When is it safe to trust again? Have you ever had a friend, spouse, or someone you work with betray you? Has somebody broken your trust and you are still trying to work through it; or have they asked for forgiveness and you are contemplating whether you are supposed to forgive and let them back in? What is the appropriate response?
For the one who has broken the trust; are they humble and repentant? After they confessed and asked for forgiveness, watch what the person does instead of listening to what they say. If they are getting counseling, going to recovery meetings, or attending a women’s or men’s support group, you may be able to say, “I think this may be on the way to trusting again.” On the other hand, if they asked for forgiveness and say things like, “You’re supposed to forgive me, let’s get on with it,” and aren’t taking any steps to become healthier – then that’s not trustworthy.
For the one who has been betrayed, hurts need to be worked through and healed to have the ability to trust again. When we are wounded, a couple of beliefs we can buy into are “I cannot trust anyone, or I cannot trust my judgement.” We can question ourselves “What’s wrong with me? How did I not see this?” We can get caught up on just desiring to be secure and safe, and absorbed with wanting predictability so that we won’t be betrayed again. Sometimes you have to adjust your model of trust. People that are hurt can develop unrealistic expectations, and not allow anyone to make mistakes around them. If someone is critical, they quickly get triggered back to the original wound of betrayal and believe “You are just like that person.” They have to be aware of the trigger and allow people space to make mistakes. If you immediately exclude people, then no one gets in and that would be sad because trust is one of the basic ways we relate and connect with others. That’s the real joy of life.
If you are needing a safe place to work through the hurts of life, and create boundaries so that you can trust again, give me a call at 940-22-8703 x 702 or make an appointment on my online scheduling site: therapyappointment.com.