How do you deal with trust issues
13 Signs of Trust Issues & How to Trust AgainSkip to content
Published: September 15, 2022 Updated: November 2, 2022
Published: 09/15/2022 Updated: 11/02/2022
Have you ever felt sure that you couldn’t trust someone, even if they had done nothing to cause you to doubt them? Trust issues can cause suspicion, anxiety, and doubt, and can be very damaging to romantic, personal, and professional relationships. Learning to trust again can be difficult but necessary to maintain your emotional wellbeing.
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What Are Trust Issues?
Trust is believing in the integrity of others. Building trust means that you feel secure in your interactions and relationships, and are able to be open and vulnerable with others. When people harm you and betray your trust, your feeling of security can be shattered. You start to expect the worst from others and become suspicious and skeptical. This lack of trust, commonly referred to as having trust issues, can be very harmful to your mental health and your relationships with others.1
The Importance of Trust in Romantic Relationships
Trust issues can cause you to have relationship anxiety and can keep you from going deeper in a relationship. It can also be a major issue if you’re checking your partner’s phone without asking or if you’re constantly checking up on them. Building trust in a relationship is key to counting on each other and maintaining longevity.
Why Are Trust Issues Harmful?
Trust issues can affect many areas of your life, including your mental and emotional health and your professional and personal relationships. Trust issues can lead to relationship problems, loneliness, isolation, stress, burnout, and perfectionism. When you don’t trust others, it causes you to obsess about other people’s actions or feel like you have to do everything yourself. It can also lead to developing control issues and perfectionism.
Trust issues can negatively affect the following:2
- Work relationships and productivity
- Romantic relationships
- Relationships with family members
- Relationships with your children
- Your own mental health
Trust issues can cause you to feel suspicious, to doubt others, and even to isolate yourself. You might have volatile, unstable relationships, pick fights, or accuse others of dishonesty or betrayal. You also might spend a lot of time worrying, wondering, or even obsessing about what others are up to.
Here are 13 potential signs of trust issues:
1. You Focus on the Negative
People in trusting and healthy relationships are more likely to see the positives in each other, whereas people with trust issues are more likely to focus on the negatives. If you often find yourself assuming the worst and noticing people’s weaknesses rather than strengths, that could be a sign of trust issues.3
2. You Feel Like You Have to Do Everything
You have a hard time relying on others to follow through, so you do it all yourself. This leads to perfectionism, stress, and overwork. In the workplace, it can make it difficult for you to work as part of a team, because you don’t feel comfortable delegating or counting on others to do their part.4
3. You Are Suspicious of Friends & Family
You are always preparing yourself for the next betrayal, letdown, or ulterior motive. You don’t believe what people tell you. Your knee-jerk reaction is to assume that they are being dishonest or have broken your trust in some way.
4. You Avoid Intimacy
Intimacy requires vulnerability, and people with trust issues try to avoid feeling vulnerable at all costs. If you have trust issues or a fear of intimacy, you would rather be on your own than risk being hurt.
5. You Hold Grudges
Once someone has broken your trust or let you down, you never forget it. You are not likely to ever forgive or trust that person again.
6. You Pick Fights
When you have trust issues, you are hyper-aware of any little thing that could go wrong in a relationship. You don’t trust your partner, so you bring up issues from their past or find things that bother you and start a fight.
7. You Keep to Yourself
Sharing your inner world with others requires trust. When you have trust issues, you would rather keep things to yourself than risk trusting someone else with the details of your inner life.
8. You Avoid Commitment
You have trouble committing, because committed relationships require trust and vulnerability from everyone involved. When you don’t trust others, you avoid getting into situations that cause you to feel vulnerable, and you develop commitment issues.
9. You Spy on People or Check Their Phones
When you have trust issues, you are always looking for evidence to prove whether someone is being honest with you or not. Since you don’t believe them, you seek out evidence to either set your mind at ease or prove you right.
10. You’re a Loner
You prefer your own company to anyone else’s, because at least when you are by yourself no one else can let you down.
11. You Find Yourself in Relationships With Untrustworthy People
Frustratingly, having your trust broken can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. When you expect a certain thing to happen, in the case of having trust issues, being betrayed, your subconscious mind will seek out those situations.5
12. You Smother People You Care About
When people are in your inner circle, you protect them fiercely because you fear that they will leave you or that something bad will happen to you. This can result in smothering, hovering, or codependent behavior in your relationships.
13. You Have a Fear of Abandonment
You live in constant fear of being abandoned or rejected in all of your relationships. When you get a “please stop by my office” email from your boss, you are sure you are being fired. When you see photos of friends having fun, your first thought is that they left you out on purpose. In romantic relationships, you have constant fear of abandonment lurking under the surface that they are getting ready to break things off.
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What Causes Trust Issues?
Possible origins of trust issues include low self-esteem, past betrayals, mental health disorders, adverse childhood experiences or traumatic events. Any time your sense of safety or security is threatened, it can cause trust issues to arise.
Trust issues may be caused by:6
- History of abuse
- Low self-esteem
- History of betrayal in relationships
- Childhood trauma
- Abandonment issues
- Fear of rejection
- A history of being bullied
- Disorders like depression, anxiety, PTSD or adjustment disorders
- Attachment disorders
- Personality disorders like borderline personality disorder
Lack of Trust From Childhood Wounds
Childhood is an especially vulnerable time for trust issues to show up. Children are 100% dependent on their caretakers to keep them alive. When that trust is broken in childhood, it creates the feeling of not being safe, and children learn to feel insecure and that they can only rely on themselves.
Many people can have issues with trust, but for some, it could indicate a significant mental health concern. Psychological disorders, like attachment disorders, psychoses, and personality disorders involve intense trust issues.6
- Attachment disorders: Reactive attachment disorder (RAD) and disinhibited social engagement disorder (DSED) are linked to childhood trauma and neglect. As an adult, the person may struggle establishing trust, since there was so little as a child.
- Psychoses: Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders may create a level of paranoia. With this suspicion in place, trusting people or institutions will be challenging.
- Personality disorders: Borderline personality, narcissistic personality, and antisocial personality disorders may center on a lack of trust in others, which affects relationships, employment, and educational success.
If trust issues stem from a mental health condition, addressing the disorder directly should help the trust issues.
How to Get Over Trust Issues
The good news is, you can learn how to overcome trust issues! The best way to start to get over trust issues is by allowing people to earn your trust. Trusting someone too quickly who you just met can backfire, as can doubting someone who has done nothing to cause you to not trust them. The key is to start to take safe emotional risks with people who have not harmed or betrayed you.
Here are 10 tips for how to deal with trust issues:
1. Take Safe Emotional Risks
Let yourself practice trusting in small, safe ways. Take someone at their word. Give them the benefit of the doubt.
2. Allow Yourself Time If Your Trust Was Broken
If your trust has been broken, it’s going to take some time without further betrayal for the person to earn it back. If someone is genuine in wanting to build trust again, they will respect this process.
3. Avoid the Temptation to Snoop or Spy
Snooping or spying can easily become an obsessive behavior that will only make your trust issues worse.
4. Take Your Time Getting to Know New People
Don’t jump into trusting people before you know them. Many people with trust issues tend to trust too quickly, keeping you stuck in the pattern.
5. Communicate With Your Partner
Be careful not to accuse or blame. Instead, communicate clearly how you are feeling and what you need. For example, “When you came home late, I felt worried and insecure. I need you to give me a call next time.”
6. Reflect on the Potential Roots of Your Trust Issues
Spend some time thinking, journaling, or talking to a friend about this pattern in your life and what is within your power to change.
7. Acknowledge Your Trust Issues
Acknowledging your trust issues is a necessary component to getting over it. Rather than blaming others or deflecting the issue, take responsibility for your situation. Acknowledging the issue does not mean that you have to accept or like it. It only means that you understand the presence of an issue, and you are willing to fight it.
8. Know the Relationships between Trust & Control
Sometimes, as trust decreases, the need to control increases. Unfortunately, intense control only lowers trust. Check in with yourself to identify the interaction between trust and control in your relationships. By lowering your need to control, you could find yourself feeling more trusting and trusted.
9. Become Trustworthy Yourself
Many times, trust issues involve pointing the finger at others and being critical of their actions. Are you being trustworthy, though? Without being a trustworthy person yourself, you could find it challenging to trust others.
10. Realize That You Control Your Trust
You may spend time thinking about what the other person should do to build or maintain your trust. In reality, you control your trust issues. If you let your paranoia, doubt, and questioning soar, trust issues will increase. If you can manage these issues, you will find your trust improves, regardless of what the other people do.
How Therapy Can Help With Trust issues
When trust issues interfere with your relationships, impact your ability to function in life, or persist for long periods of time, talking to a licensed professional can help. Consulting an online therapist directory is a great way to find a therapist who meets your needs.
Individual therapy can help you process past betrayals, abuse, and trauma, heal from rejection and abandonment and improve your self-esteem. If you are experiencing any symptoms of possible disorders like depression, anxiety, or PTSD, talking to a licensed therapist is the first step toward relief.
When your trust issues are causing arguments or problems in your relationship with a significant other, or you have difficulty communicating about it, couples therapy could be a helpful option.
Trusting others is hard when you have trust issues and have been hurt or betrayed in the past. It’s understandable that you would feel reluctant to trust others. However, trust is a necessary component to any healthy relationship. Therapy and reaching out to your support network can help.
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Choosing Therapy strives to provide our readers with mental health content that is accurate and actionable. We have high standards for what can be cited within our articles. Acceptable sources include government agencies, universities and colleges, scholarly journals, industry and professional associations, and other high-integrity sources of mental health journalism. Learn more by reviewing our full editorial policy.
Larzelere, R. E., & Huston, T. L. (1980). The Dyadic Trust Scale: Toward Understanding Interpersonal Trust in Close Relationships. Journal of Marriage and Family, 42(3), 595–604. https://doi.org/10.2307/351903
Hwee Hoon Tan & Augustine K. H. Lim (2009) Trust in Coworkers and Trust in Organizations, The Journal of Psychology, 143(1), 45-66, DOI: 10.3200/JRLP.143.1.45-66
Rempel, J. K., Ross, M., & Holmes, J. G. (2001). Trust and communicated attributions in close relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81(1), 57–64. Retrieved November 06, 2021 from https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-35126.96.36.199.
Porter, G. (2001). Workaholic Tendencies and the High Potential for Stress Among Co-Workers. International Journal of Stress Management. 8, 147–164. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1009581330960
Bundrant, M. (2020, October 5). How an Original Feeling Becomes a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy. INLP Center. Retrieved from https://inlpcenter.org/how-feelings-become-self-fulfilling-prophecy/
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: Fifth Edition. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association.
We regularly update the articles on ChoosingTherapy.com to ensure we continue to reflect scientific consensus on the topics we cover, to incorporate new research into our articles, and to better answer our audience’s questions. When our content undergoes a significant revision, we summarize the changes that were made and the date on which they occurred. We also record the authors and medical reviewers who contributed to previous versions of the article. Read more about our editorial policies here.
Originally Published: November 22, 2021
Original Author: Michelle Risser, LISW-S
Original Reviewer: Kristen Fuller, MD
Updated: September 15, 2022
Author: No Change
Reviewer: No Change
Primary Changes: Updated for readability and clarity. Reviewed and added relevant resources. Added “Can Having Trust Issues Be a Sign of Mental Illness?” and four new tips to “How to Get Over Trust Issues”. New material written by Eric Patterson, LPC, and reviewed by Kristen Fuller, MD.
If you are in need of immediate medical help:
Do I have trust issues? Getting over trust issues in a relationship
Trust issues are characterized by fear of betrayal, abandonment, or manipulation. And this fear is often triggered as a result of betrayal (such as infidelity), abandonment (think: leaving a child or foregoing a relationship with them), or manipulation (for example, dishonesty or gaslighting).
If you’re reading this, it’s possible that someone you trusted — a partner, a parent, or even a doctor — mistreated you or let you down. And as a result, you struggle to trust others. Or, in other words, you have trust issues.
Many people can pinpoint the event or relationship in question, but others struggle. And most (if not all) struggle to overcome their trust issues. However, it isn’t impossible. If you’re struggling with trust issues, you can work to trust again by following a few steps. But first, let’s start from the beginning: What exactly is trust?What Is Trust?
Trust is the belief in the reliability and truth of another person. It’s how we subjectively measure the integrity and honesty of others — those who can be counted on to do what is right. However, sometimes we aren’t certain who to trust, how much to trust, and when not to trust.What Are Trust Issues and What Are the Signs of Trust Issues?
To recap what we said earlier: When someone has trust issues, they have an extremely difficult time trusting others — and often because someone has betrayed their trust in the past. Here are additional signs and symptoms of trust issues:
- They assume betrayal. Those with trust issues assume someone has betrayed their trust even if they have no rightful reasoning.
- They anticipate betrayal. People with trust issues often assume someone will betray them soon enough, despite how honest they have been in the past.
- They’re overly protective. Those with trust issues are usually very protective of their loved ones, out of fear that they will become disloyal.
- They distance themselves from others. People with trust issues decide it’s best to limit their relationships to avoid betrayal or abandonment.
- They avoid commitment. No matter how much they care for someone, people with trust issues refuse to commit.
- They refuse to forgive (even the smallest mistakes). Those with trust issues are quick to make a big deal out of nothing — it’s the end of the world if someone makes the slightest mistake.
- They’re excessively wary of people. People with trust issues are extremely cautious and suspicious of everyone they meet.
- They feel lonely or depressed. Those with trust issues isolate themselves from others and feel lonely or depressed as a result.
Earlier, we said that trust issues are often caused by an act of betrayal, abandonment, or manipulation. But what are the most common examples of these wrongdoings that lead to trust issues?
- Infidelity: Again, infidelity is an example of betrayal that can trigger trust issues. Many people view this as the ultimate form of betrayal. While it’s possible to repair a relationship after infidelity, often the relationship ends and the victim of the infidelity develops trust issues, which impact future relationships.
- Manipulation or mistreatment: If a past partner or loved one manipulated or mistreated you, you’re also at an increased risk for trust issues. Examples include dishonesty, gaslighting, passive-aggressive behavior, and keeping you isolated from others.
- Childhood trauma: Adverse experiences in childhood are also likely to cause trust issues. Examples include abuse or abandonment (by one or more caregivers).
- Other forms of trauma: Trauma later in life can also lead to trust issues. For example, you might struggle to trust healthcare professionals because of a firsthand or secondhand traumatic experience with a previous doctor. Think: Getting misdiagnosed with a serious illness.
- Parental divorce or conflicts: If you have divorced parents, you may also be more likely to develop trust issues, especially in your romantic relationships. On the other hand, if your parents argue(d) a lot and you’ve witnessed an up and down relationship, you might’ve developed trust issues as a result.
Once someone experiences a betrayal, their trust issues may impact their ability to avoid internalizing that experience—they may blame themselves, and feel less confident in the future. This can impact their ability to trust because they may feel “undeserving”, and instead of fostering a healthy connection, a person with trust issues may be constantly on guard, waiting for the other shoe to drop, so to speak.The Importance of Trust in Romantic Relationships
In most cases, our romantic relationships suffer the most from our trust issues — whether they’ve resulted from betrayal in a former romantic relationship or not. Why? Intimate relationships are based on honesty and openness. The trust that partners have in each other is the glue that binds the relationship, providing a positive emotional connection that’s rooted in affection, love, and loyalty.
A common cause of trust issues is infidelity. If a partner in a relationship has an affair, the deception and betrayal of trust can be more damaging than the actual affair. The lying erodes the belief in the other person, and the reality is that the partner has another aspect of their life that they’ve kept secret. A person who didn’t develop trust as a child will feel especially vulnerable to infidelity and deception by somebody they loved.Is Having Trust Issues a Mental Illness?
Having trust issues as a singular issue isn’t a mental illness. However, it can be indicative of an actual mental health condition, particularly:
- Anxiety disorders, especially PTSD
- Borderline personality disorder (BPD)
- Paranoid personality disorder (PPD)
- Bipolar disorder I or II
These conditions may cause trust issues in relationships because of the way certain cognitive distortions, irrational beliefs, or mood swings may unrealistically change someone’s perception of reality and interpersonal relationships. What can be particularly damaging, though, is when a person with a mental health condition that causes trust issues is hurt by a loved one’s deception. This can affirm their negative bias and make it even harder to emotionally and socially connect with other people, even if they desire to do so.What Is a Person Called When They Have Trust Issues?
Pistanthrophobia is the fear of trusting people or forming significant relationships with them. While it’s not a recognized mental health condition in the DSM-5, pistanthrophobia, like other phobias, causes significant mental and emotional distress and usually detracts from the sufferer’s quality of life in a significant way.Are Trust Issues a Red Flag?
Trust issues can be a sign that someone has experienced a significant amount of trauma — but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t working through their past experiences. Trust issues in a relationship can be hard for both partners to overcome, but with adequate support and communication channels, people with trust issues can have healthy, successful connections with partners — that aren’t ruled by their past.What Do You Do If You Have Trust Issues In a Relationship?
Dialectal behavior therapy (DBT) is an effective treatment method for people who are noticing continued trust issues in relationships. So for those wondering how to fix trust issues, finding a mental health professional that they can connect with and receive DBT from is the first place to begin. Partners can also benefit from couples or marriage counseling, where they’ll learn new ways to empathize, communicate, and resolve differences and conflicts.
But even before beginning counseling or another form of mental health treatment, there are smaller, personal ways in which someone with trust issues in a relationship can begin to find healing.How to Get Over or Overcome Trust Issues: 8 Tips
Knowing how to fix trust issues isn’t always simple. If you have trust issues and it’s hindering your ability to build happy, healthy relationships or it’s hindering your life in another way, then it’s time to make a change. Follow these steps if you’re wondering how to fix trust issues and take your relationships to the next level.1) Accept the risk that comes with learning to trust again.
None of us are perfect — we let people down. Therefore, you must accept the risk that comes with trusting; the reality is that you’re going to be let down at some point or another. But that doesn’t mean your relationship with that person is or should be over. It’s about setting and communicating the right expectations as well as boundaries.2) Learn how trust works.
Some people trust until they have a reason not to — others don’t trust people until that trust is earned. It’s up to you if and when you choose to trust someone. It’s perfectly okay to wait for someone to earn your trust before deciding you can rely on them. Especially if you’re recovering from past betrayal.3) Take emotional risks.
At some point, you’ve got to just jump in head-first. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and choose to trust (whether it’s at the beginning of a relationship or after they’ve earned your trust).4) Get to the root of your trust issues.
Remember, trust issues often stem from a past betrayal. If you aren’t sure why you have trust issues, do some soul-searching. Think about any past experiences that may have caused your trust issues. It’s crucial that you understand why you’re scared and what you’re scared of, so you can move on. If you need help doing this, consider working with a counselor.5) Communicate honestly and often.
Poor communication is one of the main reasons that marriages and other relationships deteriorate. Do your part, and continue to be honest with the people in your life. Also, talk to them about your hesitancy to trust.6) Be mindful of your relationships.
Each one of your interactions works to build trust. Start tuning into these interactions and consider why someone (whether it’s your new doctor, partner, or co-worker) might deserve your trust.7) Consider those you do trust and express your appreciation.
Friends and family members who have always been there are easy to take for granted unless you make a conscious effort to show them your appreciation. When you have a problem, those are the people you can trust to be a support network. In addition, you can learn a lot about who, what, why, and how you trust from these relationships.8) Try and trust again.
If you fail and resort back to distrusting tendencies, try again. Trust again. Keep putting yourself out there.
How do you deal with distrust
How do you deal with... Relcome
Ask him who he communicates with in Viber. If he starts to evade, then it’s not in vain that you have distrust. March 30, 2019 You still have a goal - to trust someone totally as yourself. And this is not necessary for life, such trust is akin to merging, but you don’t need to merge, just being there is enough. If you gain self-sufficiency, you will understand it.
I don't trust either, regardless of whether a person gave a reason or not, .. enough betrayed by the closest. In relationships, it helped me to load myself as much as possible with my affairs, so that I myself would not have time to check the time of visiting social networks and set myself up to live my own interests, and not fall into emotional dependence on a man (he was also older)
- it's not embarrassing. The only thing that matters is what you do when you find out about it - cling and humiliate yourself, throw a tantrum or go into the sunset and live your life. It is at this moment that your image and your future are formed. Now what? No one has cheated on you yet, but you have already exhausted yourself, and the peasant, too, I suppose, at least by the way you tense up when he picks up the phone. This is definitely noticeable, people are not fools
Author, I also betrayed me that I helped me abstract? Faith in your intuition. I’ll tell you, if something seems to you, it may not seem like it. After the betrayal, I had the following relationship in which there was distrust, I already thought paranoia, it turned out the person was a terrible liar. And in the last relationship, faith, on the 3rd date he gave me the keys to the apartment, this is not what he called for sure to live, this is like a sign of trust
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In this article, we will look at other ways you can win the trust of customers if you do not have case studies and testimonials from satisfied customers.
Tell us about your workflow
To prove your reliability and professionalism, show how the work process goes and what the result is. Often, a potential client is kept from cooperation by a vague idea about the service and the fear that it may be of poor quality.
How to increase customer loyalty?
1. Share your opinion about the problem and how to solve it. If a potential customer sees how you deal with similar tasks, he will trust you more.
2. Describe what it takes to get the product/service. Unexpected obstacles, conditions, fear of not meeting certain requirements or having some kind of training, all this can stop a potential customer from working with you.
3. Tell us about the stages of the service. Make the person feel like a customer already. Describe each of your steps and show intermediate results. Such a visualization of the process will definitely play into your hands.
Share the customer's vision
Study the views of potential customers on problems, their doubts and pains in order to better understand your target audience. As psychologists say, people are most sympathetic to those who are similar to them in their views, way of thinking and appearance.
Avoid using superficial and abstract terms such as "customization" and "affordable prices". Because each person understands it differently.
An example of using abstract concepts
Speak the same language with your audience, use words that they understand, as if you were explaining something to your best friend.
Specify and support your words with examples. It is important that the audience agrees with most of your statements, because this increases their trust and willingness to cooperate with you. People are interested in hearing about themselves, so talk about site visitors, not yourself.
Guarantees increase the client's confidence in you, because he understands that if you break promises, your reputation will suffer. Which is important not only offline, but also in the online sphere. Guarantees are the only situation when the text should talk about you, and not about the client.
Additional indicators of your professionalism will be lists of awards, diplomas, titles, educational courses. All this will back up your guarantees.
Most importantly, don't make promises that you can't keep, because in the end it will turn against you. For example, avoid statements such as “you will rise to the next level in a week”, “reach will increase by 1000 views a day”, etc. Such statements cause doubt and mistrust.
Provide the opportunity to return the goods and money
The existence of such an opportunity inspires confidence in a person, because it confirms that you are confident in the quality of the service or product. When clients know that they can return the money in an unfavorable scenario, they are more willing and faster to agree to cooperation.
Don't be afraid to show your face
Many businessmen and professionals are afraid to post their real photo. This is due not only to the reluctance to broadcast private life or the fear of showing their real face. Entrepreneurs are afraid that the client may be repelled by prejudices that relate to appearance or nationality.
On the other hand, nothing builds trust like showing off the faces of the business owner and team. For clients, this serves as a kind of guarantee that the entrepreneur will not run away from responsibility in the event of disputes and is ready to be responsible for the quality of the product / service.
The effectiveness of this technique is especially noticeable in areas of activity where there is a high rate of unscrupulous performers, and, accordingly, mistrust.
Most clients want to get to know the experts and learn more about them before trusting them with their questions. That is why it is important to have a section about employees on the websites of clinics, schools, salons and agencies, and to announce all speakers when announcing an event.
Which employee photo is more credible? Stock?
Or more alive?
From a psychological point of view, the ability to look a person in the eye, the presence of employees' names and brief information about them increases the degree of customer confidence.