Why do I have trust issues? I really need to know.

by | Mar 23, 2023

Trust: are the hairs on the back of your neck standing up? It can sure send chills down my spine. Seems we’re always asking ourselves and others, “Why do I have trust issues?” We really need to know.

We have trust issues and we know the triggers. That’s great. But what really matters is our emotional, mental, and behavioral responses.

Forty years ago I stood blindfolded in the middle of a circle of 10 people. On the counselor’s cue, two of them stood behind me.

The idea was I’d freely fall backwards. You know, trusting that my spotters would protect me.

I couldn’t do it.

Triggers of trust issues

Throughout our lives: abuse, neglect, trauma, illness, broken promises, betrayal, criticism, bullying – the list of the triggers of trust issues goes on.

This is where I usually start with facts and stats, but I didn’t do any research for this piece. That’s because I want you to feel it. And the only way I can get you there is to make it personal.

So I’m going to share one of my primary trust issue triggers, my response, and management approach.

I get it, we’re all different. But our similarities may surprise you. And if you connect with even one small something here, we’ll have done well.

The triggers

I’ve always hoped that those I confide in will listen to all I have to say, believe me, not pass judgment, and be accepting.

Agreeing has never mattered.

Over the years, all the way back to childhood, my hopes have been dashed too many times when it mattered. As I came to grips with my trust issues, it wasn’t long before the triggers became obvious.

The response

Let’s take a moment to connect some dots. We know we have trust issues and we know the triggers. That’s great. But what really matters is our emotional, mental, and behavioral responses.

I mean, how does the triggered trust issue express itself?

Here are my responses.

What do trust issues look like?

In painting a picture of trust issues we’re putting emotional, mental, and behavioral responses – how they express themselves – to canvas.

Mine are resistance to opening up and isolating.

Sadly, they’ve cost me plenty over the years in broken or “could have been” relationships, manifestations of stress, and tarnished self-esteem. The negative impact on current and potential relationship partners comes with the package.

All of it cast a shadow to this very day.

The mood and anxiety factor

I’ve tussled with mood and anxiety symptoms for the bulk of my life. Perhaps you have as well.

Well, they’re a major factor in the development and expression of trust issues. And if you consider my responses – resistance to opening up and isolation – you can see the ties to depression, generalized anxiety, panic attacks, social anxiety, and more.

It’s a reciprocating relationship, by the way. Having trust issues can exacerbate mood and anxiety symptoms.

How to manage trust issues

triggers of trust issues

“Hmm, trust issues. Looks like I got ‘em. Okay, time to get to work.”

You decided you’ve had enough of the aggravation and pain.

The first order of business when it comes to managing trust issues is working through the process of identification, framing, and acceptance.

So we want to tune in to our responses for purposes of identifying a trust issue. Then we frame it as a growth opportunity, not a character flaw. Finally, we accept it.

Managing the response

With that structure supporting us, we can begin to manage our response and expect positive results.

For the sake of our work, again, mine are resistance to opening up and isolation. And it wouldn’t surprise me if we’re in the same boat.

Given my background and triggers, I perceive there are too many minefields within, some hidden, for me to risk expressing myself and being with others.

It’s a constant threat, often operating beneath conscious awareness.

Acceptance isn’t acquiescence

Okay, the responses are identified, they’ve been properly framed and accepted. But let’s never forget, acceptance doesn’t equate to acquiescence.

Fact is, my trust issues will never 100% resolve. So instead of letting them eat me up, I’ve chosen management.

My approach

It’s too easy to become comfortable living the life of a bottled up recluse. And it seems to me it would quickly turn into a dead end. Then what?

Keeping that in mind, it’s on me to free myself from the chains of any notion that excludes opening up and engaging with others. And it isn’t easy.

I’m working on having faith that there are people out there who would be willing to listen to what I have to say, believe me, not pass judgment, and be accepting.

Of course, I have to be willing to do the same for them.

And with all of the above, the ongoing business of managing my trust issue is well on its way.

We need to know

Trust: hairs standing up on the back of the neck and chills down the spine material.

As long as we’re working on identification, triggers, and responses, there’s never anything wrong with asking, “Why do I have trust issues?”

We need to know.

And now to those Chipur mood and anxiety info and inspiration titles.

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