After tragedy like Boston Marathon bombings, how to trust others

It's easy to build up walls in our lives. After all, as this week has shown, there are some really horrible, soul-less people in this world. And, seeing photos of the suspects — if I would have seen them walking down the street, I would have had no idea. They looked like normal guys.

But that doesn’t mean no one should be trusted. That doesn’t mean there aren’t still good people in this world. Tuesday I interviewed a local woman who was in Boston when the bombings occurred at the marathon. She was eating lunch nearby when she heard the explosions outside the window. And she told me about how everyone there joined together to help one another. 

At a nearby Dunkin’ Donuts, people were buying the runners coffee and hot chocolate to give them some comfort. She said strangers were offering their cell phones to those who didn’t have service and offering rides in their vehicle to those who didn’t have a car. 

It’s easy to shut others out of our lives — so afraid they can’t be trusted. I am definitely a culprit of this. But trust is necessary for any person to be relatively happy. If you feel mistrust toward everyone, you will be controlled by fear. reports some possible signs of having trust issues: 
• A total lack of intimacy or friendship due to mistrust
• Mistrust interfering with primary relationship
• Several intensely dramatic and stormy relationships in a row or at once
• Racing thoughts of suspicion or anxiety about friends and family
• Terror during physical intimacy
• Belief that others are deceptive and malevolent, without real evidence

Being unable to trust can destroy relationships. But it's human nature to transfer what may have happen in the past, like infidelity or abuse, to a present relationship, even though it's a different person. In extreme cases, such as the Boston Marathon bombing, an extreme mistrust of people can result in paranoia or post-traumatic stress disorder. A therapist can help a person identify their source of mistrust and separate past trust issues from future fears.

We are human, and there is no such thing as an 100 percent trustworthy person. People will let you down. But you will have a pretty miserable life if you are always expecting people to let you down.

Life Coach Rachel Grant wrote in her blog, "You see, trusting another person is not about saying 'You’re good, you’re safe'—it is about saying 'I know that, in these areas, I can count on you, and I acknowledge and understand the areas where I can’t.' If we continue striving to prove that someone is 'good,' then, as soon as they show a flaw, we will cut them off, deem them untrustworthy, and continue our cycle of being closed off and disconnected."

How much better this world would be if we could be a little bit more trusting of one another? In the long run, by not trusting others, you are only hurting yourself.

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