Mental Health and Trust Issues

"Forgiveness must be immediate, whether or not a person asks for it. Trust must be rebuilt over time. Trust requires a track record." - Rick Warren

Trust isn't a freebie. Trust is built, earned, and learned. You can't rebuild trust from one apology conversation or someone finally admitting they are at fault, too. Trust is a fragile thing that should be taken care of. It shouldn't be taken advantage of either. Trust also isn't an obligation - no matter the relationship type (friend, family, or partner), the same respect for trust should be taken into consideration every time.


I believe that trust isn't something that should be expected of something because of family ties or because we are friends you should trust me. But that isn't always the case. If you hurt someone, that trust can break, too. No matter the number of years before the fight and all the trust there, with one signal misstep or judgment, that trust can crumble.


"Trust is the act of placing confidence in someone or something else. It is a fundamental human experience. Trust is necessary for society to function. It can play a large role in happiness. Without it, fear rules. Trust is not an either/or proposition but a matter of degree. Some life experiences can impact a person's ability to trust others." - goodtherapy.org


If someone loses trust in you, that doesn't mean all hope of a relationship is lost. Most of the time, or at least with me, it means my ability to trust was tainted. When an apology is given, I still need reassurance that I can put my life or words in their hands and know I am receiving the truth from their end. If I don't feel that, it'll take some more time for me to build that trust foundation. To me, that foundation has cracks in it, and it isn't safe to tread on. But, that doesn't mean I am not willing to work on it. I am, but if someone can't understand the progress of working on a broken relationship (family, friends, or partners), then the road to recovery will be difficult.


"Forgiveness is easy. Trust is much more difficult, and should never be given lightly." - Ellen Hopkins



How does Mental Health Factor into Trust Issues?


"Trust issues can be associated with depression, anxiety, fear of abandonment, etc." - goodtherapy.org


"Trust issues can cause suspicion, anxiety, and doubt and can be very damaging to romantic, personal, and professional relationships. Learning to trust again can be difficult, but necessary to maintaining your emotional wellbeing." - choosingtherapy.com


I believe my anxiety mixed with my depression, makes it hard for me to trust people. I have a pretty decent memory, sometimes scary. Especially when someone says something damaging, I remember it. Then, when they deny it repeatedly, my trust in them starts to crack. If they can lie about something as simple as did you say this to me or not, then what else are they lying about? Those are the thoughts that go through my head.


In a better world, I believe I could bounce back from lies and someone being hateful to me. This isn't a perfect world, and I have anxiety and depression, therefore, here I am struggling with trust issues. The closer I am to someone, the harder it to trust them after the safety foundation crumbles between us.


People assume all hope is lost after I am honest with them and myself that I don't trust them. But it's not. If they or I choose to look at it that way, trust will never be regained. But, trust can be rebuilt even with anxiety and depression telling me I am a hopeless basket case. If I can't say out loud my true feelings, I'm doomed. But who's to say I'm not doomed when I tell the truth? Because yes, it hurts feelings when I say I don't trust someone. It would hurt more if I lied to comfort them and myself in the long run. I want to build truthful trust, not dishonest trust. Any relationship needs trust in its toolkit, especially family members.


I say all of this to say: We have no obligation to trust EVERY SINGLE person in our life, no matter the label on that person (mother, father, sister, brother, grandparent, friend, co-worker). We are obligated to make sure we are safe and stay alive. We need to be able to trust the people we are around and love in our life. We also have to remember that we can't be forced or guilted into trusting someone just because of what was there in the past or the relationship we have with the person we don't trust at the moment. We need to feel comfortable and safe, if you don't, there is a sign that you have developed some trust issues within that relationship. But, don't give up hope, trust can heal as long as both parties are willing to be patient with the other.


"Forgiveness in no way requires you to trust the one you forgive." - Roberta Fish


4 Key Ways to Rebuild Trust


  • Allow yourself time: If your trust has been broken, it’s going to take some time without further betrayal for the person to earn it back.

  • Take safe emotional risks: Allow yourself to practice trusting in small, safe ways. Take someone at their word. Give them the benefit of the doubt.

  • Self-reflect: Spend some time thinking, journaling, or talking to a friend about this pattern in your life and what is within your power to change.

  • Communicate with that person: Be careful not to accuse or blame. Instead, communicate clearly how you are feeling and what you need.


"Trusting others is hard when you have trust issues and have been hurt or betrayed in the past. It’s understandable that you would feel reluctant to trust others. However, trust is a necessary component to any healthy relationship." - choosingtherapy.com


What does the Bible say about Trust?


"Forgiveness does not come easily to us, especially when someone we have trusted betrays our trust. And yet if we do not learn to forgive, we will discover that we can never really rebuild trust." - Billy Graham


"A close relationship requires trust. To grow, learn, and love, people must have confidence in each other. However, we should be careful who we trust. We should test with discernment who to trust. There are some who are wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 10:16). The Bible warns about associating with fools (Proverbs 13:20)." - crosswalk.com


“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves." - Matthew 10:16


"He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed."- Proverbs 13:20


No, we don't have to trust everyone, nor are we obligated to. Relationships of any kind are built on trust, but it isn't something that is expected in the beginning. We have to grow, learn, love, and be able to place our confidence in someone else with time comes trusting them.


Like I said before, we can trust people after they've broken our trust. Will it be easy? Nothing is ever easy. This is why I prefaced this with, one apology conversation can't restore trust between people.


Although the Bible is heavy on saying "trust God over flesh" (Psalm 118:8), meaning we don't have to trust everyone we come in contact with in our life. The Bible is heavy on forgiveness, acceptance, and moving forward.


Then Peter came up and said to him, ‘Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.’” - Matthew 18:21-22




"Jesus is clear that forgiveness should be extended to the person who hurt you. Again, that doesn’t mean you have to trust the person again, but it does mean you should forgive them as often as you need to so that you won’t carry bitterness or unforgiveness in your heart." - crosswalk.com





In turn, we can forgive someone, but trust may not always be present at the time of forgiveness. And that's okay. Healing slower than someone else doesn't make us a bad person. We are only human. We have emotions and feelings. Giving someone false hope of trust is never the answer. If you don't trust someone, you have to be honest and let your true feelings out. Lying to yourself and others is worse than having no trust. If you actively know you are covering up your emotions for the sake of being all peachy again, you won't truly be happy again. To be able to move forward truly, you have to be honest in every decision, and emotions that you feel, or trust will cease to exist altogether. I believe God wants better for His children, but we have to want better for ourselves as well. We have to trust our own process, and with God's help, we can learn to trust again. If you rush the rebuild, it'll continue to take longer. Don't push yourself or someone else to trust again, be patient.

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