Do you trust easily?  Or rather, how easy do you trust?

The issue with trust seems to be a never-ending loop. We expect others to trust us fully but we don’t really trust others. Sometimes, we even want others to trust us first before we give them ours!

Trust is so valuable, yet so vulnerable.

But where did we learn to trust, and not trust?

As A Child

We came to the world not knowing what trust or distrust means.

As babies, we have no need to pick sides, or preferences over anyone. We need not know who we trust.

We cried when we were hungry because we need food to survive. We wail when we peed and pooed because it made us uncomfortable. Technically, we cry and make noise to get attention. And guess what, there would always be solutions coming to us.

Learning To Lean

As we became toddlers, we learned to lean towards those who can provide support and comfort for us.

We know when to run to our mothers for milk, to our cot when we are sleepy and to those whom we favour. We learned to like and get close with those who make us laugh and play with us, and we stayed away from fierce, angry and grumpy people.

We also learned from both good and bad experiences. It is worth noting that, we only started taking preferences or sides, after we have experienced certain sensations or events over a period of time.

For instance, once a child tastes sweetness, they will reject the bland.

Once a toddler realises how uncomfortable it is to have a wet diaper on, he/she will come to you or make noise to arouse attention to get changed.

We trust those who treat us good and well. We trust whom we can rely on. We trust the people or matters that did us no wrong.

Practice Trust

A toddler may refuse to climb back up the stairs again after he has fallen off it once. But what we also know is that when babies fall while taking their first steps, they simply sit up and try again. When you scold them for throwing their food around, they will look at you for five seconds, and do it again.

They know that if they persist, they will win, they will be able to do it.

They had no real need to learn about trust.

Perhaps at their age, trust is a word to an emotion they could not grasp. They know that they do not like certain people. They are aware of their likes or dislikes to a certain food. They are able to sense their preference of aunties and uncles or playmates, but they still would not know that it is called trust.

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They learn and unlearn, cry and play, like and dislike, do and decided not to do, all with their heart.

Why do we put so much focus on the word TRUST in the adult world? 

If as children, we have no qualms about trusting, why then would this be an issue after we have grown up, learned and gained so much knowledge?

Whenever we have assignments, someone would comment “I trust you can do a better job than the last time,” or “I wouldn’t trust that vendor to do it on their own!” We learned to pick our team right.

As we grow, we come to realise that there would be many people around us who gave us hopes and promises and failed to fulfil them. Say, when we were younger, our parents promised us a treat, yet we did not get them in the end, even for valid reasons. Or when we made new friends and promised to be BFFs for life but as we grew older, our life paths diverged and even though we still keep our contact going, we are not really in each others’ lives fully. What about that time, when you boy/girlfriend promised on that date, yet could not turn up, missed your birthdays, forgot your anniversary?

This resulted in disappointments, feelings we associate with negatively.

We want to stay away from that as much as possible.

Associations with Trust and Distrust

These are just superficial (really) instances that turned trust to distrust. Even when they are small, they have similar effects when compared to the real hampering disappointments one experiences that affect individuals in the long term, for instance, being made use of or being in abusive relationships yet still holding on or being betrayed by people with whom you were close to.

Most cases of distrust do not come with one-time experience.  It is an accumulated burden that got added on over time. Sometimes we see people getting into abusive relationships wounded, only to give the other party chances again and again. Sometimes we see a child’s eye glimmer with hope again one disappointment after another.

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External Expectations

Within our inner being, even when we do not realise it yet, we hold that one essence very close to us. HOPE.

It is in the hope of attaining that feeling we want from our loved ones that we look forward to that little promise again, that we forgive and forget after each quarrel, that we still give our children our words, the feeling of belonging again.

The issue with this feeling of disappointment is that on the onset, we had hopes and expectations, from others to fulfil what we want to achieve. We expect our promises to be fulfilled by others, which was why there were hopes. If we placed this high enough, the disappointments are bigger when failed to realise.

The bad thing about external expectations is that we have no control over it. If one decides to forfeit their words, they would say no, and we are the recipient of the rejection.

We hope for something to happen by someone else other than ourselves, with the hope that they will fulfil our expectations, according to our needs. We allow others to control the outcome of what we want. Naturally, and almost in all instances, we are never really fully satisfied even when our hopes get fulfilled. We relinquish our control to people around us, whom we deem to trust.

Turn It Around

When we look back to the past, as a kid, we are happy enough playing by ourselves, we stand up on our own after each fall, we fill our time doing what we like with the toys we like, the books we prefer and the food we enjoy.

It is time to REGAIN CONTROL of our own hopes, expectations and needs. And, TRUST.

The only person who can fulfil our needs is US. And, to be honest, WE are the only person we can trust to achieve that.

Take back your control, and decide that you are the only person you trust.

Take responsibility for who and what you trust in.

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Christy B · July 26, 2017 at 3:53 am

It’s tough when our hopes are up and then promises go unfulfilled… As you say kids do not typically have trust issues but adults do… I know many women who have trust issues in their romantic relationships.

    Corrine Lin · July 26, 2017 at 10:45 am

    Yes Christy, I agree. Generally the trust issues stem from being disappointed when our expectations are not met. If there are lower expectations, we might experience lesser frequency of stress and wonder when we’ll get return. Of course trust has to be mutual in relationships too. It depends on individuals how they respond when that trust is breached.

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