How To Trust Again After Being Screwed Over Too Many Times

How To Trust Again After Being Screwed Over Too Many Times ©iStock/bogdankosanovic

Nothing hurts more than having someone you love and trust screw you over. It shatters your world. Suddenly, everyone is suspicious. Are they going to do the same thing? How can you possibly trust them after what happened? It does take time and patience, so don’t hope for a quick fix, but it’s possible to trust again and you’ll be glad you took the chance.

  1. Think of those you still trust. OK, so one person screwed you over, but what about all the ones who didn’t? You have family and friends that are always there for you and who’ve always had your back. Use them to remind yourself that not everyone’s a loser.
  2. Explain your trust issues. If you’re starting to get close to someone, but you’re having trouble opening up, talk to them about it. If they love you, they’ll be patient and work to earn your trust. Having someone understand can make a world of difference.
  3. Know that it’s OK to be cautious. Everyone keeps telling you to just trust people and saying that you’re cynical to be suspicious of everyone. That’s BS. It’s always OK to be cautious, even if you don’t have trust issues. Take things step by step. Trust will come with time.
  4. Take small steps. You don’t have to trust someone new with your biggest secret from day one. Test the waters with small things to start with. It’s like building a relationship — it gets stronger as you go. The same goes with trusting again.
  5. Work through things with a friend. If you already have a friend you still trust, ask them to help you. Talk to them about your fears. Sometimes having that encouragement from someone you already care about and trust is enough to give you the confidence you need to trust someone else.
  6. Find someone who’s worth it. You should be picky about who you trust and only take a chance on someone you feel is worth it. They have to show you that they’re worth having in my life long-term. Sure, it might seem extreme, but it’s the best way to start trusting again.
  7. What did you really lose? It’s a hard question to answer, but necessary. When you got screwed over, what did you really lose? If you think about it, all you lost is someone who didn’t deserve you to begin with. They hurt you, but they screwed themselves. Don’t let their stupidity take away your ability to trust.
  8. Remind yourself that you’ve survived before. This isn’t the first time in your entire life that you’ve been betrayed. Sure, this time might seem like the worst, but you made it through before and you will again. Treat it like a breakup. Take some time to get over it and then move on.
  9. Realize you’re not the only one. I’ve yet to meet anyone who hasn’t been through this. The biggest difference is how quickly we all trust again. Some bounce back like nothing happened while others become guarded. Look around you in a crowded place. Many feel just like you. If they can make it through, so can you.
  10. Put yourself at risk. Do something you’d normal be terrified of with a stranger. No, I’m not saying to actually put yourself at risk, but put your trust at risk. For me, I hate heights. I did one of those indoor rock climbing things which forced me to trust the person holding my rope. I didn’t know them, but after I was done, I felt a little better about trusting.
  11. Stop thinking about them. As long as they’re on your mind, you’re going to have trust issues. You’ll probably find yourself comparing everyone you’ve met to previous douchebags, so you keep seeing red flags that didn’t actually exist. You have to force myself to stop thinking about your past so I can see the great people in front of you.
  12. Trust yourself. You didn’t realize it at first, but you haven’t just lost faith in humanity, but you stopped trusting yourself. You can’t trust anyone else until you can trust yourself. Remind yourself that this wasn’t your fault. You’re not responsible for the idiocy of others.
  13. Remember trusting again is the ultimate revenge. Whoever screwed you over gets some kind of sick joy out of knowing what they did to you. Want revenge? Show them it didn’t work. Trust others, have fun and live your life. It kills them to know they no longer have any power over you.
  14. Don’t force it. Forcing yourself to trust too quickly just ends badly. It almost creates a desperation to trust anyone. Take your time. Listen to your heart and gut and they’ll let you know when you’re ready. The last thing you want is to trust blindly and get hurt before you’ve even healed the first time.
  15. Look in the mirror and say “just f*ck it.” You’ll have a turning point where you tell myself that you’re not going to play the victim anymore. You wake up, say “f*ck it” and and let yourself be more open. At first, it was like ripping a bandaid off slowly, but after a little while, it didn’t hurt anymore.
Crystal Crowder is a freelance writer and blogger. She's a tech geek at heart, but loves telling it like it is when it comes to love, beauty and style. She's enjoys writing music, poetry and fiction and curling up with a great book. You can find her on Twitter @ccrowderwrites or check out her other writing on Medium.