I do not know who I am. I do not know how to get emotionally close. I am inconsistent. I lack the ability to make boundaries. I do not forgive myself when I screw up nor do I learn from these mistakes. I have this idea that people are inherently good and will not harm me even though life has shown me otherwise. I do not know how create genuine connections. I have no idea what security even feels like. I am indecisive. I literally never have a plan.
It is not that I do not know what I like or dislike. I just have not felt like my opinions have mattered.
Believe long enough that you have no value and you act like it. You know that no one cares if you are happy. You know that no one is dependable much less that they have good intentions towards you.
Everyone is out to get something from you. And once they have taken all they can from you, they will leave (or you will limp away bruised, weeping and fundamentally altered from your previous state. You will never smile quite the same. You will never laugh without pausing to see if everyone else is laughing too. You will not dream without the fear of being sucked back into the false comfort of this waking nightmare. You cannot go another step without doubting yourself).
Time goes on and you grow new skin over those wounds. You never do laugh as loudly or smile as broadly but you do smile and laugh again. The nightmares do stop, eventually.
That doubt is deep-rooted. It has made itself your new normal. You hardly notice it anymore. You feel like you have learned to love yourself more and accept your broken parts. You think you have moved on.
Until you walk away from someone else with new shards sticking out of your previously healed skin. “How did this happen again?,” you think furiously as you try to tenderly wrap yourself in something warm to shield you from the blistering cold. “I thought it would work out this time!”
What you do not realise is this: that doubt that you ignored, festered. When you are uncertain about something or someone, it turns into a mistrust. When you do not trust someone, you lose confidence in them. No confidence, no hope.
At that point not only are you lying to them, you are lying to yourself.
You cannot truly love someone that you do not trust.
Pay attention to the signs: When someone does not trust you they will not confide in you, and may question a lot of what you say. They may be hesitatant to share any personal details and if they do, they may warn you a bunch of times not to tell anyone. They do not introduce you to anyone they know and they do not talk to anyone about you either. They will question everything you say, and everything you do. They will be hesitant to believe you, and often be the first one to accuse you of misdeeds.
1. They lie to themselves
One of the most striking behaviors of untrustworthy people is that they see themselves in ways that are simply inconsistent with reality. When you encounter someone who seems disconnected from the actual impact that their actions and behaviors are having, it’s a sure sign that they are trying to create a perception that conforms to their desires rather than to reality.
2. They project behaviors on you that are clearly not ones you are exhibiting
People who are untrustworthy also have an amazingly consistent habit of accusing others of behaviors that they themselves are exhibiting or are contemplating.
3. They breach confidentiality
This one has always amazed me. We all remember as kids swearing someone to secrecy only to have them break the promise and then rationalize it by saying, “But I only told one other person.”
4. They show a lack of empathy
This is perhaps the one shared behavior of nearly every untrustworthy person. They are able to rationalize being untrustworthy by diminishing the impact, pain, damage, or inconvenience they cause others. This is also the most dangerous of the five behaviors, because once you lose empathy for those whom your actions affect, you have started down a slippery slope with no bottom. Even worse is the fact that people who truly lack empathy have no awareness that they do, or they’re selectively empathetic when it serves their agenda. It’s simply all about them. Look for clues to this in how people generally treat those they interact with as well as their track record with others.
5. Their emotional state is volatile, and they have a pattern of inconsistency and fickleness in their decisions
If trust is missing in these formative years, it creates uncertainty, doubt, and inconsistency that linger over a person’s entire lifetime of interactions. While it is certainly possible to have people who are not volatile be untrustworthy, it is far more likely that someone whose emotional state fluctuates wildly is. The reason is that they will make promises they quickly regret and retract. They are never certain of why they are making the decisions they are making. And they are far too easily influenced by external factors over their internal compass. Again, we all change our minds now and then, but if someone has a pattern of consistently flip-flopping, look out. Nothing is anchoring that person to an emotional state you can trust.