I’ve always had trust issues. Ever since I was little. I’m not really sure why, or where it stemmed from, but I’ve never found it easy to trust people. As a child and teenager, it simply made me more independent. I never trusted people when they said they had or hadn’t done something, or if they said they would or wouldn’t do something. I relied on myself a lot, and that way I was never disappointed, and I just got things done.
It wasn’t until I started forming serious relationships did I realize that this was a problem. Not just romantically, but even in friendships and professional relationships. What I saw as independence and resilience in tough situations, others saw as a lack of trust. When we’re younger these things are less important, life is easier and there’s less weight on our shoulders. As adults, we have to fend for ourselves and whether we like to accept it or not, we can only get through it with the help of others.
I was aware of my trust issues, but never really thought it a bad thing. I’d think ‘It just means I’m more careful, and less likely to get hurt’. I remember the distinct moment when I realized that something’s not quite right. I had made some new friends and we had just broached that line of comfortably hanging out without any awkwardness. Now, I’m extremely ticklish, and I hate being tickled. My new friend was tickling me and I begged for her to stop, and she did. Yet I was still sitting there tense and my body language clearly read that I didn’t believe her. “I won’t tickle you again, I promise”. And suddenly my brain thought ‘why would she lie? Just trust her.’ And the minute I did and let go, I was instantly more relaxed.
Obviously, not every situation is as simple as this one, and sometimes it’s wise not to trust people off the bat. But with time, I’m training myself to trust people when they say things. Not to let my first instinct be ‘it’s not true’, but rather to trust first, especially when the person has given no reason that they’re untrustworthy.