You’ve got to give guys a chance.
If you close yourself off and you don’t open up and you don’t let yourself be vulnerable, your relationships won’t go anywhere.
But what if you have a hard time trusting men?
What if EVERY time you let down your guard and you let yourself trust just a LITTLE bit, it blows up in your face?
Because we all know there are a LOT of untrustworthy guys out there.
Guys who make promises they never intended to keep.
Guys who act like you are the only one when they have all these other women on the side.
Guys who hide things and then accuse you of being paranoid.
Guys who say they love you only to talk about you behind your back.
The worst part about it is that you don’t know which category a guy belongs in until you’ve already allowed yourself to get too close.
It’s like you have to stick your hand into a hive of bees and let yourself get stung over and over again while searching for the ONE bee without a stinger!
Why do that to yourself??
But some people will tell you that the problem is you.
They’ll say you have “trust issues.”
But personally? I don’t think you have trust issues.
I think you’ve learned the WRONG lessons about trust.
A lot of us are walking around with toxic beliefs about trust that we don’t even question because they’re so commonplace.
Here are 3 myths that are particularly damaging.
Myth #1. Trust is like a light switch.
Either it’s on, or it’s off. Either we trust someone, or we don’t. There’s no room for shades of gray.
Myth #2. “On” should be your default setting.
You should automatically trust people unless they’ve proven they can’t be trusted. They deserve your trust even if they haven’t earned it.
Myth #3. If you can’t trust, you have issues.
It’s up to you to be trusting. If you can’t do it, you’re the problem. Which lets everyone else off the hook!
Let’s take a step back and look at trust from a different perspective.
Trust isn’t black or white. You don’t have a moral obligation to trust everyone. Your job is to trust exactly as much as the situation deserves.
And these 3 truths will help you do that.
Truth #1. Trust is on a spectrum.
It’s not that either you trust someone or you don’t. Trust exists on a spectrum from “no trust” to “complete trust.”
Great managers know this. You give someone a little trust. Then, if they show that they can handle it, you give them a little more trust. If they show that they can handle that, you give them more trust. You adjust your trust in that person based on how well they handle it.
If they mess up, then you take away some trust. If they mess up again, you take away more trust. If they apologize and they work hard to regain your trust, you give them some trust back.
Which brings us to…
Truth #2. Trust levels need regular adjusting.
It doesn’t matter so much where you decide to start someone on the trust spectrum. You can choose to give them a little trust or a lot of trust based on your gut feeling and your personal comfort level.
What matters is that you adjust your trust in that person regularly based on their behavior.
Maybe you don’t feel comfortable trusting a new person right away. That’s fine.
But if that person shows that they’re capable of keeping their promises, respecting your feelings, and communicating honestly, then they should earn more of your trust.
On the flip side, if this person is hiding things from you, not showing up on time, not responding to your texts, accusing you of being needy, then you should adjust your trust in them downward.
Trusting less is just as important as trusting more.
But we often feel a lot more comfortable giving our trust rather than taking it away.
Let’s say you’re dating a guy. You expect him to show up on time and be there for you, because that’s what you do when you’re in a relationship with someone.
Yet time after time he shows you that he isn’t reliable and isn’t there when you need him. What do you do?
Do you keep letting yourself be surprised by his behavior? Or do you put less trust in him?
Which brings us to…
Truth #3. Appropriate trust is smart.
We have this idea that good people should trust everyone.
If you’re not trusting, it’s because you’ve got issues or you’re cynical or you don’t actually want the relationship to work.
That’s not true.
If someone’s behavior is unreliable, inconsistent, suspicious, or hurtful, then you SHOULD trust them less.
People earn trust through behaving in trustworthy ways. They lose trust through behaving in untrustworthy ways.
Appropriate trust keeps us from getting hurt.
There’s no moral virtue in trusting someone despite the fact that they’ve betrayed you over and over again.
A more appropriate response is to scale back your trust. You’re not writing them off. Leave the door open for them to earn back your trust. If they display a consistent pattern of trustworthy behavior, then you can give them back some of the trust they lost.
Just don’t let anyone guilt-trip you.
When people don’t get as much trust as they expect from you, they’ll often blame you. They won’t take responsibility. They’ll have a lot of excuses for their behavior.
That reaction, ironically, is a sign you should place even less trust in them.
Good people don’t expect everyone to trust them.
Good people expect to be given the opportunity to earn your trust.
So get good at giving people more trust when they earn it. Get good at withdrawing some of your trust in people when they don’t deserve it.
Trusting yourself to trust appropriately gives you the confidence you need to put yourself out there in love.