is with friends, partners, or colleagues.

Do we need good relationships? Human connection is now shown by research to lead to mental wellbeing, such as a study at the University of Illinois that found that good social connections were essential to feeling good. It's also linked to better physical health and longevity (this study showed that social isolation is linked to early death).

Trust issues, on the other hand, are linked to a host of mental health issues, including:

Is it really other people you don’t trust?

Behind trust issues is often a deeper lack of trust -- we don’t trust our very selves. We don’t trust ourselves to make good decisions, to do well in life, to know if other people are or aren’t good for us. We constantly second guess ourselves and self-sabotage.

We might not even trust life itself. We are sure that bad things will happen, that the world is a dangerous place, and we never relax.

How therapy helps trust issues

Therapy is at heart a relationship, between you and your therapist. And a good therapist is an expert at listening and relating. So for many clients, therapy becomes the first trusting relationship they’ve ever had.

Of course as a relationship, therapy can trigger any relating issues you have, including trust problems.

But therapy is also a safe space. So it becomes an opportunity to look at how your trust issues work, and how your relating choices encourage them. Together with your therapist you can discuss and try other ways of relating that build trust, instead of sabotage it.

Do certain types of therapy help trust issues more than others?

Some types of therapy even focus more on the client-therapist relationship than others, recognising how much this relationship is part of the healing journey. This includes:

Ready to face your trust issues and stop feeling so lonely? Book a therapist now and get talking.

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