Trust and Mistrust
When you have a broad feeling of mistrust, you are suspicious of people and their motivations. This is the perfect environment for depression to build. Your thoughts will be fueled by speculation, and they will be more negative overall. An odd thing happens when you begin looking for relationships, though. People with a history of mistrust tend to seek out people that are untrustworthy. This sets the relationship up to fail before it begins. This paradox is common because people find comfort in what is known and familiar.
Jealously, Suspicion and Problems with Intimacy
As illustrated, mistrust can result in depression. The opposite also is true as depression can result in mistrust and suspicion. With depression, low self-esteem is a common problem. With low self-esteem, people begin seeking out methods to feel better about themselves, including relationships. A new friend or romantic partner can serve to point out your positives, uncover your strengths and give you a sense of purpose. This is clearly a great source of desired feelings.
Problems arise when you become too dependent on these relationships. You begin to believe that the relationship is responsible for your new, positive feelings and without it, you will return to feelings of insecurity and worthlessness. Therefore, you begin to seek out more contact with the other person, which can make them pull away due to discomfort or not living up to your expectations of them. You may believe that they are avoiding you, and you begin to create explanations that are not based on fact.
This is how the problem forms and develops. Fear, discomfort, low self-esteem and dependency lead to suspicion. Want to end suspicion in current and future relationships? Here’s how:
- Acknowledge your tendencies. Look at your relationship history for both friendships and romantic relations. What types of people have you been attracted to? Have people lied to you or cheated on you in the past? Have you accepted these behaviors? Do you come on too strong in relationships? Have relationships ended because your suspicions were unfounded? Answering these questions gives you a solid base of understanding for your patterns and trends.
- Communicate fears. Once your tendencies have been tracked and accepted, allow others to know where you are coming from and why this is a problem for you. Describe the expectations you have, and consequences of their behaviors. As long as you communicate well and remain fair and kind, you are providing them with the information needed to have a successful relationship with you.
- Use facts. When suspicions grow, your perceptions become less objective. Less objectivity leads to emotional reasoning, which means that you believe something is true based on feelings rather than facts, like, "I feel like he is cheating so it must be true." Without facts, you have no evidence. Without evidence, you have no case. It will be too easy for the other person to disregard your suspicions if you base the situation on subjective feelings. Ask yourself what proof you have. If there are no facts, you must talk yourself out of suspicion.
- Seek outside opinions. Impartial friends are a great resource for you when jealously and suspicions grow, because you are unable to see the complete picture. Encourage them to use facts and objectivity rather than feelings and rumor. Hopefully, they know and understand your trends so that they can remind you of previous situations where your suspicions where correct or incorrect.