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.

The affair

A woman has long suspected her husband of cheating on her. One day she tells him that she’s going out of town for the weekend for a meeting and will be back in three days.

She doesn’t tell her husband what exact day she would return, hoping to catch him in the act of committing adultery.

True enough, she comes home and quietly walks into their bedroom, opens the door and from under the blanket sees four legs cross crossing one another in various positions and grunting from under the cover. In a state of rage, she reaches for the baseball bat of her son and starts hitting the blanket as hard as possible. She hears the screams but she didn’t care. She just kept hitting and hitting until she couldn’t hear screaming anymore.

When she’s done, she puts the bat down and goes down to the kitchen to get a drink. As she enters, she sees her husband there, drinking beer, reading a magazine with the TV in the kitchen on!

“Hi darling,” he says, “your parents have come over from the province to visit us, so I let them stay in our room! Have you said hello to them?”