Trust People to be Themselves
If you have been hurt in a relationship before, you probably are wary about opening yourself up again. You may be one of those individuals who says, “I tired building trust with others and then I got cheated on so…” or “trust isn’t worth giving to anyone honestly.” I would challenge these people to consider the ways they trust others in small ways in their life every day. For example, you trust your doctor/hair stylist/dentist/ will be in when you show up for your appointment. You trust that your parents will be annoying at thanksgiving. You trust that your teacher will administer an exam when its scheduled. You trust that your friend who forgets to shower may smell when you hang out. If you are starting to see a theme in the examples here, then you may begin to understand my point. People do as they do. There are patterns in their behavior that are consistent so you place faith in the probability that it will continue (with exceptions of course). Sometimes people try to change bad behaviors and if they fail at it, don’t take it personally. You can trust that quitting bad habits is a hard thing to do and that people falter at it along thee way.
Surround Yourself with People who have Similar Values
Since people do as they do and you can trust them to do as they do, then pick someone with similar values to your own. For example, if you value honesty, integrity, and monogamy, then find someone who also values it. Talk about your values with this person and see if they also feel strongly about it. You may start to get a sense of whether you can place trust in this individual. If they live by their principals in the same way that you do, then you are less likely to get hurt. Unfortunately, there are deceptive people out there (The Betrayers) who can fool you. If you place your trust in someone and they betray you, then you have been “covered in sap” on your way up the tree in pursuit of the “wonderful view,” but that does not mean you should “spend your time alone and indoors, where it is harder to get a splinter” (see quote at the top). Furthermore, sometimes people who are trust worthy make a terrible mistake and it’s worth trying to rebuild that trust with them. This is where therapy can help.