At some point in your life, you may be betrayed by someone you trust. More than likely, it might happen in a relationship by a person you love and care for. If this already happened to you, then you know how awful it feels to be deceived and the difficulty you face in getting over the hurt and trusting again. You were perhaps left feeling disenchanted about love and you live with the fear of being hurt again.
You build a wall around your heart and play it safe in your next relationship — basically one foot in – one foot out, so if something were to happen, you won’t feel the hurt and disappointment as bad as you did before. You believe the wall is protecting you from getting hurt, but in reality it is preventing you from truly experiencing a deep, meaningful relationship. There are a few things I learnt about that wall: your inability to trust another person will ruin your chance of ever being in a healthy, long-lasting relationship. You may share whatever connection with this person, but there will never be a real relationship if there is no openness and trust. You will never fully experience the true essence of love if you don’t put yourself out there.
“Trust is built when someone is vulnerable and not taken advantage of.” —Bob Vanourek, author of Triple Crown Leadership
As careless as it may sound, you need to get rid of that wall and be completely open, transparent, and vulnerable in your relationship. Let go of everything you’re holding on to; only then you will be able to build a deep emotional connection with someone, which is the foundation for any genuine relationship.
Who Should You Trust?
Under no circumstances should you choose to wing it and jump into trusting any random person who comes into your life and sweeps you off your feet. This will increase your chances of getting hurt again. You want to open your heart to trusting again, but at the same time, don’t be naive and blind to the person’s true character. A huge part about trusting again depends on the person you intend to trust. It will take a lot more than a nice person to deserve your trust. Trust someone with integrity. You need to know more than what meets the eye about this person and whether they have good intentions for you or not. How do you know? Focus on their actions and behaviour and honestly answer these questions:
- What have they done to prove their trustworthiness to you?
- What have they done to prove their un-trustworthiness to you?
- What have they done to prove they have your best interest at heart?
- What have they done to prove that they are completely open and transparent with you?
- Put aside what you’ve experienced in the past, do you get an instinct like they are hiding things from you?
- Are they honest and considerate with their friends, family, and co-workers?
- How do others regard this person?
If you’re sceptical about your answers, there may be something about the person that prevents you from investing your trust in them. Trust your instincts. Where there’s smoke there’s usually fire, so if something really seems off to you, then it probably is.
“The people when rightly and fully trusted will return the trust.” —Abraham Lincoln
At the same time, if there is nothing to be wary about, don’t nit-pick and look for reasons not to trust. Sometimes there really isn’t anything there, and you need to believe that not everyone is the same — someone can actually treat you with the care, respect, and consideration that you deserve. Now it’s up to you to allow that person into your heart. Understand that just because you’ve been hurt by one person in the past—or in some cases, a number of people—it does not mean every other person will hurt you too. Once this person gives you no reason to be cautious, they deserve to be treated fairly and given an open-minded chance. It’s crucial to start each relationship with a clean slate and not let it be poisoned by your past.
In Part 2 I will discuss how you can move forward from your past, allow yourself to trust again, and enjoy a beautiful, healthy relationship.
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…Keep Smiling – Love, Candace