It can be difficult to trust especially when we might have a backlog of antiquated experiences that tell us otherwise.
Those thought-process and feels that have a history of inconsistency in interpersonal relationships such as those voices that are triggered by: The Criticizer. The Scolder. The Belittler. The Power Tripper -- that is being on the receiving end of a Know-it-All.
When those landmines are set-off, it hurts; even by the slightest infraction whether it’s an eye roll, obviously being ignored, or a yawn when we start to reveal something important to us, and/or being talked-down-to.
A chain reaction may occur: this isn’t a safe person-place-or-thing.
Pulling back from those situations is one brilliant built-in mechanism of protection and setting boundaries that we’ve learned from an earlier form of survival. Some might even develop a creative level of intelligent dissociation.
But what’s next? How do we negotiate these landmines and practice new trust and relationship skills?
It has been both my personal experience, and as a therapist to honor and follow the lead of my clients. Often that means taking it s-l-o-w-l-y.
To build trust, one needs respect and to sincerely honor the person’s intelligence (when I say intelligence that goes way beyond school & degrees; it is the soul’s intelligence.)
Together we see-feel and go into the shadows with a fresh set of eyes and perspective. We untangle the knots and spaces in between to hear, learn and understand that: trust – is as fierce as it is fragile.
Trusting ourselves (inner intuitiveness) is part of the foundation and a stronger step stone to creating healthier relationships.
Carolyn Riker is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in private practice. She is also an author of three books. Her most recent book is "My Dear, Love Hasn't Forgotten You."