Is your inability to trust ruining your relationships?
Contrary to popular opinion, trust really isn’t something your partner should have to earn. It should be there from the start (unless proven otherwise, of course). That’s because, the key ingredient necessary to trust someone else, is to be able to trust yourself.
Trusting yourself requires that you be present and aware of your emotions and also willing to follow your instincts when you have them. Your gut will always identify and warn you against potential partners who aren’t trustworthy. But, you actually need to listen to your gut. So, stop ignoring it.
If you’ve never read Gavin DeBecker’s “The Gift of Fear” get on it. The book talks about the “brilliant internal guardian” that warns you from potentially dangerous people and situations. His premise is that you should always listen to what your gut is telling you.
In fact, according to a story in New Scientist, “it turns out that because our emotions emerge from our unconscious mind, from our internal supercomputer, they tend to reflect more information than our rational mind.” Translation: our gut instinct can save us from a lot of grief. It we learn to trust ourselves and our gut’s ability to keep us safe, we can then be confident in our ability to trust others and know that we will always be safe to love.
Many people suppress or ignore their gut instinct because they don’t understand it,or how it works. Your subconscious is storing incredible amounts of information and processing it all in the background at super speed. At the same time, that same subconscious is picking up on body language, tone of voice, sounds, sights, smells, etc. that you don’t even register consciously and processing it all at enormous rates of speed and spitting it back out as the findings we call gut feelings.
So, how do you learn to trust your gut? Here are some great tips from Cosmopolitan:
“Intuition is like a muscle,” says Gert Gigerenzer, PhD, author ofGut Feelings, “It gets stronger with use.” So give it a workout by following your instinct with inconsequential choices, such as whether to wear jeans or black pants. Assuming both look great on, it doesn’t matter which you go for. But this exercise gets you in the habit of relying on gut reactions instead of analyzing (“I wore jeans the other day, so I guess I’ll do the pants”). Eventually, listening to your inner voice will become second nature and help you out with important decisions.
Having trouble tuning in to your gut? Jump-start it by making a logical decision, but before doing anything, take stock of how you feel about that conclusion. Say you’re dating two guys. Pick the one who makes more sense (has a better job, etc.). If your heart sinks, you know the other guy is right.
Just remember that your intuition’s power depends on the breadth of your experience. Example: While someone who cooks regularly can wing a recipe with terrific results, a less practiced chef should probably stick to the instructions. “In unfamiliar territory, give practical thinking added weight,” notes Gigerenzer. “The unconscious and conscious minds were designed to work in tandem.”
Sure, getting involved in any relationship is a risk, but if both people don’t have the capacity for trust and offer it from the start, intimacy can really never develop. So, it’s time to check the baggage from old relationships behind you and start working out that intution so you can enter into a new relationship fresh, with new eyes. So, get practicing and start trusting that gut…
Are there certain behaviors that are causing you to not trust your partner(s), or do you have unresolved issues that are preventing you from trusting others?
Photo credit: The Sean & Lauren Spectacular’s Flickr photostream