Having trust issues with friends is a fact that can happen to the best of us. However, as everyone knows, friendships cannot operate this way. If you want your friendship with someone to really blossom and be meaningful, trust must be shared both ways.
If you’re someone who’s plagued with having trust issues with your friends, then you know how damaging this can be to your social and personal life. To finally overcome this issue, you must first realize why you have these feelings of distrust in the first place. You can then continue working on how you can finally stop them.
Common Reasons For Having Trust Issues With Friends
As awful as it is to revisit certain dark moments in your life, this is something you must do so you can build yourself upwards moving forward. To know how to stop having trust issues with friends, it can be beneficial to you to know the most common reasons for having these issues, to begin with, to see which one relates to you.
Trauma as a child
A lot of people who underwent trauma as a child, in whichever form, tend to have trust issues as an adult. If your childhood was particularly rough and you grew up to be an adult who’s constantly plagued with doubts and trust issues, now you know why.
The only important thing you can do now is to move on from the past, focus on the present, and work your best to be better for the future. I know that this is very much easier said than done, but it must be done nonetheless.
Horrible experience with a “friend” in the past
If you had a horrible experience with a so-called “friend” in the past who treated you horribly, took advantage of you at every turn, and was just an outright awful human being, then you are very much forgiven for having trust issues now.
Unfortunately, people like these are rampant. On the lighter side of things, though, not everyone you meet will end up being like this.
Experiencing a form of neglect or abandonment
Being neglected or abandoned by a family member, mentor, guardian, lover, or friend can be incredibly horrible and traumatizing. This is also one reason for an individual having trust issues with friends.
Experiencing neglect or abandonment in any form can very much lead to you having trust issues as well, simply for the fact that you’re afraid to experience that thing again.
You’ve been betrayed way too frequently
Experiencing betrayal is another reason why a person can develop trust issues with friends, and virtually anyone else. Betrayal shatters any trust that was previously formed into little pieces and it can be hard to reform that trust.
The awful thing about this is that it only takes one person’s betrayal for you to avoid trusting everyone else. Everyone will treat you differently, of course, and in the back of your mind, perhaps you know that too. Despite this, you know it will never be as easy to trust a person as before.
Being rejected time and time again will eventually cause someone to stop taking a leap of faith altogether. If you’ve been rejected one too many times, perhaps this is the reason why you’re too afraid to trust now.
What you need to keep in mind is that failure comes from the decision to stay down. Even if you do eventually learn to trust again, that will never stop rejections from happening. There are things beyond our control which we’ll need to accept. The important thing is that you’re able to rise back up and move forward.
Other forms of insecurities
Having trust issues can also be a result of having any form of insecurity. If you’re doubting yourself, don’t trust yourself, and don’t fully appreciate your personal value, it will be very easy for you to doubt, distrust, and not appreciate the value of others as well.
You’ve had a friend who didn’t trust you
If at one point in your life, you had a friend who greatly distrusted you, you may have adopted this mindset, which is why you eventually stopped trusting others as well. This reason is not as common as the others on this list, but it happens more often than you might think. If this is the reason for you, the good thing is that this is easier to remedy than the other causes.
One other common reason for people having trust issues with friends is having an underlying mental health problem. For this, it is very important that the person seek professional counsel, not just for their social life, but for everything else in their life as well. Having a mental health issue is a serious thing. Do not take it lightly.
How to Stop Having Trust Issues With Friends
Now that we’ve established the common reasons for someone having trust issues with friends, and now that you’ve most likely discerned which reason fits yours, it’s time to move forward and actually get to the bottom of the issue.
Having trust issues will destroy your social life completely. There’s just no way of going around it. Every once in a while, you’re going to meet saints you are immensely empathetic and understanding. But most of the time, people will get offended and hurt if they realize you don’t trust them. This is especially hurtful if they’ve been nothing but nice to you.
If this is a problem you wish to get rid of right now, take a look at the tips below on how to stop having trust issues with friends so you can finally have the carefree and safe social life you want.
Don’t be afraid of getting hurt
This may sound difficult to do, perhaps even senseless, but the first and a very important step you need to take if you want to stop having trust issues with friends is to stop being afraid of getting hurt.
This is one of those things that you just cannot control. Pain can come from so many sources and in so many forms that, if you think about its abundance, it makes more sense to accept them rather than to be afraid of them. That said, don’t be afraid of getting hurt.
Instead, use them to your advantage. We’ll talk more about this in length later on, but for now, keep in mind that you shouldn’t be afraid of getting hurt.
Close your eyes and take a leap of faith
As an extension of not being afraid of getting hurt, you should also take a leap of faith whenever you’re trying to befriend someone by trusting them completely. Better yet, do this for the friends you already have now if you still somehow doubt them.
What you can do on your part is to trust the other person. What they decide to do with that trust is entirely up to them. That said, trust the other person and trust yourself. Close your eyes and take a leap of faith.
Find friends who don’t trigger your trust issues right off the bat
This is where we talk about what to do about your fears and what should happen if someone betrays your trust. From the surface, what happens next is really simple: if someone ends up destroying your trust and bringing unwanted pain into your life, discard them. Don’t doubt it, stop having second thoughts, do what’s best for you and cut them out of your life.
If you trust without prejudice and stop being afraid of getting hurt, you’ll clearly spot everyone who ends up destroying your trust and causing you pain. In turn, you can then work on cutting them out of your life. This will eventually leave you with the people you can really consider “real friends,” those who would not break your trust or intentionally cause you pain in any way,
Focus on the positive things
One of the best things you can do for yourself so you can stop having trust issues with friends is to start focusing on the positive things. Start thinking about the things that could happen if you stop doubting and distrusting. Think about the amount of fun you’ll have with your friends if you start opening up to them. Finally, start thinking about how much some of your friends, those who have really stuck with you and cared for you, deserve your trust.
If you start thinking about the positive and it becomes something you do quite frequently, and thoughts of doubts will eventually leave your mind on their own. Think of this as a way of “tricking” your brain into being more trusting. You can say you trust someone, but if your mind is closed to that idea, it will never be a reality. Bringing positivity into your life is a very good and effective way of fighting against this.
Know the things you can control and the things you can’t
There are things in life we can control and things we cannot. For example, what you can control is to trust another person. What you cannot control is what they do with that trust. What you can control, in return, is to cut that person out of your life so you can focus on those who are actually taking care of the trust you’ve provided them.
Keep on having this mindset and your trust issues should fade away in time. This will force you to be more active on the things you can control and be more carefree with the things you can’t. The important thing here is that you’re bringing yourself peace of mind and happiness.
One thing you can do to stop letting your trust issues get the best of you is to actually start being trustworthy yourself. Know what it’s like to be a person someone can trust and you’ll start to see those characteristics in other people.
Pay attention when someone is confiding in you, whether it be a personal problem or a minor rant. Help when you can to those in need. Be an overall good friend by not hurting them intentionally, keeping secrets if you’re given them, and appreciating their company and friendship.
Take care of your mental health
If your trust issues come from mental health problems, take care of that first. In fact, that’s the most important thing you should be doing right now. Remember, not paying attention to your mental health is detrimental not only to you and your friends but to other aspects of your life as well. This includes your professional, familial, romantic, and personal life.
Do whatever you can to work on your mental health. Seeking professional help, one that is reliable, is the best way to do this. Once you’ve finally seen a professional, make sure you follow everything that’s advised to you. Get better for yourself and everything else around you will also get better along with you.
Keep working on yourself
Finally, never stop working on yourself. Know what’s best for you and seek out those things. If you actively sought out this article, then it’s important for you to remove your trust issues with friends. This way, you can finally establish a genuine connection with them. You know that having real connections with your friends is good for you. Well, work on that!
Other than improving your social life, improve other things as well. If you have a professional goal you’re working hard to attain, don’t stop working on that goal. If you have hobbies and activities you do constantly, do your best to be better at that activity. Get in touch with the family members you’re close with. Hang out with your friends whenever you can. Work on yourself, be better, and any thoughts of doubts and distrust will just melt away.
Follow the tips listed above and any form of trust issue that once plagued you will eventually go away. This is when you can finally nourish your friendships and build new ones moving forward. Make sure you cherish those moments and know who to cut away if they’re doing nothing but ruining your trust. You don’t need that in your life.
It’s tough now, but with enough time and dedication, you’ll eventually learn to genuinely trust someone else again. Trust me, it will be worth it.