Is there a norm for trust and how to measure it

We all have different levels of trust in specific acquaintances and in people in general. Someone leaves their phone on the cafe table when they go to the restroom, because they believe that none of the visitors will take the device. And someone even in communication with loved ones keeps a distance. It is not known if they will stick a metaphorical knife in the back if they relax.

Regardless of the level of trust, you can find the left bag and get hit by a loved one. In this situation, it seems that it is not safe to trust people. Better to be overdressed than underdressed. But it is not so.

Irina Aigildina

Cognitive-behavioral psychologist.

Without trust, it will not be possible to build friendships and love relationships. A distrustful person has to spend a lot of energy on controlling children, a partner, colleagues, subordinates and other people around: “You can’t rely on anyone, you can’t trust anyone, everyone can deceive.” And as a result, such behavior turns into stress, emotional burnout and apathy. The joy of life is lost.

A trusting person relates to the world more creatively, expresses himself openly, is relaxed, calm, more friendly and surrounded by the same friendly people.

According to Irina Aigildina, the concept of a normal level of trust does not exist, because there is no unit of its measurement. In every situation, the criterion of “normality” is within ourselves. But that’s not all.

Trust is the belief that a person will live up to our expectations. But he is not at all obliged to do this and can respond to kindness with kindness, nothing, or even ingratitude.

Andrey Smirnov

Master of Psychology, practical psychologist.

It turns out that the principle of the golden mean also works in the case of trust. It is irrational not to trust anyone, but trusting just anyone is also reckless. Each case is individual, and in any, even very good, relationship there is some risk. But, as you know, whoever does not take risks does not taste the well-known pleasant drink.

Why we don’t trust people

Psychologists name several factors.

Due to negative childhood experiences

According to Aigildina, the so-called basic trust is laid in early childhood. He learns the child in the first two years of life. The following factors are decisive:

  • was mom’s behavior predictable,
  • whether she remained “in touch” and came at the call of the child,
  • how orderly and expected the environment was,
  • whether the regime and the usual rituals of feeding, bathing, changing clothes were observed.

These daily little things form the baby’s sense of trust in the world and people.

Irina Aigildina

In the first few months of life, the child does not separate himself from his mother. Therefore, its role in building trust at this stage is important. If the mother cannot be around all the time, the role of a significant adult for the child begins to be played by the grandmother, father or nanny. In the early days of forced separation, the child may experience discomfort and anxiety. But if the mother still returns, and the person nearby gives a sense of predictability and orderliness, the feeling that the world can be trusted will gradually return to the child.

In the future, the child will pay attention to how they communicate with him, keep or do not keep promises, how comfortable he is to declare his desires and contact with acquaintances and strangers. This forms a sense of psychological security, an important element of trust in people. Or, on the contrary, alertness and a constant sense of threat appear.

Due to disturbing events

The feeling of trust is not static and can change under the influence of life experience, social and economic situation.

Because of self-distrust

It is sometimes believed that if a person does not trust others, then he first of all does not trust himself. And self-confidence is directly related to self-esteem.

Maria Eril

Psychologist, psychotherapist, head of the “Psychology of communication” direction of the Business Speech company.

As a rule, we decide to trust another person only if we are ready to take responsibility for an unsuccessful interaction. You can trust other people only if you believe in yourself and that you are able to overcome and harmonize any negative scenario after interacting with this or that person.

Trust means not only to hope that someone will live up to our expectations, but also to take risks in case the person does not.

How to learn to trust people

The most effective way to solve the problem is with the help of a specialist – a psychologist or psychotherapist. But you can work on it yourself.

Irina Aigildina

If you do not engage in the formation of trust in people and the world in general on purpose, then it will not “grow” by itself. And then, sooner or later, distrust will begin to dominate your life. For example, you may begin to think that the interlocutor is mocking you or has a hidden agenda, although in fact there is no reason to think so.

Aigildina advises to analyze your views and attitudes towards people, situations and life in general. For example, you can be guided by the following phrases: “trust, but verify”, “trust alone will not go far”, or “everyone around is deceiving”. Naturally, such beliefs affect the interaction with others. This is the effect of a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you see danger and hostility all over the world and in people, then it will be so.

It will also help to analyze the negative experiences that contributed to the growth of your distrust. Perhaps you have experienced betrayal or other situations where openness has played a negative role.

Most likely, remembering the bad is not difficult. The next stage will be much more difficult: to find situations in life when people did not let you down, were honest and fulfilled their obligations, did not violate your trust in them. We usually take such stories for granted. A negative experience sticks like a thorn in the memory.

Good memories will help you “train” your eyes to see the positive side of life.

What to do if you over-trust people

Distrust also has an opposite pole, when people are too open to the world. A person gets negative experiences over and over again, but continues to demonstrate excessive gullibility.

Irina Aigildina

It stems from the desire to please everyone. And also from the inability to be independent and the desire to shift the worries onto the shoulders of other people: “Let someone else take care of me and solve all the problems for me.” But at the same time, a person forgets that he himself has long been an adult and can take care of himself.

If you notice a tendency to attribute good intentions to all people, although you have had a negative experience of deceit and disappointment, try asking yourself the question before trusting the interlocutor again: “What does he really want?”

Trust your inner voice. Listen to your feelings and thoughts, and not to the words of a friend. What will happen if you now act as you need, and not your interlocutor? Will your communication stop? If yes, then, most likely, this person is only worried about his own benefit. And there is reason to reflect on trust in these relationships.