Let’s face it, trusting other people is hard, especially after trust has been broken. However, trusting another often means allowing ourselves to be vulnerable and open with things we have worked hard to keep hidden to keep ourselves from being hurt.
Trusting others is something we must do from the moment we are born. We (while unaware) trust that we will be fed and cared for because we cannot do this for ourselves. We were created to trust. As we grow, we learn whom we can trust, who will care for us, and who has not met our needs. These early experiences shape how, when, and whom we trust.
Placing our trust in anyone can be scary. First, it means we believe that this person has our best interest in mind. It means that we believe they will protect us in some way. By trusting, we could get hurt either physically or emotionally. Sometimes, allowing ourselves to trust is on a small scale; at other times, it could be life-changing.
Think about driving. When driving, we unconsciously trust that other drivers will follow traffic laws. We believe they will stop when the light turns red or look before they change lanes. We place trust in strangers. We rely on others to keep us safe, and they do the same.
So here we are, trusting strangers with our lives, yet we often hesitate to trust those closest to us. I often wonder if placing trust in the people closest to us means we might be deeply emotionally hurt. We can heal from an injury, and while there may be lasting physical pain, an injury to our heart and soul can last for years or even a lifetime.
When trust has been broken, it cannot be easy to trust others in the future. We have felt that deep pain and innately want to protect ourselves from being hurt again. So we will close our hearts and soul, not allowing us to be vulnerable with anyone. Closing ourselves off, while protective, means we miss out on the beautiful potential that is out there.
So, what happens when we trust others and allow ourselves to be vulnerable? We certainly risk being deeply hurt. We put ourselves in a position where our weaknesses and flaws are seen. It can be scary. There is a chance that those things can be used against us. We may be manipulated to do what is best for them and not ourselves. The flaws you see in yourself could be amplified, creating a belief that we are not good enough to reach our full potential and holding us back from reaching for the things we want most.
Opening ourselves up to trusting others can create great relationships and opportunities. Others show us the possibilities within us and help us learn and grow. We can experience the world in new and exciting ways with new perspectives opening ourselves up to the great potential within us.
Of course, being prudent with the trust we give others is essential. This is the place where intuition and experience come in. We must lean into what we know about ourselves and the person we are placing our trust in. Too much confidence too quickly can be just as problematic as not trusting. When entering into new relationships, start small, allowing you to test the waters while showing the other party they can also trust you.
Trust is essential in every relationship, including the one with ourselves. Without it, we question others’ motives, uncertain if they have our best interest in mind. As a result, we close ourselves off from the beautiful possibilities that await us and will enrich our lives in ways we never imagined.