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How to learn to trust others

Tips for opening up and getting closer.


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in life


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Trust is the ability to have faith and belief in another person. If we trust someone, we trust that they will be there for us and we feel that it is safe to share secrets, private thoughts and emotions with them. Basically, if we trust someone, we feel we can be close to them.

Trust is the bedrock of a relationship really. Without trust, a relationship or friendship simply cannot survive.

Why can't I trust?

There are many reasons why we find it hard to trust other people. These reasons can include having had a difficult childhood and difficult relationship with your parents.

Sometimes we may not have learnt to trust because the people who were meant to love us were not there for us.

Experiencing heart break, betrayal or abuse from those we had previously trusted can also make it difficult to then trust others in the future.

The issue with not trusting 

Without trust you can’t form any close friendships or relationships. This protects you from possible hurt, but it also leaves you lonely and isolated.

It causes major problems in relationships and friendships, because you don’t feel confident about sharing your private thoughts so the friendship/relationship won’t move forward. It can alienate the other person in the relationship as they will not want to be close to you if it is obvious that you don’t trust them.

Trust is needed for a friendship/relationship to grow, so you won’t move forward without it.

How to learn to trust

Learn to trust in yourself 

When you have faith in yourself and a belief that you can get through things and take risks, it will be easier for you to make the leap to trusting others.

Shore up your inner resources so that you know you can and will survive if someone betrays your trust. The inability to trust people is based on the fear of pain and betrayal. If you know you will be able to cope if the worst happens, this will make trusting easier. Professional counselling may be very helpful if you feel that you cannot move beyond your trust barriers. 

Take it slow 

You don’t have to jump from being wary and guarded to spilling all your secrets and private thoughts. Just take it one step at a time. Maybe share one thing with one person and see how it feels. Maybe just tell them that you are having a bad day and see how it goes. Trust builds slowly.

Spread the trust

It is easier to trust a few people in your life a little bit, than it is to trust one person 100%. It is also an emotionally safer strategy.

Acknowledge the trust you have

Recognise that even if you are the most cynical and untrusting person in the world, you still have a small amount of trust in the universe: you trust that the postman will deliver your goods and not steal them; you trust that food labels are in date at the supermarket; you trust that the cars won’t run you over when you cross at a pedestrian crossing.

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Published Jan­u­ary 8th2013
Last updated June 22nd2018
Tags trust relationships wellbeing
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.

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