Learning who to trust and how to trust is a skill we can all learn and continue to grow in.
The way most people (myself included) learn, is by screwing up! Allowing people to use you, or abuse you, is how most of us figure this out. There comes a point in your life where you learn that you can’t trust the person you thought you could. So you learn not to trust that person. And that’s good. Don’t trust untrustworthy people.**
Unfortunately many people stop trusting anyone once they’ve been hurt once or twice. Or 5,000 times. This makes sense. Rejection actually feels like extreme pain in our minds and bodies. Scientist have measured pain receptors in the brain and found the same areas that light up when a person is rejected or humiliated are the same areas that light up when a person has been physically injured. To your mind it’s the same thing.
If you don’t trust anyone, you’ll be isolated and lonely. You and I are built for connection and relationship and distrust wrecks that.
Learning to say no to damaging behavior is the foundation of healthy relationships. But knowing when to say yes and no, is where we get to live our lives to the fullest. So how do you say yes to anyone? You want to trust the right people. You want amazing love relationships and friendships and family relationships. You’ve said no to those that hurt you. Now what? You might be afraid to say yes to the wrong person again. Or be afraid that yes takes you right back to pain.
Start within yourself. You need to start by trusting yourself. So that you know what it feels like and looks like to trust others. And to know when to choose NOT to trust someone.
Believe yourself. Know that when it doesn’t feel right, it isn’t right. Get good at believing yourself. If you have had poor boundaries, it’s because on some level you have been in denial or lying to yourself. Did that hurt you? Then admit it. Is their behavior stressing you out? Admit it. This takes practice.
Have patience yourself. Knowing what’s right and not right might be hard at first. We were created with an amazing BS meter. It’s a gift to keep us safe. If your meter is broken, then you trust the wrong people, and don’t trust the right people. Give yourself patience as the meter gets fixed. You may blow it a few times. That’s ok. Keep practicing.
Make time for yourself. Don’t wait for an emergency to do this. Spend a few minutes everyday talking with yourself.
Everything you want from another person, give yourself. If you want a person to listen to you, start listening to yourself. If you want someone who values your opinions, then start valuing your own opinions. If you want to feel loved, start telling yourself how completely lovable you are. And that you are enough.
Now keep practicing. Learn what trust looks like in you first. Get good at this. When people learn to spot counterfeit money, they spend all their time studying the real money, so they recognize the fake right away. They don’t bother learning all the new styles of fake money. In the same way, you will learn to focus on the real thing. Trusting and loving yourself, and then you’ll be able to spot a counterfeit easily.
This may sound nuts, but all other relationships in your life start here. Trust yourself. Trust your gut. Then wonderful relationships will come into your life. That is what life is all about.
Once you trust yourself, you’ll know what to do with others. Trust that you’re hearing from God or that still small voice or intuition about what to do. It may be to read a book, go to therapy, break off the relationship, quit the job. It may be to change how you view things. To take care of yourself more. Examine your past. You’ll know. Trust yourself to know when it’s time to take the risk to love again. To allow yourself to be honest and loved by someone. Trust yourself first.
A great resource to learn more about this, is a book called Beyond Boundaries. And here is a video from the author if you are interested in learning more that way. It’s such great info.
** If you are struggling with saying no to hurtful behavior, contact someone you trust. RTT can help as well. Learn more at www.cyrinatalbott.com