It’s the fear of trusting someone due to past experiences (it’s in the Macmillan dictionary as an actual word).
I’ve somehow managed to find a middle ground. Like many of you, I used to trust very easily, still do sometimes, it all depends on the vibe I get from the other person. However, in the past year, regardless of the vibe I feel I do not trust until they prove to me that they are worth trusting. The middle ground I mentioned is I have the ability to genuinely be someone’s friend and be loyal to that friendship but not trust them back. It’s hard to explain and my friends think it’s really weird but I guess that’s how I guard myself and yet don’t lose out on the opportunity to get to know someone or walk away just because I get an odd vibe. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt and try to prove my gut feeling wrong, even though so far my gut feeling has won every time.
More than three years ago, I became friends with a friend of a friend. Pretty soon we were inseparable, like two peas in a pod. It was like we’ve known each other our whole lives and I loved spending time with her. Our energy was contagious and addictive. We were a great duo. However in time, I realised I shared everything with her and I barely knew anything about her and this hit me more when she betrayed me a few times and left me with insecurities I didn’t think I could ever have. I won’t get into the details of it as this isn’t a rant post but had to be shared to give you some background.
Featured photo is of my cat (may she rest in peace in kitty heaven) and I feel it’s so fitting for this post. She was happily sleeping and I woke her up and she gave me that look. The look of: “I trusted you human to not disturb me whilst I sleep, well never again shall I bestow such an honour upon you!” I miss her everyday but that’s a story for another day. [the colour of the text represents my emotions when I think of her, which is blue and yet blue is my favourite colour and of all that I have lost, she was my favourite :(. ]
Three years into the friendship, I realised I have no trust in her and yet I remain friends with her and loyal because I genuinely care about her. We do still have great times together. She has now begun to open up (she was someone who never trusted anyone, so I guess we really formed a balance, since I used to blindly trust). This made me curious and I wanted to understand why I did it, my friends do not understand why I am still friends with her and here are my reasons:
- We share the same wave length of thoughts, I can discuss and analyse things with her I can’t with other people
- We talk about things on a deeper level and I like that we challenge each other intellectually
- I actually think I’ve gotten smarter since I met her, as I read more (topics which I wouldn’t normally read about) and think about things logically, whereas before I would take things at face value and not really question it
- I wouldn’t refer to myself as witty but after I met her, I recognise wit and it’s an odd thing to say but I have the ability to play along in a witty scenario if need be (go figure?)
- I think she’s a great person despite what she’s done to me or other people (maybe I’m naive).
It seems like my friendship with her is for selfish reasons but it really isn’t. I’m always there for her and I do go out of my way as I would for any of my friends who I am close with (and trust), it’s just I don’t trust her. She was the first person I came across that made me realise that I can do that, I can have a genuine friendship without trust. Well, that’s probably the most grey I’ve ever been in a situation, which should be black and white. Also proves what the anonymous “they” say that everyone reacts to things in a different way.
What’s a friendship without trust? Well, here are a few things that pop into mind:
- I have no expectations
- I won’t get hurt or feel betrayed
- it’s shallow on a few levels and with this specific friend even the shallowness is grey because of our meaningful conversations, which covers a broad range of topics
- it’s actually good fun, in some ways because there is no trust, I feel less responsible
- on the other hand if the other person trusts you way more than you trust them, it can be quite burdensome and there’s only so many “not much is new” you can say before they begin to catch on.
Alas, as I’ve said a gazillion times. It is what it is. 🙂
Oddly, I like that I am capable of doing this. I really like people and I like how much I can learn and grow from people. There are 7 billion people in the world and I guess the way my mind works is that I’m not going to let a thing like trust get in the way of knowing someone. It’s a bit of a vicious cycle, it’s still a fairly new concept to me so let’s see how things pan out.
I wouldn’t say I have pistanthrophobia but I have learnt to be a little more cautious with my emotions.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. 🙂