5 Common Signs Of Trust Issues & How To Deal With Them

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woman with trust issues glancing at man's phone

Lots of people can struggle with trust issues in all aspects of life, including relationships with romantic partners, family members, friends, co-workers, and more. 

Trust is essential to successful relationships but it can be difficult for us to let go of control and place confidence in someone else, in turn giving them the power to potentially hurt us. 

If you have trust issues, you find it hard to trust people because you're letting fear stand in the way of your happiness. But sometimes you just have to trust things happen for a reason — as Oprah Winfrey once said, "trust that everything happens for a reason, even when you're not wise enough to see it."

RELATED: 7 Reasons He Doesn't Trust Being In A Relationship With You

What can cause trust issues?

Trust issues can stem from past experiences and trauma.

For example, if you had parents growing up that lied to you or neglected you, you may have developed trust issues over the years. Or if your long-term partner in a romantic relationship was cheating on you for the entirety of your relationship, then you could develop trust issues

According to Keya Murthy, a Clinical Hypnotherapist and Spiritual Life Coach, repeated instances of broken trust can cause you to have trust issues. The more trust is broken, it becomes a learned trait, growing stronger with time.

"It’s directly related to low self-esteem, what you heard and saw growing up, and past relationships," Murthy explains. "Trauma and abuse make it worse and without deep healing, it is nearly impossible to overcome and begin trusting again."

Other things that could cause you to have trust issues are physical abuse, violence, and mistreatment from family members or previous partners. If you were bullied as a child or teen or betrayed by anyone then there is a chance you have trust issues now. 

Trust issues can also be associated with some mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, schizophrenia, and attachment issues. 

When you start to develop trust issues there becomes the potential development that you will experience harmful thoughts, actions, or emotions like suspicion, and jealousy.

Having trust issues isn't a disorder, however, if it becomes serious, causing you to always be suspicious of others, then you might have developed a paranoid personality disorder (PPD).

PPD is one of a group of conditions called "Cluster A" personality disorders that involve you thinking in odd or eccentric ways. Having PPD could mean you might suffer from paranoia and constant fear of mistrust and suspicion of others even when there is no reason to fear them.

RELATED: How To Deal With The Trust Issues In Your Relationship — Once And For All

What are signs you have trust issues?

How do you know you have trust issues? In order to find out if you have trust issues, you have to look at the top 5 common signs of trust issues.

1. You avoid commitment.

People with trust issues often find it hard to commit to someone either in a friendship or a relationship because of the fear of getting hurt. This fear comes from your trouble trusting and opening up to other people and feel like you're being seen.

You assume the worst in people and believe that you're going to get hurt and in turn, your fears won't let you be able to have a happy and fulfilling relationship. 

A person who doesn't have trust in others has lots of defense mechanisms set in place so no one can hurt them. 

2. You snoop on people.

According to Love and Cosmic Coach Ronnie Ryan, snooping is a sign of having trust issues.

"If you trust your partner, family member, or friend, you would not be suspicious. Constantly checking their social media, looking through their phone, poking in their bureau or desk draws, etc. is not part of a healthy relationship," Ryan says.

This is a result of your negative assumptions of other people and a coping mechanism you've developed to support your feelings of distrust.

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"If you feel someone is hiding something, this could be your intuition and the best step to take is to address this directly with the person," Ryan suggests. "However, if you continue to bring up your concerns and snoop over and over, you are showing that person you do not trust them which can not only be tiresome, but hurtful and demoralizing. This could definitely ruin your relationship, especially if your suspicions are unfounded."

3. You are overprotective and secretive.

If your trust was betrayed in the past, there's a higher chance that you are even more protective of your heart. You might experience feelings of mistrust when meeting new people and you become more and more secretive.

You don't want to give someone else information about yourself that you haven't told many others because you fear they will use that information to harm you or ditch you and you're left feeling empty inside.

This also means that you're scared to be yourself with someone else because of how protective and secretive you have gotten from the trust issues that even if you meet someone new, you aren't and won't be able to give them a chance to meet the real you

4. You are constantly picking fights.

When you have trust issues it's hard to get to know someone and learn about their past as you will overthink. If you find a red flag or something troubling that happened in their past that bothers you, you will constantly pick fights because of your fear that whatever they did in the past they might do to you.

This could happen if you have trust issues and you're in a relationship and you know your partner has cheated before with their ex. You might think, "once a cheater always a cheater." However, people can and do change. 

In more serious cases, it could be picking fights about how you aren't willing to share more personal information and stories with your partner. They might feel as if they are giving you everything and not receiving anything back.

Healthy relationships are when each partner can get alone and talk through their issues without starting a fight.  

5. You are reluctant to open up. 

Your trust issues have burdened you so much that you now find it hard and even sometimes impossible to open up to a lot of people. This causes you issues with others as they might get frustrated with you because they are trying to get to know you and feel you are giving nothing back

This won't help you in intimate relationships either as if you or your partner is having problems you won't open up to them and let them know what's wrong so then they can't help or change. 

How can you fix your trust issues?

As the great essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "self-trust is the first secret of success.” 

If you are a person with trust issues and want to learn how to stop the negative feelings and fear, you must try building trust in yourself first. 

You can fix your trust issues by first recognizing that you do in fact have them and if you realize you might have any other mental health disorders like anxiety or depression.

The psychology of trust issues can be complicated, so by seeking help from a mental health professional you'll have a greater chance at tackling your trust issues. Working with one or more healers who are recommended by people you trust or have many positive reviews can help you let go of your self-doubts and trust issues of others.

"Remember, what you look for you will always find. Look for reasons to trust than excuses to mistrust. Wherever your attention goes, that’s what will follow. So, put your attention on the positive and you will have more of it," says Murthy. 

Your lack of trust will only hold you back in life and in order to rebuild trust and reach higher levels of trust, it's going to take time.

If you suffer from a mental disorder like PPD then medication can help you cope with it, but remember, "medication can help but it does not help you recover and begin to trust again. For anyone to begin trusting again, it has to be a personal choice that is more spiritual than a mental act," says Murthy. 

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Megan Hatch is a writer at YourTango who covers news & entertainment, love & relationships, and internet culture. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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