Thursday, September 1, 2011

To be connected, to feel one`s self . . . . . No. 3 : ability to trust

Trust can be attributed to relationships between people. It can be demonstrated that humans have a natural disposition to trust and to judge trustworthiness that can be traced to the neurobiological structure and activity of a human brain, and can be altered e.g. by the application of oxytocin. 

Oxytocin  is a mammalian hormone that acts primarily as a neuromodulator in the brain. Recent studies have begun to investigate oxytocin's role in various behaviors, including orgasm, social recognition, pair bonding, anxiety, and maternal behaviors. For this reason, it is sometimes referred to as the "love hormone"

The ability to trust others starts at the family level and grows to others. According to the psychoanalyst Erik Erikson development of basic trust is the first state psychosocial development occurring, or failing, during the first two years of life. Success results in feelings of security, trust, and optimism, while failure leads towards an orientation of insecurity and mistrust.

There are three different forms of trust. Trust is being vulnerable to someone even when they are trustworthy; Trustworthiness is the ability to trust, and trust propensity being able to rely on people. Once trust is lost, by obvious violation of one of these three determinants, it is very hard to regain. Thus there is clear asymmetry in the building versus destruction of trust. Hence being and acting trustworthy should be considered the only sure way to maintain a trust level. In addition to the social influence, in organizational settings, trust may have a positive influence on the behaviors, perceptions, and performances of a person.

A history of betrayal can loom large in one`s memory, and cast its shadow over everything else. One trust violation can swamp memories of the many times one`s trust has been vindicated. It's important to reflect on

1) the number of times that others have lived up to one`s trust in them,
2) the difficulty of distrust, with its constant need for monitoring and controlling others, and
3) the social costs of distrust, given the harm to social relationships that is caused when people feel distrusted.

It is important that one realises that one`s inability to trust leads to failed relationships.

If one grew up in an environment where one was made to feel inadequate, insecure and afraid to trust, one is likely to have a difficult time in adulthood with one`s ability to love and to be loved, thus having the ability to be connected and to feel one`s self whilst interacting with other people.

One will, more than likely, develop a fear of being controlled by other people, and one will attempt to mitigate that fear by either over-controlling one`s intimate partners (using any degree of exaggeration, manipulation, anger, threats, seduction or deception), pushing one`s partner away, or by running away from intimacy.  One will be likely not to trust people who display love and affection, and one will act suspicious, inconsistent, confusing, insecure, jealous and perhaps paranoid around them.  One`s behavior will communicate:  “I reject you.  But please don’t reject me because I need you.” 

Other symptoms of having low ability to trust and thus being destructive in one`s own emotional relationships are:
  • having low trust in one`s intimate relationships,
  • blocking connection and closeness,
  • doubting the abilities of others (projecting one`s own fears onto others),
  • issues of control (trying to control the partner in one form or the other),
  • doubting others extensively,
  • feeling the need for proof of trustworthiness from others, 
  • low capacity for giving and receiving love, etc.

    Every relationship begins with trust in each other. Without the initial trust, the relationship will not move forward. In the beginning, one believes without much proof about the others character. It is love and some assessment of how trustworthy the person is. As the relationship grows, fissures start forming because of doubts about whether the other person can be trusted. Was he/she trustworthy from the beginning or was I fooled? Or is he/she changing now? This kind of doubtful thinking causes tremendous strain in a relationship and with the breaking of trust, the relationship breaks, because the connection, the flow of energy, that is effortless is lost and instead of that there is only draining of energy from one another that is very tiring and destructive.

    So, let us examine this on an energetic level and what it really means.  When one has the ability to trust, one is energetically opened and one is connected to self (the being) and the universe, thus one is able to truly love and be loved. It is felt as a natural flow of energy through the body and communication with other people is effortless (does not drain one of energy). If one is mistrusting, what it actually means is that one is afraid and fear is an automatic disconnector from self and the universe, so no love can be received or given, because there is no flow of energy, or it is barely functioning. When that happens one needs the energy flow anyway, so one tries to get it  from others.

    Learning to combine one`s desire for independence with the desire  to be connected and to feel with another and be part of the universe, on an energetic level as a whole, is complimentary and not at all opposing. What it really means is knowing and trusting one`s self of being able to take care of one`s self and one`s own needs and that others are able to do the same and at the same time knowing and trusting that the people with witch one has emotional relationships with, have honest and loving intentions at heart. Being able to belong and being connected to self, and being on a team doesn’t threaten the identities of the people involved.

    Being able to have a rational, reasonable, trusting, loving and communicative discussion about what one  wishes  from the other person (what is necessary for one`s own personal feeling of being loved and respected) what the partner wishes are, where one`s relationship triggers are, and how one would like the other person to respond when one gets triggered, fearful, angry or threatened and to trust that the agreements made will be respected for both that are in one relationship. 

    To trust is not the same as being naive. One can trust because one feels secure in one`s own abilities to maintain a level of safety for one`s self no matter what happens in life, one feels and trust one`s self that everything is and is going to be all right. This way one can feel safe, and one can be connected to the essence of self and the universe.

    Freedom comes when one stops projecting ones own fear of powerlessness onto others, blaming them and victimizing ones self and thus being mistrusting of people in general.

    How to build trust and trustworthiness:    
    • be truthful, honest,
    • be reliable (follow through on promises made),
    • set boundaries in an assertive fashion (with respect, love and acceptance of others, unwillingness to give energy to others in an unhealthy way, with acceptance and without judgement of others),
    • be trusting (do not accuse a person, rather ask for an explanation with trust),
    • be fair and respectful of others,
    • have the ability to feel  compassion (validate the other persons feelings),
    • take responsibility for your own feelings and actions,
    • trust yourself (know that you are able, without doubting). 

      One has to be responsible for one`s own feelings and energy one puts out in to the universe. What that means is that only the person that feels that something has been done by another, that was unpleasant to one`s own feelings and that it also interrupted one`s own personal energetic flow, only the person that is perceiving, feeling this, can be responsible for the solution. When one is connected to self and the universe, one has the trust that is needed to resolve the issue at hand lovingly, with acceptance of others, whilst maintaining the energy flow and the connection with self and the universe, so energy from others is not needed. So one has to trust that the other had and has one`s best interest at heart, and by being made aware of the situation and being given a proposal how to solve the situation, that that person will respect the solution and thus the connection to self, others and the universe is uninterrupted.

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