Updated: Apr 23
There are a few things in life that you cannot get back once they are gone.
One of them is time; once your time has passed, it is over, and you will not get it back. Another one of those things is money unless you return an item in 30 days. But one of the biggest things is trust.
Trust is a lot like walking on rocks and pavement without shoes while blindfolded.
You start out walking confidently. But once you stub your toe on a rock, that trust is never quite the same, and you will most likely end up walking a lot more carefully. This reality is even worse for survivors of childhood trauma. Who are so used to getting their toes stubbed that they sometimes stop walking and taking risks at all.
So, the big question is. How do you learn to trust someone again after you have been hurt? The other big truth here is that if you have issues with trusting people, there is a huge probability that you have issues with trusting God. Why, you may ask? Because sometimes, the way that you see God is in the love that is mirrored through others you come in contact with. For example, do you know what true love is if the only love you have experienced is from people who have wanted things from you? The same thing goes with trust.
But… there is good news. Once trust is broken, there are steps that you can take to begin to trust again. You should have more knowledge at the end of this blog post for free! I ask that you subscribe to my email list for more quality content.
Here’s how to trust again
1. Start with God: Remember how I started by saying that your relationship with God or a higher power is directly consistent with how you see others? To fix the mistrust you have in others, learn to trust God. The first thing to do is read about some of the promises in the bible. Some of my absolute favorites are Jeremiah 29:11, Psalms 37:23, Proverbs 3:5-6, Romans 8:28, and Malachai 3:10. Once you have read these verses, write down a list of things you NEED. Maybe it is peace. Maybe it is a job. Maybe it is something else. Then pray that God will show up for you and ask for a tangible sign. After about a month, come back to the list and see if God has shown up in your life. I have done this task many times, and God has come through for me every time. This helped me renew my trust in God and showed me how to trust God in hard times. If I can do this, then you can too.
2. Consider why you have trust issues: Chances are, if you do not trust someone, some situation made you withdraw your trust. Some ideas of why you can’t trust someone may include
A history of Not keeping promises
Telling your secrets to other
General bad feelings about someone
Once you identify what the person did to you to cause you not to trust them, it will be a lot easier to decide whether or not you need to learn how to trust again or let this person go.
3. Forgive them: The Bible talks a lot about forgiveness. In fact, at one point in the bible, Jesus tells Peter that we should forgive our neighbors 70 times seven times! This means that we should be willing and ready to forgive. When it comes to trusting people, forgiveness does not necessarily mean that you forget what the person did. Some things need to be remembered. However, by forgiving this person, you set yourself free and stop yourself from having to carry that heavy burden that unforgiveness can bring.
4. Consider how many times this person hurt you:
Whether or not this offense was recurring or a one-time thing is the most important thing when learning how to trust someone again.
If the trust issue action was recurring and you talked to this person, but they did not respect your opinion or what you said, you have to consider if the relationship is worth pursuing.
This clever saying says, “Fool me once, shame on you; Fool me twice, shame on me.” If the person continues to hurt you and disrespect your trust despite many conversations, why are you continuing to trust them? However, on the one hand, if there is someone who made an honest mistake and you never spoke to them about those issues, it may be time to have a vital conversation with them.
5. Have a conversation: In order to learn how to trust someone again, you must have a conversation. The human brain is TERRIBLE at guessing what is wrong. For example, I do not know how often I assumed that someone was upset or offended by something I said, only to find out that they were dealing with an issue of their own.
During this conversation, you will want to talk about the exact nature of the issue, how it made you feel, and why it was problematic. In my book, Since When Did Single Mean Sad, I discussed navigating this conversation with dealing with an ex after a relationship.
6. Set boundaries: Technically, this tip can go along with tip five, but it doesn’t have to. Boundaries are important because they keep you from getting hurt again. I like to set boundaries by slowly revealing information to the person I am trying to learn how to trust again, and then once I see that they can handle that information, I reveal more. Another way to set boundaries is to write down what makes you uncomfortable and voice these concerns to the person. The hardest part about setting boundaries is deciding what you can tolerate and what you will no longer tolerate. You are on the right track once you figure out what you will no longer tolerate.
7. Don’t be afraid to cut people off:
This one is so sad. But the truth is, some people don’t deserve to be trusted again. I had someone in my life which I found out was doing some slimy things with the information I was giving them. I decided to cut them off for these reasons:
1. This person knew better: Some things are just common sense. For example, your best friend should know that if you tell them something in confidence, you don’t want them to tell these secrets to all of your other friends. Or, your boyfriend or girlfriend should know that cheating with another person while with you is wrong.
2. The person committed multiple offenses: Sometimes, there is a time where you find out that someone you trusted snubbed you behind your back multiple times. I like to believe that one or two times can be accidental. But after those many times, the person knows precisely what they are doing so if you find out something like this, you may want to consider if the friendship is worth keeping.
3. The person permanently embarrassed you: This one is for my ladies more than my men. Suppose you ever make the decision to send pictures of yourself in a comprised position to someone else (I really do not recommend this), and the person passes the pictures on without your knowledge. In that case, it is best to cut this person off completely. Pictures on the internet last forever, and people can easily screenshot them. So, that one picture they sent to their friends could continue to get passed around for years.
4. It was messing with my peace: Peace is expensive. And you will know if someone or something is messing with your peace. God gives everyone discernment, but it is a matter of whether or not you will listen to that gut feeling. If you start to get nervous or anxious when interacting with that person, it is a sign that something is very wrong.
8. Pray: I added this one last because I believe that the most straightforward option is often the one we consider last. The bible says in James 1:5 that if any one of you lacks wisdom, you should ask of God who gives generously without finding fault, and it will be given to you. Become a member to download a list of prayers that you can say to learn to trust someone again.
Overall, the process of learning how to trust someone again is all about boundaries, conversations, and taking things slowly. Also, the secret to deciphering whether or not you should trust someone or let them go is all about the attitude behind the action. How did the person react when you confronted them about breaking your trust? Were they remorseful? Also, when the behavior was being done, were there any signs that the person was careless about your feelings? If the answer to these questions leans more to the negative side, you should pray and consider whether or not this relationship is worth your peace.
God puts the family in authority over you to teach, help you grow, and offer advice. But over time, instead of leading you to where you should go, they may become a constant source of frustration, anger, and meanness. When this happens, it can cause significant trust issues. Therefore, I created a list of red flags you should know when dealing with sticky family situations. If you see more than one of these red flags, consider if your family members can be trusted.
1- They don’t listen to you
2- They constantly invalidate your feelings
3- They go through your things without your notice
4- They aren’t happy for your accomplishments
5- They spread rumors about you.
I want to hear what you have to say! What is your biggest struggle when it comes to learning how to trust someone again after you have been hurt? Let me know in the comments below.
Your Penpal Friend,
How to trust again – After you have been hurt
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How to trust God in all times
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