When another person’s actions have shattered your ability to trust, it can be very difficult to learn to trust again. Some people never move past a broken heart. However, you can learn to trust again, even after being deeply wounded in a past relationship. You do not have to allow a person’s untrustworthiness to taint all future relationships. Here is how to learn to trust again.
1. Recognize the need to trust again. Some people fool themselves into believing that they do not need to have close relationships in their lives. However, human beings are social creatures, and need one another. Without trust, you cannot have a close relationship. Without a close relationship, life can seem empty.
2. Acknowledge areas in which you already trust. Many people, especially those who experienced deep betrayal in childhood through abuse, believe that they are unable to trust anyone in any fashion. But this is simply untrue. Even the most jaded person generally trusts the waiter to bring him food in a restaurant, or the mail carrier to deliver the mail to his mailbox.
3. Understand that one person does not have to meet all of your needs. Many people search for that one person with whom they can share their entire heart. This is not necessary in order to learn to trust again. What matters is that all of your needs are met. You can accomplish this by trusting different people with different needs.
4. Look for people who are trustworthy. The way a person treats others is a good indicator of how she might treat you. If she tells you the intimate details of another person’s life, she is likely to betray your confidence as well. However, if she never says an unkind word about another person, she is unlikely to speak poorly of you to others, either.
5. Ease into a new relationship slowly. Start by sharing small confidences and see what happens. If the person breaches a small confidence, you do not want to trust him with a larger one. However, as the person shows he is trustworthy in the smaller things, you can feel more confident about trusting him with the bigger things.
6. Trust yourself to be okay if you are betrayed. In many cases, the fear of trusting another person is more about your own fear of not being able to handle a betrayal. If you fear you will fall apart if the other person breaks your trust, you will be less likely to trust again. However, if you are confident you are going to be okay even if the other person lets you down, it will be much easier for you to learn to trust again.
7. Be patient with your progress. After you have been betrayed, it can be a challenge to learn to trust again. Give yourself the time and space you need to ease back into trusting another person again.