PREVIOUS: Over-trusting (Part 1)
See ACRONYM page for abbrev.
WHY DO WE OVER-TRUST? (both types overlap)
FoA (fear of abandonment) — we want to be & stay connected – at all costs. If we acknowledged that someone was not trustworthy we’d have to back way off or detach altogether, which we are terrified of.
Instead, we overlook:
• the most blatant & repeated mistreatment toward ourselves
• early or indirect hints people tell us about themselves about being insensitive, cheap, angry, lazy, suicidal, addicts …..
• available info about unsafe people given to us from many sources (friends, co-workers, even family) ….
EXP: Consider how each new woman who gets involved with Charlie Sheen ignores all the public exposure available about his abuse toward her predecessors, & then eventually gets battered!
The ever-present ‘monster’ driving our obsession to have everyone like us / never think badly of us / never be angry with us, so :
— we assume everyone but us is OK, healthy, sane, reasonable – even those who continually mistreat us. Since we don’t trust our thinking, we defer to others, believe what they tell us, assume they must know what they’re talking about – just like we had to believe our parents, no matter how limited, twisted or inaccurate their communications were
Co-dependence — a form of “Delayed Stress Syndrome” or PTSD
• we use people as substitute parents instead of being our own, so we can’t afford to notice flaws or limitations in them, no matter how glaring
• we depend on the opinions & values of others too much, convinced they know things we don’t, so EVEN when we have knowledge or intuition about a person or situation – we ignore it if someone else disagrees
• we don’t have the right to object to other people’s b.s., so naturally we would never think of calling them on it
• we don’t want to, god-forbid, hurt anyone’s feeling by ‘suspecting’ them of being less than trustworthy – as they blatantly or subtly do us in!
Our constant disappointment in our family makes us long for everyone else to make up for it, so we put people on a pedestal:
• If our parent was mentally ill, we idealize anyone who sounds ‘normal’ & functional – even tho they may be selfish or controlling
• If our parent was violent, we idealize anyone who seems calm, even tho they may be emotionally numb & unavailable
• If our parent was verbally cruel, we idealize people who are ‘nice’ , even tho they may be people-pleasers & therefore not totally genuine
• If our parent was absent, we idealize people who ‘want us’, even tho they may just be using us to take care of them …..
• Our family didn’t model appropriate behavior, seeing everything in B & W – drama, extremes, deprivation…. so we evaluate the world using the same lens. We have trouble distinguishing nuances of good vs bad behavior & don’t consider proportion – instead of looking for relationships made of 70 – 80% positives with only 20 – 30% negatives (which is reasonable), we settle for the crumbs of only 10 – 30% positives – if that – & ignore a huge pile of crap!
• When people hurt & disappoint us, especially someone we love & / or admire, we tend to push whatever we feel & think to the side – sweep it under the carpet & say nothing. Instead we hold in our anger & get depressed. They may or may not be in the wrong, & we may or may not be overreacting – even when they are off-center. The important point is that we need to process any rage & CDs we may have, then talk to the person about the situation, but only from our Healthy Adult. If done correctly, we will feel much relief, whether they hear us or not!
• And sometime we have friends, family members, co-workers & acquaintances who are basically OK, on our side, or at least neutral – whom we secretly accuse of being unsafe because:
— they’re not 100% perfect in their interactions with us
— OR their positive regard for us is too much for us to take in, so we dismiss it
— they do admire us, at a distance, but are not actually friends, so we don’t trust that they can see & appreciate us …..since they’re not ‘taking care’ of us
✶ As long as we are being run by the Wounded Inner Child, we find it very hard to separate out those who are permanently unsafe from those who are only unsafe some of the time, from those who are genuinely trustworthy.
NEXT: ACoAs – UNDER Trusting (Part 1)