Is a condition that is characterised by an irrational fear of building an intimate relationship with others.

It is the fear of trusting people due to bad experiences with prior acquaintances.

Trust issues are not easy to reconcile with.  When we trust people, we often reveal our most vulnerable side.  Doing so exposes us to the risk of betrayal.  There is no hurt greater than one when trust is broken.

Trust is a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.

Building trust starts from the day we are born.

We trust that our parents will take care of us – for better or worse.  The first psychosocial crisis in life should be resolved when we are babies in order to develop basic trust.  The level of trust is higher in children with more secure attachments to their parents or caregivers. Children are raised by adults who offer them control, direction and guidance in their lives.  During the growing years, aversive childhood experiences contribute to children’s mistrust and eventual lack of confidence.  How parents and adults communicate with each other and their kids can affect their child’s trust issues.

Parents lacking in integrity tend to be duplicitous in their communications.  They are bad role models for children who get confused with double messages, real life scenarios and actions not corresponding to what they preach.  In the book Steps Toward an Ecology of Mind, Gregory Bateson points out that children learn to distrust their perceptions in social interactions when they have been confused and mystified by double messages experienced in their family.

It is these painful and confusing events in childhood that create a profound impact on us throughout life.  The natural defence mechanism is to build a system of defences against that pain, confusion and disillusion.  Children whose parents are from political clans are usually the most broken.  As they interact socially with people in the community, they are raised in a home with double standards – making them understand what it is like to be a politician’s child, and how to reason out their status in society.  Many of them grow up learning to never trust anyone.  Others have an increased sense of vigilance.  If they were hurt by their parents’ dishonesty, they can see other people from a skewed perspective and develop harsh, cynical attitudes toward them.  These are self-protective defences that preserve an illusion of strength and vulnerability, yet these same defenses limit our capacity for trusting others and for finding fulfilment in a close relationship.

– PsychAlive (Psychology for everyday life, http://www.psychalive.org)

Because trust issues are deeply rooted from our child rearing days, growing up mired in confusion, deception, infidelity, and self-destructive behaviour results in an adult who is anxious, devious, manipulating and dangerous. A person filled with hate and lack of compassion.

Trust matters.  It helps preserve love, affection and tenderness people feel for one another.  It is these feelings of mutual trust that continue to sustain people through the inevitable challenges of every relationship.


What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

Fear is something everyone can relate to. A feeling so ingrained in us that we lose ourselves because of fear.

It all begins and ends in our mind and what we give power to has power over us if we allow it.

There are many reasons why we are afraid.

1. We’re afraid to fail.

Failing and failure are two different events. Failing is when things don’t go our way. Failure is when we don’t try at all to succeed. If we don’t try then we won’t succeed.

2. Worry what others think

Who cares what other people think? In this day and age where social media platforms abound, many of us look for acceptance and affirmation of our actions based on “likes” or “shares”. Falling short of a positive feedback is being unkind to oneself.

3. Being stuck in the past

We all have skeletons in our closet. People who hurt us. Unpleasant experiences. Opportunities that didn’t prosper. If we allow ourselves to be stuck in the past, we’re being unfair to ourselves. There is no direction in our lives if we keep referring to the past.

4. Afraid of what’s ahead

My mom who is now turning 81 told me that at her age, her greatest fear is death. Her mind lurks in the endless thought of what could possibly still go wrong ahead. Repetitively, a scenario of doom and distress. I remind her that fear does not stop death. It stops life.

5. Fear of the unknown

There is no such thing as a crystal ball in our lives.

A favorite author of mine Thich Nhat Hanh says “people have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.”

6. Fear of Joy

Miracles begin to happen when we give as much energy to our dreams as our fears. Life is a rollercoaster ride – we can scream out of fear of enjoy the ride. But when we learn to love, fear becomes a stranger.

When you feel fear creeping up during your times of joy, remember all things you are grateful for in your life, and allow yourself to feel the joy.