catching myself 

I’ll know who to trust & who not to!

PREVIOUS: Patterns of Mistrust #2

BOOK: Trust in the Balance”  Robert Bruce Shaw (re. Biz + overview)

QUOTES: “Trust your own instinct. Your mistakes might as well be your own, instead of someone else’s.  ~Billy Wilder
“As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.” Garth Henrichs

‘TRUST’ comes from the German word “trost” meaning ‘consolation’, which implies feeling comfortable. In this context it’s relevant to remember that ACoAs almost never felt comforted growing up. It’s one reason we were never able to trust! And now, as adults, we don’t realize how much we still need to be comforted, so we’re ashamed when we feel vulnerable, needy & ‘feeling sorry’ for ourselves

Genuine trust is first & ultimately about being able to trust ONESELF, a quality we cultivate via our thumbsUpTrue inner Voice. It is not about who or what others are. This is hard for ACoAs to internalize because of our co-dependence & S-H.
• ACoAs need & want safety above all else – even more than love – neither of which our parents provided enough of, so we believe we’re not entitled to them
•  But we can’t feel safe if we can’t trust. AND we can’t trust as long as we are flooded with Self-Hate! The Al-Anon preamble says “…..we will love you until you can love yourself”. ACoAs need to find people & / or groups that are safe enough to help us heal so we can become kind to ourselves (via the Loving Parent) & trust that “I know what I know!” (via the Healthy Adult)

Assumption: ACoAs usually think of trust only in the  POSITIVE – ‘I can rely on X…… I can expect Y to…..’, which is true but only half the story, & encourages Over-T
Balance: Healthy Trust also has to include knowing who & what we CAN NOT rely on. The unrealiablecharacteristics of damage are just as predictable and reliable as those of Health, but only to mess things up. We can trust that a specific person will continually abuse us or disappoint.  We can trust that a specific location will usually be dangerous. We can trust that a type of event is the wrong one for us……   Once we know what to look for we can see it all around us, and we can depend on the outcome to be harmful or just a waste of time – & not have to keep getting hit over the head!

Exp: If you’re not paying attention when you go into a room & sit down on the first chair you come to – you may be shocked & maybe a little injured if it collapses & you land on your butt – because you assumed all chairs are equally well made & sturdy
• Yet that’s what we often do with people & situations – we don’t pay attention or evaluate who or what we’re getting involved with.  Many times we accept friends lovers, jobs, pets, invitations …. without asking questions of ourselves or others: “What do I want? Is this something I’m interested in? Does this suit my needs or fit with my personality?”

TRUST (T) is valid when :emotioanally dependable
• we’re clear about the ‘rules’ of T – rather than being in fantasy
• the prerequisites for T exist – we’ve done some due-diligence
• we assess who or what does NOT warrant our T – so we don’t waste time & energy on them
• we experience a positive outcome from trusting someone (feel calmer or relieved / get the introduction we were told about / receive the money we were promised / enjoy a shared experience ….)

Psychological REASONS for Trusting – most not so healthy! (Morton Deutsch, 1973)
Despair: when a situation we’re in is hopeless but we can’t get out of it (like being a child), then being trusting is the lesser of 2 evils, allowing a form of survival
Masochism: pain & unfulfilled trust (PMES abandonment) may be chosen over safety & pleasure. Since people tend to search out confirmation of prior expectations, they’ll trust badly & often find their expectations fulfilled
Social conformity: when trust is expected / demanded – by a parent, teacher, boss, gang leader….. –  & a member of that group doesn’t comply, they are severely punished, labeled a coward &/or ostracized

Impulsiveness: inappropriate weight / value / hope put on a future consequences or outcome ofimpulsive trusting something or someone, without thinking thru the possible danger to self or others
Innocence: not knowing enough to understand the inherent dangers of a situation, either from ignorance, CDs or mental immaturity
Risk-taking: even when the danger is great – if one subjectively thinks the possible gains far outweigh any possible loss, the gambling type is prepared to take that risk (this can apply to love as much as money)

Confidence: that you will find what is desired from another – rather than what you feared – but this also implies a certain level of riskfia-color
Faith: the trust-er has faith in a path that’s pre-ordained by a Higher Force, so that whatever happens is fated & therefore welcomed. This removes a great deal of the distress caused by any outcome of a faith-based decision, even when unpleasant or tragic
Virtue: in some cultures (perhaps: rural, religious, fraternities, armed forces, police, gangs, tight-knit criminals….) cooperation & friendly social relations are based on mutual trust & trustworthiness, which are considered a virtue & a prerequisite (“I’m no snitch”, “I’ve got you back”)ladder of inference

TRUST as LADDER metaphor & using INFERENCE
Think of trust on a vertical continuum – it takes patience & attention to develop trust with someone or in something, because they have to prove themselves. SO:
1. It’s best to only exchange trust with others – a rung at a time. Healthy people can risk offering the first rung as a token of good faith & a desire to connect
2. People always, always tell you how they expect to be treated AND how your relationship will always turn out – by how they consistently behave (MORE)

NEXT: Healthy Trust (Part 2)


2 thoughts on “HEALTHY TRUSTING (Part 1)

  1. I love your work. This for example puts words to something I’ve struggled with all my life. When I read it it helped me drop down into a deeper place of understanding within myself and uplifted me, giving me more hope. Thank you.

    I sometimes hate being tied to a computer and so I haven’t read a lot of your writing but after this it really drives the point home that it may be time to get your book.


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