I’ve learned a lot of hard lessons in my life. In recent years, I’ve learned a lot of hard lessons about who I can trust. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a while – after the fog lifts – to realize that you should not have trusted someone (with your time, heart, support, or even your most carefully held secrets or thoughts).
The worst part of trusting unsafe people is that they often present themselves as the only one/ones you can trust. When you’re in the so-called fog of war, it’s hard to know for sure. So how do you know who to trust and who not to trust? So hard. It’s so hard. I have no degrees. I’m not an expert in any field of use (haha) here. What I do have is experience – hard core experience.
Experience that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.
– William Nicholson – from The Shadowlands
Here’s what it boils down to:
TRUST. YOUR. GUT.
What if your gut is telling you that you can’t trust anyone in a specific environment (professional, personal, your neighborhood, whatever), or situation? That probably means you might want to be very careful and trust your gut until you see otherwise. I have been there. I trusted when I should not have. The charming one may catch your eye. But he or she isn’t always untrustworthy. Except when your gut tells you not to trust him. When everyone else has a bad opinion of someone – but your gut tells you something else – you might just be right. Conversely, there are people who are well-liked who are absolutely, 100% rotten people, who shouldn’t be trusted under any circumstances. Your gut is telling you
If you’ve been through trauma, could your people picker be off? Could your gut be wrong? It’s possible. It could also be super aware, as a result of your trauma, of who to avoid. What should you do in these moments? Trust yourself. If you’re in an environment that isn’t healthy, this need to protect yourself, set strong boundaries, and know your worth – is absolutely tied to your ability to trust yourself, too.
Trust your hunches. They’re usually based on facts filed away just below the conscious level.– Dr. Joyce Brothers
Listen, this is a hard thing to figure out – especially in the murky, grey areas of life. But when you make a decision to trust yourself and your gut – when you come to a moment of acceptance that you actually know what the hell you’re talking about/feeling/knowing – things that once seemed so confusing, suddenly become clear.
If you’re on a wellness journey, or learning to set better boundaries, this is going to take some work. You may even make a mistake or two along the way. I have made more than I care to admit. And recently. When you get to one of those moments when you realize you probably shouldn’t have trusted someone with a part of your heart, life, etc., accept it for the lesson it is and keep moving. It’s hard, dude. But if you take the lesson with you, it becomes easier the next time around to invest your efforts, heart, etc., in people and places that are trustworthy. The first step is to trust that this is true and that your gut knows what the hell it’s talking about.