We all, have made one or two decisions based on antecedents. A very common one would be, who to date in the present or in the future, which mostly depends on who we have been with in the past. Sometimes, one’s bad experiences inform one’s choices without his/her conscious knowledge. When a person gets out of a horribly abusive relationship and manages to move on, they are not the same people anymore. Lots of things change and the fear of trusting people (pistanthrophobia) is likely to be one of them.
Think about that one friend in your circle who is perpetually single because s/he would not make any more attempts at a relationship. That person moved on but the pain of a past relationship (whether theirs or their parent’s) would not let them trust again. How is it even possible to sustain a relationship without trust?
What is Pistanthrophobia?
Most times, after a person gets disappointed by someone they deeply trust, the wounds could heal but the scars always remain. The scars make them want to be extra careful about those they allow into their lives and businesses. Which is a very good thing to do, until it becomes extreme.
This extreme point of trust issues, is pistanthrophobia, which is the fear of trusting people due to bad experiences. That sort of deep distrust makes you suspicious of every show of love. Your heart becomes numb and your emotions kind of shutdown.
How to Know you might have pistanthrophobia
The first sign that you might be dealing with this condition is not wanting to be in a relationship because an ex cheated, or some girl/guy you were into jilted you. A counselling firm has found pistanthrophobia to be common among 79% of Nigerians not looking for a relationship.
When you are at a point when love and affectionate relationships begin to feel like a plot for movies and fairy tales. So much that you will be consumed with looking for the hidden agenda of anyone professing love to you. “What does she want?” and “What does he really want from me?” are common questions from people who are dealing with extreme trust issues.
Also, people who constantly need a reassurance from their lovers are possibly battling pistanthrophobia. Doubting the love your partner professed because of small fights and arguments is also a sign that a person has trust issues. If you have to remind your girlfriend/boyfriend that you meant every word of “I love you” then, they have issues.
What is the remedy?
Get rid of “What if s/he breaks my heart just like my ex?” and other negative ‘what ifs’. Dwelling on the negative possibilities is the main reason why people who have extreme trust issues battle it for long. Pause and think about the positive ‘what ifs’, this could help you trust again.
It is also wise to take time to heal. Complete healing can be painfully slow. However, there is not a better way to let your heart use its regenerative powers.
If all of these fails, see a professional counsellor. Pay for the sessions and let them walk you through the healing process. You deserve to be happy!