How to Trust People Again

7 ways to rebuild your faith in humanity.

1/13/2021 11:21:00 PM

7 concrete steps to overcome hurt or betrayal and learn to trust people again, explains EllenHendriksen

7 ways to rebuild your faith in humanity.

. For instance, the love of our life cheats, we get swindled by someone we trust, or life otherwise turns on a dime. Again, it makes sense: if you were blindsided by betrayal, you’d get a rewrite on your script pretty quickly.Either way, you’re left with a belief system that puts a wedge between you and the rest of the world. The beliefs may be about yourself, such as, “If I trust someone, they’ll see the real me and reject me.” Or they may be about everyone else: “If I love someone, they’ll leave.” “If I trust someone, they’ll betray me.” You might truly believe, “You can’t trust anyone; you can only rely on yourself.”

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I won’t lie: changing these beliefs and rebuilding trust is hard. When you’re first starting to rebuild trust in humanity, it may feel like an intellectual exercise. You know in your head that most people can be trusted, but you don’t feel it in your heart. To make the move from head to heart, in many cases, takes a leap of faith.

It’s like that cheesy team-building exercise, the trust fall, where you fall backwards, blindly, and trust your teammates will catch you. You aren’t guaranteed you won’t end up on the floor—it takes a leap of faith to lean back and let yourself go.How do you set yourself up to take a real-life leap of faith? How can you trust again, deep in your bones? Start by trying these 7 things.

#1: Stay in one place.Moving around the country or the world is a socially acceptable way to sever ties and never get too close to anyone. But if you’re committed to rebuilding your sense of trust, set down an anchor. This will feel wrong at first. You will feel the need for a geographic do-over, but try to settle in. Once you put down some roots, you can branch out by getting to know—and trust—the people around you.

#2: Ground yourself in a routine.Once you’re in one place, get into a rhythm. The same yoga class, the same people at the dog park, a 12-step home group. Why? It’s not to get you in a rut. It’s a proxy: Inherent in a routine is seeing the same people. Repetition—seeing the same faces again and again—is the next step to building trust.

#3: Give a little, and see what you get.Once you’re seeing the same faces, next comes testing the waters and seeing what you get. Reveal a little bit about yourself—it doesn’t have to be deep or dark—and see what happens. Usually, you’ll get a tidbit in return.

Or ask for a little and see what you get. Make yourself the teeniest bit vulnerable: ask a neighbor for a favor, a friend for advice, or even a stranger to please help you reach that can of tomatoes on the top shelf at the supermarket.Having a need and getting it met adds a drop to the bucket of trust. It may not seem like much, but drop by drop, you discover that most people mean well and will help you when you need it. Trauma experts call this “re-engagement with communal life,” but you can call it taking that first leap of faith in trusting again.

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#4: Make plans for the future. Read more: Psychology Today »

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EllenHendriksen As far as private information goes, you can never really trust anyone because it seems to be human nature to wear two faces, so in knowing this be careful what you are willing to put out into the universe. 😜