Distrust can be a very destructive emotion - for both parties – the one you distrust and you who are sending out the distrust. To distrust others, whether in a job, in a social organization, and in a friendship or marriage relationship, distrust can be a constantly undermining force.
Google’s definition of distrust is:
- the feeling that someone or something cannot be relied on. (noun)
- doubt the honesty or reliability of; regard with suspicion. (verb)
When you think of distrust, words like ‘suspicion, lack of trust, skepticism, doubt and disbelief’ can all be easy substitutes. If someone does something to break your trust, you automatically begin to be more leery of that person.
If you are the one who distrusts your partner (in either the business or relationship arena) then it's possible that you are the one who needs to take a look at your emotions and figure out if that distrust is justified. More often than not, it is not justified and you'll need to take some kind of action to fix your own feelings before they spill over into the relationship and destroy it. For example, if you have been in bad relationships in the past and your spouse lied to you; or, you had a manager who always threw you under the bus, it can make it tough to trust the next person you are in a relationship with.
The attitude you need to fix is that of generalization. If the girl you dated since high school cheated on you, that doesn't mean all women are going to cheat on you. Wouldn't you think it crazy to say that all girls from your high school are cheaters? That would imply that the school creates cheaters of all its female students. Well, you can readily see that's a crazy notion. Then, how crazy is it to think that all women are cheaters? It’s the same with men. Growing up in DC, I constantly heard that all men are ‘dogs’. From as far back as I can remember, this was spoken by the women around me and, as I got older, to me. This bred such belief in the distrust of men. I was so busy looking out for them, that I began attracting them to me! Like Job, ‘the thing I feared came upon me’.
Some people lump everyone into a negative category based only on their experience. This creates negative vibrations around you and puts you at a disadvantage. Are you ready to confront what makes you fear your inability to be a good partner?
If you feel you've genuinely been let down in your life by some of the most important people around you and that has colored your outlook (taken the rose tint from your glasses, maybe?) then perhaps it might be appropriate to think on your expectations of others. Are they unrealistically high? Is your bar unattainable? Put the shoe on the other foot. If your friends had the same expectations of you as you do them, would you be able to live up to them?
A common fault in both partners which can contribute to distrust is that the other partner is some kind of mind reader who "should" understand exactly how you feel about a situation and behave accordingly. This happens a lot in work situations. One person gives a directive, ask if there are any questions and no one responds. Later, you hear that the team is talking amongst themselves about how they don’t think the idea will work, it causes disruption, etc. Yet, no one said anything. It’s like they expected the leader to read their mind. And, when they don't, the team plays the distrust card. It's a horrible situation to put someone in if they don't deserve suspicion. Consider how others may view you if you behave in a way that makes them distrust you. Do you like that view of you? Is it an attractive vision? Absolutely not. Yet, it’s what we sometimes do.
One thing you can do right now, is to change your viewpoint of your own past. Don't think that it's impossible - people change their viewpoints on things all the time. These are the ones who desire to live a higher life. Okay, so you've had some failed relationships, met a few nasty characters, lost a job. Guess what! So has almost everybody else. It called L I F E!
Poop happens! And the more you dwell on it, the more it's going to drag you down. Change your viewpoint, then start reviewing your expectations of others and see them more realistically. Learn to be gentle with yourself and others. Give others a break; stop and think about what they may be going through, or if they really deserve the distrust you are throwing their way.
Oh, and let others know what you expect of them in a subtle but obvious way. Ask questions, make suggestions and say what you are thinking. As hard as it is to believe, none of us are mind readers, yet.
You don’t have to read my mind to know that I believe in you!
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