Let me guess… You have trust issues. You have been done wrong, lied to, taken advantage of, manipulated, cheated on or all of the above. Welcome to life. It always amuses me when I read or hear people say “you can’t trust anyone nowadays.” Maybe I have been living in the twilight zone but was there ever a time where people didn’t deceive other people? Cain killed his own brother and they were supposedly the first family on earth. Jesus was snitched on by one of his own disciples for a few pieces of silver. Bill cheated on Hillary in the White House, right under her nose. Times may change, but people sure don’t. Trust is extremely fragile. Once it is broken, oftentimes it is irreparable. One lie can make you question everything. Before someone is traumatized from the side effects of dealing with a liar, he/she generally gives most people a general level of trust until they have reason to revoke it. Once they’ve had some life experience and have been burned a few times, some people develop serious trust issues as a defense mechanism. They can’t hurt you if you don’t let them in, right? With popular culture co-signing the anti-trust movement (Drake-“Trust Issues” Future “If Young Metro Don’t Trust You…”) it seems logical to keep your heart locked up with no key to open it in existence. With this type of mindset, are you protecting yourself or are you really just hurting and limiting yourself? One day I had to wake up and smell the Starbucks; people are not out to get me. The times I felt like I was made a fool of, it wasn’t necessarily personal. People are inherently selfish. Their actions aren’t motivated by you. That guy who was dating my friend behind my back when I was 17 didn’t have a secret vendetta mission to break my high school heart. He was fueled by his own desires. Was it wrong for him to do me like that? Of course it was. We should all be honest regarding our intentions and upfront about our actions, but we don’t live on planet Morals and Kindness. This world is brutal. The funny thing is that many people I talk to don’t have issues with trust because of what they’ve been through, but because of what they witness. Guy friends tell me all the time how many women in relationships they’ve slept with. Not very reassuring if you’re still on the market, hoping for someone trustworthy. I have men in relationships try to take me on dates all the time. Why anyone would entertain someone who is blatantly disloyal is beyond me, but that’s neither here nor there. What I find especially sad is that the expectation is to get played. So many of us meet someone new and because things are going well, we just wait for the other shoe to drop. Jenny meets Bob and so far he meets everything on her checklist. Handsome, ambitious, great sense of humor, all that good stuff. Jenny thinks to herself, “something is wrong with him, I know it.” Jenny then finds out Bob has 3 kids he failed to mention and still lives at home with them and their mother. After awhile you have to ask yourself if you’re just having bad luck or if you’re failing to do your research on these people you so quickly become smitten with. Time to take some accountability!
We are all our own worst enemies and biggest critics. I believe most people have trust issues because it is themselves they don’t trust. They don’t trust their own instincts or their taste in people. If you close yourself up because you have been scorned in the past, its because you are too afraid to take your chances again. Fear hinders growth. Instead of feeling the sharp sting of betrayal again, you would rather scroll through your timeline and wonder how all those other happy couples are making it work. The cute guy at work keeps asking you out, but he wears the same Gucci cologne that the last guy who hurt you wore, so he must be a creep too. Simply jaded by fear. Once you realize that no one can hurt you without your permission, you can possibly begin to open yourself up again without walking on eggshells around someone new. Trust doesn’t always have to do with betrayal and infidelity. Can you trust someone with your feelings overall? What can be equally as hurtful as cheating is dealing with someone who disregards your feelings and can’t keep your business private. Have you ever felt like you could trust someone with your private thoughts and then they throw them in your face later on? Or even worse, in my opinion, is when you try to communicate your issues with a person and they brush you off with no interest or acknowledgement. This is a violation of trust that not many people take note of. Being able to trust someone with what is on your mind is essential to any relationship. One of the most important components of happiness is removing toxic people from your life. Trusting your instincts is key, but betrayal is tricky. Sometimes you never see it coming. While Caesar was in the midst of getting stabbed to death, imagine his surprise to see Brutus grab a knife too. I’ve had friends stab me in the back, but did I decide I was never going to make friends again? I would have been the one lonely while everyone else was busy making memories. My life would have become some bitter Facebook meme about “trust no b*tch.” The internet has made it seem like everyone is out to get you. It spreads fear like ratchets spread rumors. Stop relying on memes made by some salty chick in a basement to give you guidance on your own life. Most of us are a lot more resilient and capable than we give ourselves credit for. If your bullsh*t detector starts going off, listen to it! There is no way you would have made it this far in life not being able to trust your own instincts. There are levels to trust, and new people in my life are given just enough for me to feel comfortable that you won’t go fatal attraction on me once you find out where I live. As the friendship grows, I become more open as you continue to prove yourself trustworthy. If you’re paying attention and keeping your wits about you, a person’s true interior will start to show sooner than later. Is there anyone (aside from my lovely mother and sisters) that I trust 100%? Absolutely not! I put nothing past no one. However, trust can only be broken to the point where you allowed someone to reach. Only allow people as much privilege into your life as they deserve. Your boyfriend couldn’t have had 25 chances to cheat on you if you had picked up his signs of disloyalty early on. Your so-called “friends” tell all of your business because you divulge private information to any woman who shares your love for Sephora. No one likes to be made a fool of, but don’t let fear stop you from forming relationships with people. It’s unfortunate that we live in a world where you never know a person’s true intentions, but you can prepare yourself and use your common sense. People will screw you over, but life must continue to go on. Death to trust issues!