Monday, August 21, 2017

Trust IS a Choice

Trusting someone is a big deal for many of us. You may hear someone saying, “I have a trust issue,” “I cannot trust people,” and “I want to, but I can’t trust him/her.” Yes, it is understandable. But there is actually something many people misunderstand about trusting others, and I would like to talk about that today.

The difficulty of trusting other people is nothing strange or wrong in and of itself at all. We are all naturally concerned about protecting ourselves one way or another. So naturally, trust is very difficult and challenging! The biggest reason I can think of why this is so is because there is always a chance that you can be betrayed and hurt at some point; other peoples’ minds and behavior are not in our hands, therefore, even if we trust someone, we can never be totally sure of what might happen. Because trusting someone is to leave ourselves open and vulnerable, if betrayed, the damage is really huge.

For this reason, I have no complaints about people struggling with trust. Trusting someone is indeed a very difficult thing to do. However, the challenge I would like to extend to those who have a “trust issue” is to understand it that Trust IS a Choice. Trusting someone does not happen naturally out of nowhere, except for some kids and/or adults who are kids at heart. While growing up, it becomes a more and more difficult thing to do. And once it becomes difficult, then it will not happen easily or naturally unless we choose it.

However, lots of people with a “trust issue” seem to think that someday something magical will happen to them to help them be able to trust people. Or they continuously and desperately look for evidence to be able to keep trusting someone until they find a reason why they can’t do it any longer (and this pattern repeats). Neither one will work.

As I said above, trust is a choice. You actually have to choose to trust someone no matter how scary it might be.

Then you may wonder about the risk of being hurt, betrayed, and so on. Yes, it is a risk. But you still choose to trust the person because you decide to do so. Again, we never know what might happen, and the mind/feelings/behavior of others are things outside of our control. Thus, all we can do is to choose to trust, despite the fear and lack of certainty.

Yes, being betrayed is a possibility. The situation may change and even your BFF may not want to be your BFF any longer. No matter what happens after that, however, the fact that you were able to choose to trust that person will remain with you, and this is your power. Even if someone was not who you thought they were, the fact that you were able to decide to trust that person won’t change at all! This is an amazing thing. Why is that? If you “cannot” trust people and stay lonely and miserable, it won’t do anything for you and you will remain the same lonely miserable person. But if YOU decide to CHOOSE to trust someone, then first, you can be proud of your ability and courage to trust that person, no matter what happens after that. And second, you open yourself to the opportunity of having an amazing encounter and connection with someone who is really great.

If you are betrayed, then you will have more clarity that it is not worth it having that person in your life and you can get rid of someone toxic from your life. This is liberating and great for you, isn’t it? In reality, however, lots of decent people actually do respond to your trust well, because decent people respect and appreciate your trust implicitly understanding what a difficult thing it is to do.
Also I would like to say that trust is either 100% or not at all. There is no “mostly,” “90%,” or “somewhat.” Either you do or you don’t trust someone once you choose to trust them. It is all or nothing. Yes, it is scary, but that is why it is such a valuable thing.

By the way, if you have been betrayed by someone badly or on many occasions, and you still choose to trust that person, then you probably have some fundamental issue in play. Your attachment, abandonment, fear of rejection, or something like that is not healthy for you. But that is not what I’m talking about today. Also, some people have incurred more deep-rooted damage, resulting in an inability to even trust themselves and/or their own judgment. This article does not apply to those who have such issues.

Anyhow, what do you think? I hope this was interesting and thought-provoking. The bottom line is: When you CHOOSE to trust someone, it is in your hands and you are more empowered. Trust IS your choice to make.