THE ABILITY TO TRUST
Being able to trust someone should be the easiest thing in the world to do. It, actually, is a far more difficult task to accomplish. Several factors can make it easy or difficult to learn.
Childhood experiences have a great influence on your ability to trust. If childhood was a happy time, full of good people who did not want to hurt you intentionally; If the people you interacted with the most were believable, and you could know without a shadow of a doubt that when they said some-thing, they were trustworthy, then trust was more likely to be learned. You learned to have faith in someone to protect you and look out for your best interests. Their facial expressions, their gestures, tone of voice matched with what they said and did.
On the other hand, if the person you needed to trust the most looked at you with disgust, yelled at you, called you names, abused you, was untrustworthy, not safe, non-caring towards you, and made you feel like an imposition, the likelihood of you learning to trust was damaged. Anxiety was created because of unpredictability, and instinctively you learned your needs were not important. This does not mean you can never trust. It only means it will always take time and patience to learn how to trust.
In order to trust, you need to know parents will be reliable. This means, over time, they do, on a consistent basis, what they say they will do. As a child, you know you will be fed regularly and most of the time on schedule. You know, because of consistency, that your survival needs will be met. You know you will be hugged, rocked, and put to bed by loving parents.
If your parents are abusive and neglectful most of the time, you learn to stop asking for what you need and you do it yourself. You learn every thing is unpredictable and nothing is consistent, and you learn to distance from people.
In order to trust, you have to be able to depend on someone, able to let go of control with the hope that they will meet some of your needs and they will be accepting and caring. You have to be able to feel you matter to them and you will be safe with them. You let go knowing they’ve got your back and will make sure you survive.
If you believe when you let go you will die; or when you first let go, you are hurt; or you are shamed when you do, you will not let go after that. You will hold on to the control because you know your survival is in your own hands.
To be able to trust is vital in relationships and it helps relationships grow and become strong. For those who struggle with trust, help is available and it can be learned. It takes hard work, but it is worth the effort.