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To Trust Too Much, Two

Painting by Annabella Rharbaoui


“If our ability to create new trust in others is influenced only by prior failures, it may be difficult to build strong and lasting relationships in the future”

In last week’s article, the idea of trust as an essential part of life, was contrasted with those times when that trust was lost (click here to read that article). No one looks forward to having their trust broken yet it has happened to everyone more often that we care to remember. But learning how to deal with this type of loss can be helpful in creating and sustaining new relationships.

There is no simple formula; no one-size-fits-all answer which generates a fool-proof solution to this difficult challenge. Also, one approach that worked to overcome mistrust in a particular situation may not be the answer to the next. When we first begin to trust someone, there is always going to be a risk that it might be shattered. It is the nature of how trust works. Trust is a dynamic occurrence and rarely stays stagnant. It either grows, diminishes, or is lost.

The problem which many face is allowing past situations to have too much influence over our future possibilities. If we were hurt by a family member, spouse or significant other, or perhaps a business partner, the resulting pain and devastation is a feeling we don’t wish to experience again. In the next similar circumstance, the uncomfortable memories warn us to be leery and can persuade us not to even try. No doubt we need to learn from past experiences; they help us become wise with insight and understanding. However, it is crucial to remember that one person’s actions don’t always dictate behaviors of everyone else.

In business, we tend to be much  more open to taking risks. In fact, the greater the risk, more often the greater reward. But when it comes to our personal lives, we become much less willing.  Most people who have been crushed by a loss of trust, choose not to risk it again. The question at that point should be “are you allowing your past experiences to limit your future ability to form a great relationship?”

Gaining that trust back is never easy. But rather than asking “will I ever trust again?”, the question should be restated as “am I willing to risk having that trust broken again?” No one wakes up saying, “I can’t wait to lose trust today” but if we choose instead to sit on the sideline of life and let everything pass, there will never be an opportunity to have that trust grow. Each and every journey is different but standing by idly, the scenery will never change.

Allowing ourselves to trust again is an extremely complex situation which includes multiple circumstances, questions, and options. Each situation requires careful consideration of many elements. Although none of us want to relive the dreadful feelings of it being lost, by default it is always a possibility.

Thanks again to Annabella Rharbaoui for the beautiful painting. Find out more about her by clicking here. I look forward to your comments.

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