How To Trust People — Even When You've Been Burned By Relationships Before

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Insecurity vs. Intuition – How to Trust?

Trust is the foundation of any relationship — the concrete layer that keeps everything else from toppling. Without it, a relationship can not grow or prosper or do much of anything but cause heartache.

But learning how to trust in a relationship isn’t just about learning how to trust the other person; it’s also about learning how to trust yourself.

So, how do you find this trust? It starts with knowing the difference between intuition and insecurity.

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It’s important to differentiate between these two elements. Take a woman questioning whether a man is good enough for her — she may wonder if it’s her insecurity telling her this or if it’s her intuition.

The questions she’s really asking are: how much can I trust certain things in my life? How can I trust a certain direction? How can I make sure my boundaries aren’t being crossed?

And these questions are important. If she makes the "wrong" decision, she’ll get hurt. And she’ll punish herself for not listening to her intuition, setting herself up to listen too intently in the future. This can be a good thing or it can be a bad thing. It depends on whether true intuition is driving her doubts or if insecurity is taking the helm of the ship.

So, how do we know whether it’s insecurity or intuition? One way is to listen to your body. Are the red flags actually coming from your body? Can you feel it in your bones? Or is it coming from your head?

Intuition is more of a sense whereas insecurity is more of a thought. One is a feeling and one is a story. One has to do with the other person and one has to do with you.

Thus, if something is coming from your gut, it’s probably intuition and, if you have good intuition, you should pay attention. This is true even if your logical brain hasn’t caught up just yet.

One of the keys to understanding the difference is to quiet the mind — the mind is filled with reasons why you should do this or not do that. But it’s also driven by insecurities. And these can be hard to silence.

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Physical anxiety, pacing, preoccupation, mental interference — these are all symptoms of insecurity. Intuition, on the other hand, involves a general sense of unease, something you can’t really put your finger on.

Intuition also invites excuses. You may know that a man is not good enough for you but you may tell yourself, "Well, he’s going to change for me." Or "I know he’s not perfect now, but just wait."

But these excuses don’t quiet your intuition because that intuition is, in part, driven by the animal elements of your body, elements that have no patience for "if's", "and's", or "but's".

Think about it in terms of pets: how do dogs learn how to trust? Sure, they are conditioned — they see someone who feeds them and loves them and they trust them completely.

But — even with strangers — animals know who to trust and who not to trust. How does the saying go? "I don’t trust people who don’t like dogs but I absolutely trust a dog when it doesn’t like a person."

With animals, intuition is all they have — dogs don’t sit around wondering if they’re too fat or beating themselves up because they accidentally piddled during that fancy dinner party.

But this is something humans have to learn. We have to learn how to re-include the visceral part of us. We need to learn how to work with head, heart, and body. Because people who can distinguish between intuition and insecurity experience much easier dating lives, and lives in general, than the rest of us.

A way to help with this distinction is to take fifteen minutes a day and meditate — slow down and get present and listen to the thoughts in your head versus the feelings in your body. Learn to see and feel how they are different because this mindfulness is key to differentiation.

And taking the time to practice mindfulness is the only way to be mindful. Mindfulness is like faith or gratitude — it’s a muscle that increases with use.

Learning to differentiate between curiosity and doubt also comes into play, but if you can learn to do the above — determine what’s intuition and what’s insecurity — this will fall into place. You’ll start to see the bigger picture. After all, curiosity is connected to intuition.

RELATED: The #1 Thing That Kills Trust In An Otherwise Great Relationship

Clayton Olson is an International Relationship Coach, Master NLP Practitioner, and Facilitator. There’s more to relationships, naturally. If you’re a woman interested in taking your union to the next level, join his next webinar: 3 Keys to Relationship Ready. He will explore the above philosophy, and so much more.