Trusting Others After Being Disappointed

Trusting again after a friend wrongs you takes time and patience.
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From your family and friends to your sweetheart, when an important person in your life lets you down, picking yourself up isn't always easy. Whether you accept an apology or not, trusting others after being disappointed may still feel like a struggle. Forgiving a formerly trustworthy person doesn't mean that you'll soon forget or let new people in.

1 Don't Dismiss It

If you brush off your disappointment and don't acknowledge that your friend, lover, co-worker or family member let you down, trusting others in new relationships may result in an inner struggle. Acknowledge the disappointment, however mega-sized or minute it was, counselor David Bedrick recommends on "Psychology Today" online. For example, if your BFF lied to you and stole your BF, don't dismiss it by telling yourself that you didn't really need people like that in your life anyway. While that's true, recognize the hurt that you feel over the betrayal. Doing so can help you to move on and eventually open yourself up to someone new.

2 Accept the Reality

You could shelter yourself, hiding away from anyone who might possibly hurt or disappoint you. If this sounds like a good plan, think again. While no one wants to feel disappointment, sometimes it's inevitable. Even though trusting other people after being hurt is a challenge, you need to get back out there -- into the real world -- and start building new relationships. Will you go through disappointment again at the hands of a friend or loved one? Possibly. But, hurt, like happiness, is part of life.

3 Reaction Time

Saying that you trust your new friend or boyfriend is one thing, but actually doing it is another. If you're finding it difficult to trust other people after being disappointed, consider the possibility that you're comparing them to the person who hurt you, retired psychotherapist Mike Bundrant suggests on PsychCentral. For example, if your ex cheated, you may have difficulty trusting your new guy. When he says he's going out with friends, you might get jealous. This behavior can ruin your new relationship and is an issue that you have to address immediately. Instead of reacting to feelings that are based in the past, tell yourself that a new person is a new start when it comes to trust.

4 Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Telling yourself that you can't, or shouldn't, trust again will only get you one result: the inability to trust someone new. If the hurt from a past disappointment is stuck in your head, keeping the memory alive may stop your ability to open up in the future. This doesn't mean that you can't trust again, but that you've decided that you can't, asserts Bundrant. The more negative thoughts that you let in, the less likely it is that you will trust others freely again. Instead of holding on to the disappointment, change your tune and tell yourself that trusting again is possible.

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.