Posts Tagged “Trusting Your Intuition”

Why Do We Trust or Distrust Other People?

Why Do We Trust or Distrust Other People?

Often, when we think about trust, we think about whether or not the other person is trustworthy—whether or not they’ve shown themselves to be someone who has a character worthy of our trust. Because of this, we go around evaluating people based on whether they meet our criteria; if they do, we trust them. It is important that we learn to see what is and is not trustworthy behavior; however, this is not the end of the story.

If we have experienced a breach of trust at some point in our lives—and most of us have, some of us to an extreme degree—it disturbs or breaks down our ability to clearly see another person’s behavior.

Because of this, we might be blind to some untrustworthy characteristics or not see them so clearly. And we might actually be skeptical of somebody who is trustworthy. Our ability to gauge whether or not we should trust gets impaired by the filters that we wind up looking though because of our past betrayals. Maybe you’ve had this experience; maybe you trusted somebody who really was not so trustworthy or did not trust someone who turned out to be worthy of your trust.

This is one reason why this defensive analysis of who is and isn’t trustworthy is not totally reliable.

The more that we play by this game, the longer our list of what is untrustworthy gets. Our distrusting story looks like this: “I really can’t trust people because I trusted this person after I ran them through my faulty evaluation system to figure out whether or not they were trustworthy, and they turned out to be another person who betrayed my trust. Therefore, I now know that I cannot trust people even more completely than I did before. I have tried. People, across the board, are untrustworthy.”

So, as our life goes on, we have a smaller and smaller group of people whom we are willing to trust; sometimes, it comes down there being nobody, really, whom we’re willing to trust. We might feel like we trust some people a little bit with certain things, but deep down we don’t really trust that anyone is going to do right by us.

This erosion of trust in our lives creates all sorts of problems. We become cynical and shut down. When we are not trusting, we feel we need to constantly protect ourselves. What other choice do we have if we cannot trust anyone? Consciously or not, we feel unsafe because the people around us are untrustworthy. We lose sight of what it feels like to have a deeper, more trusting connection with others.

It is a problematic situation. So, how do we find our way back to trust if we can’t trust our own judgment? The good news is that there are a number of different ways to do just that.

Trusting Ourselves: More than learning to trust others, we benefit from learning to trust ourselves. This means (in part) acting in ways toward yourself that are supportive, kind, and honest. It means taking responsibility for poor choices, learning from them, and making a commitment to do better. It means acknowledging yourself for all of the good choices that you have made along the way.

Learning the Signs: Chances are we learned some bad cues when we were growing up. We may have put a bad behavior into the category of a loving behavior because of our experience. As adults, it is important to learn what is healthy and what is unhealthy, who is trustworthy and who is untrustworthy, so that we can choose the right people to keep in our lives.

Healing the Past: Part of why we do not trust is because of how we have been hurt in the past. It is only through fully healing our old wounds that we become free to embrace a whole new life. This healing requires us to accept what happened and offer forgiveness where necessary. As we do this, the distortions these old hurts have created in our present life are lifted, and we find ourselves able to make better choices.

Trusting Again: As simple as it may sound, one of the ways that we heal our wounds with trust is to try to trust again. It is through trusting that we have the opportunity to be proven right. One of the most helpful things we can do is to turn our story about trust on its head. We so often focus on the few people or situations that broke our trust; however, they are actually the minority. More frequently, there are many more people in our lives who have done right by us than who have done us wrong. Focusing on what has worked helps to restore trust.

For more about discerning trustworthy people take a look at my article >>> “Should I Trust You: What Does a Trustworthy Person Look Like?”

14 Ways to Reestablish Trust

14 Ways to Reestablish Trust

Whether you are the person who has been hurt or you are the person who has broken trust, you very likely will want to do some repair work. Here are fourteen things that you can do to help rebuild trust with another person once it has been broken.

1. Take Responsibility: Regardless of which role you played in the situation, you are responsible for your own contributions to what has occurred. Take some time to be clear about what you did and what you did not do that may have lead to a situation where trust was broken.

2. Show Empathy: When we have hurt someone, it helps for them to see that we understand the pain that they are going through. When we have been hurt, some of us will expect ourselves to get over it quickly and others will tend to hold onto the pain. Either way, empathizing with our own experience is helpful to our process of healing. It is also helpful to show empathy when possible to the person that hurt us. This person usually hurt us because of his or her own pain.

3. Keep Promises and Agreement: If you have betrayed someone’s trust, their whole system is on red alert. More than likely they expect you to continue to hurt them. By only making promises and agreements you can keep – as well as making sure to keep them – you can start to rebuild trust.

4. Be Authentic: People can spot a phony, (and even if they go along, they do not really trust them). So if you have hurt someone, being real is the best way to rebuild trust. If you were the person hurt, being authentic might mean that you are truthful about your emotions and where you are in your healing process.

5. Expect and Support Emotional Reactions: When there has been a breach of trust, everyone wants it to go away. But, expecting it to be cleared with an, “I’m sorry,” is often overly optimistic. Emotions will come and go. The more that you can support the emotional healing of yourself, or the person you hurt, the more likely you are to reestablish trust.

6. Sincerely Apologize: Perhaps, this should be number one. Offering an apology is the first thing that you can do to begin the healing after trust has been broken. Just lip service will not do – you will need to understand how you hurt the other person and truly feel remorse for your actions.

7. Accept and Admit Your Faults: Regardless of which side of the coin you fall on, you have flaws. These flaws, while understandable, likely contributed to the situation at hand. Stating your flaws and saying what you are going to do differently is helpful in regaining trust.

8. Keep Your Head on Your Shoulders: Assess the situation at hand. If you have sincerely shown remorse and the other person is not able to forgive you even after doing your due diligence, (or the person who has hurt you has not altered his or her behavior to be safe), your best choice might be to cut ties. Rebuilding trust is important… but pay attention to when your time is better invested elsewhere.

9. Imagine Different Outcomes: So, you trusted and you got hurt. This does not mean every time that you trust you will get hurt. Learn what you can, and then look to the future. What kind of people do you want to relate to? How would you like them to show up to the relationship?

10. Listen to Your Intuition: Very often when someone betrays us, we had a sense that it was happening or even just a sense that something was not right. The more we hone our intuition the easier it is to make good decisions for ourselves in the future.

11. Forgive Yourself: We all make mistakes. Sometimes, there is a high price tag to pay for the type of mistake that we made – like loss of a relationship, or loss of trust with ourselves. Regardless of what you did or did not do, the best you can do is learn from it and make difference choices in the future.

12. Forgive the Other Person: Building off of forgiving yourself, the person that hurt you also is prone to making mistakes and bad choices. When you are ready, forgiving the person who hurt you can be one of the most liberating actions and can open you up to truly trust again.

13. Try Trusting Again: Seriously, get back on the horse. Perhaps one person broke your trust but how many other people did not? The odds are in your favor. Keep building with the people who have shown themselves to be worthy of your trust.

14. Make Yourself Happy: The happier we are, the healthier we are. The healthier we are the better decisions we make… and the faster we bounce back from our challenges. Taking care of yourself and doing what you love will help you feel courageous enough to trust again.

For more about discerning trustworthy people take a look at my article >>> “Should I Trust You: What Does a Trustworthy Person Look Like?”

That Little Voice Inside

I consider myself really lucky to have worked and studied with some truly great people. One of those people is Lin Morel. I can’t even tell you how many times she has saved my butt or gotten me back on track when I needed it with her innate wisdom.

   

One of the things that Lin has helped me with is learning how to trust my intuition even more. This has been a lifelong process for me. I rely on it so heavily in all that I do and yet I still sometimes find myself overriding it with my head. So, this week has been about hearing it and taking immediate action. I highly suggest this. One week might change your life!

We all have a little voice inside that tells us what we should do. And, if you are like most people you have also wondered whether that voice should be listened to or whether it is actually just fear, doubt, escapism or fantasy. (If you are new to the little voice inside it might help you to know that this “voice” can be a feeling, words, or even colors and tastes.) When we develop our ability to listen to this inner voice we gain a lot of power to navigate our way through the world. So, how can we develop it?

 

First let’s start to look at some things that people mistake for their inner voice:

 

Fear and Doubt: Fear and doubt are sneaky and they quickly jump in the way of our highest and best self and potential. They tell us that it was all a mistake. Or, that this could not really be the right way. Or, sometimes they just shut us down completely.

 

Escapism and Fantasy: These two feel good but they keep us looking for something other than what we have. They are usually used to avoid the hard work that we might need to do. 

 

Now let’s look at what might help us hear that inner voice more:

 

When it is good it is simple and clear: A client and brilliant yoga instructor and therapist, Grace Dulude said on the phone with me today “You go in the direction of the energy.” If it is intensely fearful or intensely good that is where you want to go. Why? Because, the energy is drawing you to the next step. 

 

Ok! Well, I think you might have a clue of how challenging that can be at times. Especially when we are feeling intense negative emotions like fear or anger but give it a try. You will find that you inner guidance is a powerful GPS for your success and fulfillment.

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