When you have trust issues, so do the people around you. Mistrust is like a contagious disease. It prevents you from having healthy relationships. I noticed something shocking when I relocated to the Midwest two years ago. There were no alarm company signs present in the front yards. We spent a weekend garage sale hunting for replacement furniture and I found a bedroom set for my son. "I would like to buy your furniture but I don't have a way to get it home. I'm new in the neighborhood," I said to the person in charge.
"My truck is parked across the street and the keys are in the ignition. Just bring it back when you're done unloading," the garage seller told me. I felt strange driving her truck away. She didn't ask me for id. She barely knew me. I later learned that most people don't even bother to lock their doors or windows. Why should they? There isn't any crime in the area. The law enforcement officials do a great job of watching over the neighborhood. The residents live their lives without fear. No fear = high trust. High fear = low trust. If you can find a way to minimize your fears, you can overcome your trust issues in your relationships. Try these ideas:
- Learn to forgive others for their past mistakes. If you don't, they will sense your mistrust and there will always be a wall in your relationships.
- Stop being afraid. Your own fear is preventing you from having intimate relationships. Others sense your fear and believe you have something to hide. Your fear raises the mistrust levels in the people around you. It's like a danger flag at the beach that warns everyone not to go in the water. People see your red flag and walk away from you.
- Communicate. Share your feelings. Let others know what's in your heart. Be vulnerable. This will help your loved ones feel safe around you. It will help you build healthy relationships.
- Be consistent. The best way to build trust is to demonstrate to your loved ones that you can follow the rules you mutually agree on. This is not a once in a while thing. This is an everyday thing. Stay within your defined boundaries.
- Understand that trust is a two-way street. If you want others to trust you, you must learn to trust them. Trust is like a good underarm deodorant. When you put it on, you don't smell bad. People are comfortable being close to you. And when you fail to use your deodorant, your loved ones keep their distance.