Lack of Trust
July 28th, 2009 by Liza Wiemer

Helpful Tip:

If someone broke your trust in the past, it is easy to expect the same behavior from others – DON’T.  It’s unfair to base a current relationship on what someone else did to you.

1. Did someone hurt you – wound you so deep – that it effects your relationships with others?
2. Did you hurt someone – wound them so deep – that you struggle in relationships?
3. Do you lie?
4. Did someone lie to you and hurt you to the core?
5. Did someone betray your trust?
6. After you complete an assignment, do you worry if you did it correctly?
7. Is it hard for you to trust your decisions – do you second guess yourself?
8. Would you rather do something yourself, then trust someone to do the work?

If you answered yes to most of the lack of trust questions, please read the following:

1.  To regain trust, one must show that s/he is trustworthy.  Accept responsibility for ones actions.  Proof is not just from words, but actions.  If you remain in a relationship where trust was broken, how long will you have to prove yourself or the other person has to prove him/herself to you?  That could be a forever process, which would be entirely unhealthy.

2.  To rebuild, one must legitimately forgive or ask for forgiveness.   A person can forgive, without being asked for forgiveness and one can ask for forgiveness, but not receive it.  So, the process of forgiveness is an internal one – a choice to be made without the “offending” party or the approval of the party “offended.”  Look first to your own reaction, then to the other person.  Do you continue to get punished or punish the other person, or are you moving toward rebuilding trust?

Examples Situations:

1.  Your tell your best friend a secret, and s/he tells others without your permission.  It was a private matter, and now others are talking about you.  Your friend hurt you deeply.  What do you do?

Solution:  Don’t sit by and say nothing.  Privately speak to your friend and calmly explain that you had spoken in confidence and were hurt by this disclosure.  Hear your friend out.  Hopefully, it was a misunderstanding and can be resolved between the two of you.

2.  A friend consistently makes promises and breaks them.  “I’ll call” – but doesn’t.  Sets dates – but breaks them.  Rarely, if ever does this friend follow through.  S/he demands you be there for him/her, but it’s on his or her terms.

Solution:  Talk to the person about how you find it difficult to trust his/her word when s/he doesn’t follow through.  If you don’t see progress, you know that individual is unwilling to make changes.  You must decide if this is a healthy relationship for you.  If not, seek those who do exhibit the qualities you value.

Remember, when you give your word, it is important to keep it.  If you are unable to fulfill a promise, make sure you communicate clearly with the other person with the truth – most people can see through a lie.

3.  Divorce – when parents divorce, especially when there is a great deal of bitterness, it is wasy to feel betrayed, angry, and hurt.  Parents can put you in the middle, making you feel uncomfortable and feel a sense of betrayal to the other parent.  All of these  emotions can translate to other relationships in your life.

Solution:  Open communication with a parent is key.  You are not your parent’s confidante – so don’t let him/her put you in the middle.  If a parent talks negatively about the other, ask him/her to find someone else to discuss it.  You can love both your parents –  separate and different.

If you don’t think you can speak directly to a parent: 1.  Write out your feelings in a rough draft.  2.  Revise it  3. Let it sit overnight  4.  reread it, and then decide if you are ready to pass it along.

Remember:  If you don’t communicate, your parents won’t communicate with you either.  Unfortunately, parents don’t always have the ability to talk out what’s going on because of their own confusion.  Expressing yourself is critical.  Find a positive outlet – writing, music, theater, exercise, talk to a friend, trusted adult/teacher/clergy.

If you have an example of a lack of trust situation with a solution, please share it with me.  I will consider posting it and you may remain anonymous.

If you need some help, feel free to e-mail me and I will do my best to assist you.

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