To Trust Or Not To Trust: That Is The Question #FamilyLife


To Trust Or Not To Trust: That Is The Question #FamilyLife

Trust is something that has become harder and harder to find. We don't trust our government, we question our doctors, we worry about the air we breathe, the water we drink and the foods we eat. We lock our doors at night because we don't trust our neighbors, the people who live down the street or anyone who may be traveling through our area. In this escalating environment of fear and distrust that we live in, our ability to trust each other has also deteriorated. Instead of trusting someone until we are wronged, we unconsciously assume the opposite, that they are guilty until proven innocent.

As we live our lives, there are many things that can create feelings of distrust toward others in our psyches. Growing up in a volatile environment of emotional pain, abuse and neglect can set the stage for distrusting others from our earliest of days. As an adult we may suffer the pain afflicted by others though their put downs, belittling or victimization, where we lose our self esteem and ultimately learn that we cannot believe in ourselves let alone others. Over time, the scars that we carry around from this deep emotional wounding cause us to shut parts of ourselves down, where we are fearful of opening ourselves up to others and only to be hurt yet again.

Trust is very important if we want to have healthy open and caring relationships with others, be they personal, professional or intimate. Trust is not something that comes automatically, but is something that is built through time and repetition. When we do trust, we are willing to be vulnerable. We are willing to let others know who we are on the deepest level of our being and recognize that they will treat us fairly, honestly and will not take advantage of us. With this, we are given the opportunity to drop our guard and show our real selves, our strengths and weaknesses, our problems and concerns as well as our silly and sometimes stupid mistakes all without fear of reproach. When we trust someone, we are also given the opportunity to help create an environment of mutual respect, caring and concern for the others wellbeing and personal growth.

It is when we break the trust within any of our relationships that problems can occur. As I said before, trust is something that develops over time and once broken, trust can be a hard thing to re-establish between two people. Some people think that trust is something that is granted to you or should automatically be present in a relationship regardless of the acts and behaviors of the participants. When we first meet someone and develop a relationship with them, this can be true, however, the reality is, once trust between two people is broken, it is something that needs to be nurtured and rebuilt.

The level at which the trust needs to be re-established in a relationship depends on how severe the precipitating offence was, that is from small, where we are not greatly bothered to severe, where our emotional wellbeing is put at risk. There is a world of difference between distrusting someone who accidentally damages or breaks something of value to you and when a important promise, such as faithfulness is broken. Once our trust is violated, we first have to recover from the emotional stress that the violation has placed upon us. At that time, we can choose to take steps to ensure that a similar offence will not occur or not.

For example, if it bothers you that your spouse flirts with a coworker, ask that he or she keep their relationship professional. If they are unwilling or unable to do so, then it is up to you to determine if you want to reconcile the relationship. Yes, it is up to you, not them to determine if you want to recreate a relationship where your trust has been broken.

When developing trust in a relationship, there are a number of things you can do to help facilitate its recreation. If you are the one who violated another's trust, first of all, be truthful. Don't lie to your friends and loved ones. Once caught in a lie, everything you say and do becomes suspect. After that, follow through on your promises, big and small. This will let your partner know that you are making an effort at keeping your word and that your word can be trusted.

If you are the one who has been violated, establish boundaries. Let your friend or partner know how you feel and what acts or actions will help to rebuild the trust between you. In addition, don't accuse of them of bad behavior or assume everything they say or do is one way or another breaking the promise they made to you. It is essential to give them the chance to show you that they can be trusted. Now if they give you a reason not to believe them, that is again another story.

If you are wondering if you should trust someone or not here is what Tony Schirtzinger has to say about trust. In his article: ?Who Can You Trust?, he evaluates trust by how often an individual breaks their word. If they never or rarely break their word, then they are trustable. If they break their word on a few things, but not everything, then trust them in the areas in which they do keep their word. If on the other hand, if they break their word 50% or more of the time, then this person is probably not trustworthy.

In many situations, the individual, that is the person we question their ability to be truthful isn't intentionally lying to or trying to deceive us. Instead they are lying to themselves in different areas of their lives and as a result, we end up being lied to as well.

For many, rebuilding trust in others can be a long and painful process. It forces us to face our fears, release negative and hurtful feelings and experiences from our past and asks us to be willing to open ourselves up to potentially being hurt again. Without an ability to trust, however, we block ourselves off from experiencing a wide range of emotions that are part of our being. Trusting also allows us to let our guard down which frees up our inner energy and resources, which we can now be used in more positive, healthy and whole way.

Before we go, let me reiterate this here. It is up to you to decide who you want to trust vs. those you will hold at arm’s length. Just because someone wants or expects you to trust them, doesn’t mean that you should, especially if their words and actions don’t warrant it. Trust is an important component in our ability to interact with others. When it is not there, we are limited by our expression and our ability to interact with them. When it is there, we are afforded a level of intimacy that creates bonds that can last forever.

Are you unsure if you should trust someone? If you are, then try listening to your heart. If you feel safe in trusting someone, then trust. If on the other hand something within you is telling you withhold this gift from another, then listen to and follow your inner knowing. This is especially true because it is your heart that can be freed when you do open yourself up by trusting another, as well as broken.

Source: Dr. Rita Louise, Ph D


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Trust is something that needs to be built upon rather than followed blindly. If the other party is open and you do the same, it is easier to trust in the relationship.

  3. I agree with you. Trust is like paper, so once torn, it can never return to its original state.

  4. This post speaks everything about what just have happened to me recently. Trust is very hard to earn and very hard to earn back once lost. And probably that's why some people, like myself, would rather keep distance than putting out effort to gain that trust back... because sometimes, it's pointless. Naturally, we human beings do not easily forget especially if someone have done something bad or unfavorable to us. *sigh* This is something I will keep thinking about until I fall asleep tonight.

  5. We are already living in a low-trust economy. We've been through a lot to cause us to not trust, but we know that we cannot continue living without giving trust. There are three types of trust: Blind trust, Distrust and Smart Trust. The last one is the one, in the book of Stephen M.R. Covey was said to be the effective one. You can browse some of my posts regarding trust on

  6. Trust is also to allow yourself to be hurt by someone else. Yes, that sounds pessimistic but I'm trying to say it's ok to be vulnerable! It's ok to trust someone, as if they ever hurt you, at least you've not let yourself down. they are the ones who let you down!

  7. Hi Fernando, to date this is my favorite post from you:) This post made reflect on very personal snippets of my life. Trust for me is a very fragile thing. I'm very observant with people around me and I do consider trusting people from their ACTIONS more than what they say... as Albert Einstein said: "Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters." Experience taught me well:)

    JeniG Kalikotpepot

  8. This is very nice :) . For me.. trust it has to be earned and not given blindly

  9. Anonymous11:26 PM

    I believe that we need to trust the goodness of people but still our guard up. It is quite heartbreaking when someone we love breaks our trust. I think we should trust our instincts to discern and protect ourselves from such hurting acts. -katrina centeno

  10. rather than letting others earn my trust, I tend to give others the benefit of doubt first and see if things happen along the way to make me lose my trust in them. it might sound like something silly to do, but it's really tiring to be wary of everyone around you and be skeptical of everyone's behaviour.

  11. Trust is something you earn and take time to develop. You just have to follow your heart on whether you should trust or not.

  12. Trust essential, but never blind trust. On the other hand, we should also not become over suspicious. Every human being needs to find his own balance.

  13. Anonymous1:39 PM

    Every relationship that is not based on trust is doomed to failure. Family life is hard and the only way to keep it is by mutual trust and understanding. When the trust is gone, it all falls apart.

  14. What a meaningful post. Trust is hard to regain when damage d. Should always be taken care of in any relationship.

  15. I generally put my faith and trust in people but once it's shaken then it's very difficult to trust again. I am not very forgiving in that sense cause anyone who breaks your trust is morally weak.

  16. Trust is hard to come by and even worse to get back once you have broken it. This has really made me think..

  17. Trust is earned and doesn't happen overnight. Of course, we are always quick to trust our family and closest friends and when they violate that trust, it is devastating. I enjoyed your post and the excellent points you made

  18. I agree with Tiffany that with trust we actually make ourselves vulnerable, but I think that's ok too. I'd rather put myself out there than rather doubting the people around me and make life more difficult.

  19. You did a great great by posting this post. Trust someone is toughest job. As it can be torn like tissue paper.

  20. Trust is a hard thing to lose, and double that to earn. I like how Tony Schirtzinger assessed trust with percentages, it's accurate for me.

  21. trust is very important! definitely takes time to develop and it can suddenly disappear just like that


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