How to get over your trust issues in relationships

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Harper's Bazaar India

What is a relationship without trust? It’s one of the founding blocks of it. Without trust, you will never be able to fully open yourself to let your partner in. Your guard will always be up and you’ll be treading carefully, sharing only half of yourself with your partner. Sometimes, we don’t even realise that we’ve built a wall around us, simply due to our trust issues.

This can arise from a lot of factors. It could be due to the fear of abandonment where you may harbour a fear that life can make bad things happen and you may lose your loved ones. You may also not trust someone to be faithful because you have either been cheated on or seen a lot of infidelity around you. Trust issues may also look like you’re hiding your deepest feelings from your partner because you think they may not understand you or support you.

For me, it’s been a journey of self-discovery, understanding the reasons behind having a wall up and having a very supportive partner to be able to get over my trust issues. According to Good Therapy, a website for mental health resources, many people develop trust issues due to their early life experiences such as not receiving the right kind of care from their primary caregivers, facing traumatic events and having to deal with social rejections. Once a person grows older, other traumatic events can also lead to the onset of trust issues. 

Analyse your reasons for mistrust 

To solve any problem, you have to get to the root of it. With the help of a therapist, you will be able to understand yourself and your triggers much better. Once you are able to identify the triggers and causes, you will be able to deal with your trust issues in a much better manner. 

Express gratitude for people you trust 

We tend to focus so much on the negative things that we forget to appreciate the good parts. Make a list of all the people in your life that you can trust and who are the closest to you. It’s okay, even if it’s just one person. Write down every time they have proven to be reliable and the ways they make you feel secure. It will not only help you feel more optimistic about people, but also help you realise what you seek to feel at ease. 

Know that every human connection comes with emotional risks 

As human beings, we cannot shield ourselves from emotional risks unless we give up all worldly pleasures. Know that sometimes, you just have to make all the smart choices and then hope for the best outcomes. You can never ensure that everything will only be great. You will hurt. You will feel pain. But that’s what makes us human, right? 

Understand that nobody is perfect

The thing is, we expect too much perfection from humans, who are far from it. Nobody is flawless, not even the most notable person known for their selfless and courageous acts. Besides, every person has different expectations and traits, which may not always serve you. Know that people will make mistakes, and that is okay too. For instance, if you expected your partner to take a stand for you in front of their parents and they couldn’t in the given moment, cut them some slack before being fully disappointed. Talk to them and understand what happened. State your expectations and meet each other halfway. 

Learn to recover from disappointments

If you want to learn how to be emotionally strong, learn from the people who have the softest hearts. When I asked my therapist how she knows when a person is progressing in their recovery, she told me when someone can access the tools to come out of a bad phase/mental state, it means they have made significant progress. Once you learn how to recover from disappointments, you won’t be so scared of trusting someone. Practising self-love, managing your expectations of people and dealing with your feelings, instead of burying them under glasses of alcohol or meaningless sex will help.

Getting over your trust issues is a gradual process and the right kind of people will give you all the more reasons to pull your walls down. However, make yourself as self-sufficient as possible so you can take care of yourself—in your good phases and bad.