Throughout most of my teenage years, I couldn’t bring myself to trust others. I feared it; feared that they would use any confidential information I may share with them against me eventually. I was scared of being vulnerable with others and letting them have some sort of an “advantage” over me. So, I held myself back. I didn’t share any private information with anyone. The people I liked or hated, the things that irritated me, my problems – I kept them all to myself.
Looking back, I understand that this is what kept me from having very close and meaningful friendships, something I desperately wished for at the time. While other people I knew had their beat friend, their ride or die, their “person,” I didn’t. Yes, I had great friends, but within our group, some people had stronger connections, while I seemed to have it with no one. I knew I had to trust my friends more, to let them in. Unfourtenetly, I didn’t know how to do that. However, during my senior year, something changed.
That year, I deepened my connection with a couple of my friends. The three of us were in a few classes together, so I got to hang out with them more than I did in the past. Over time, as they started to open up to me, I was determined to do the same. As I feared opening up to anyone, it took some time, but one day, it happened. I can remember this day clearly to this day. We sat together at launch when the discussion centered around one of our classmates. She and I had a long history together, as we had a pretty massive fight after she hurt me deeply in the past. Never before have I told anyone about my dislike of her, when suddenly, I told them.
There it was, the moment I feared the most. I shared with someone private information, gave them “leverage.” Now, they can tell this girl my opinion of her, or tarnish my likable, innocent, and loving image. Now, people are going to view me differently (my image as a likable and all-loving person was also important to me, as I hated fighting with others or the thought of being looked at badly by anyone.) To my surprise, none of the things I feared happened. They kept my secret safe and didn’t give it the weight I did. To them, it was ordinary and nothing special, whereas to me, it was a life-changing experience. I opened up to someone, shared something private with others, and none of my moody prophesies came true.
It was then that I let my guards down and allowed myself to trust someone. That experience made me realize that the best way to see if you can trust someone is, well, to trust them. I know it’s easier said than then done, believe me, I do, but that is what it is. You must put yourself out there, on the line, and trust someone. Like in my situation, it may turn out to be precisely what you needed. I gained so much from it; I established a deeper relationship with my friends and allowed myself to open up. But, when it goes in the other direction, don’t give up! Allow yourself to trust, because what you may achieve is worth it all.