Trust Issues: Signs, Types, Causes, and How to Overcome Them?

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Sarvika Aggarwal

20 June 2024

11 Mins

How many times have you said that you are having “trust issues” in your relationship?

You won’t be able to count, I am sure.

Well, it is alright. Trust issues are a part of every relationship, and they always teach us something or other — a little bit about us and a little bit about the other person. It is for the good, right?

However, having trust issues comes from deep-rooted issues that may vary from person to person. Do you know why you are not able to trust your partner or your colleagues?

It is okay; we've got you. Let’s dig in and get to know what trust issues are and where they come from.

What are trust issues?

Trust issues can be simply defined as the fear of trusting somebody, like your partner, your friends, or even your co-workers. When someone has trust issues, they have a difficult time forming relationships or getting close to someone. Before anyone else can hurt them, they leave the person or end up hurting themselves by creating a wall in front of them.

Now that you understand what are trust issues, let's dig in and see the causes of them.

If you have difficulty forming relationships because of trust issues, talk to a professional expert and get to the bottom of it for free.

What are the signs of trust issues?

There are different signs of trust issues, depending on your attachment style and intimacy issues. However, here are some signs to look out for –

  • Self-doubt
  • Anxiety issues
  • Constant accusations
  • Always assuming the worst
  • Lack of forgiveness
  • Intimacy issues
  • Not forming close relationships
  • Commitment issues
  • Overly protective or possessive
  • Always focusing on the negative
  • Overthinking
  • Staying in unhealthy relationships

These are some of the signs of trust issues, which can hinder a person's overall well-being. Although it is very normal to get into these patterns, it is important to act consciously and get out of them.

What causes trust issues?

There are a lot of factors that can cause trust issues. More or less, some of the causes are betrayal in a relationship, socializing factors, childhood trauma, parenting patterns, and, most importantly, the people with whom you connect.

A former psychologist, Erik Erickon, developed the theory of development that highlights the importance of the early years of childhood and how that has a huge impact on the psyche and mental state of the child.

This shows us the importance of growing up in a trustworthy and secure environment so that when we grow up, we can form healthy and secure relationships.

What causes trust issues in a relationship –

1. Relationship betrayal

It can be hard to form romantic relationships if you have had a lying partner in the past or someone who was in a polygamous relationship. You will develop a negative bias toward romantic relationships and have trust issues if you get attracted to someone who seems like the right fit for you.

2. Attachment style

Your attachment style says a lot about the relationships you form with others. These attachment styles are a culmination of our upbringing and the people we meet when we are in our early years of development. So if you have a secure attachment style, it will be easier for you to form healthy relationships. However, if you have an anxious or avoidant attachment style, you will run away from forming intimate relationships.

3. Parental conflicts

If you have seen parental conflicts in your childhood where your parents did not share a healthy relationship or were not that close with you as well, it can be hard to form trustworthy relationships, especially romantic relationships. Once we as children are familiar with what a relationship looks like, whether it is healthy or unhealthy, that is what we usually seek out when we get old and wish to have an intimate relationship.

If you have been accustomed to lying, cheating, or being unfaithful, that is what you will attract. However, if you have seen otherwise, you will go for healthy relationships. But this doesn’t mean that you cannot break this pattern or chain, you can definitely do that by being conscious and stern with yourself.

4. Negative experiences

Life is not all rainbows and sunshine. Often, we end up having trust issues because we go through negative life experiences. This can be a result of a variety of factors, including a breakup, rejection by your social circle, bullying, feeling lonely or having no one to talk to, or having your friends break your trust. Negative experiences do not only happen in your childhood; they can also happen in your adulthood, leading to trust issues.

These factors usually happen to everyone, but this does not mean that you have a problem trusting people or that you do not wish to form intimate relationships. This simply talks about what causes trust issues in a relationship, which is connected with a lot of learned and hurtful patterns that can be changed and unlearned with conscious effort.

Types of trust issues

There are different types of trust issues in a relationship, and these can show up anywhere. People always assume that trust issues generally happen in a romantic relationship; however, trust comes from the deep-rooted issues of a person, so it not only shows up in your romantic relationship but also in your friendships, workspace, and even with yourself.

Let’s see the types of trust issues one has –

1. Romantic relationships

If you have trust issues, it will most definitely reflect on your romantic relationship. This can stem from having had a lying or cheating partner in the past or even from childhood trauma , where it gets hard for you to trust anyone you encounter in your life. This can show up in the form of jealousy, possessiveness, being stuck on small issues, or accusing others of everything. Because of these factors, there seem to be trust issues in a relationship.

2. Workspace relationships

There can be a variety of reasons for not trusting your co-workers. Usually, people do not trust their colleagues because of negative experiences in the past, co-workers not believing in them, people badmouthing them, and people stealing credit for their work. All of this can lead to self-doubt and a huge gap in trusting your colleagues, which can also be seen in the way they interact with each other.

3. Friendships

Just like romantic breakups, there can be friendship breakups where there are misunderstandings or fights because of trust issues. These trust issues can come from unhealthy friendships in the past or a betrayal by a friend in the past. Usually, when these things happen, it can be difficult to trust another person and make a lifelong commitment to them.

4. Intrapersonal relationship

The most important kind of relationship is the one that you have with yourself, and we all go through the phase of not trusting ourselves. This is the most hurtful and difficult kind of relationship – not trusting yourself and always being in doubt about our actions and the things we do. This can stem from hurting ourselves in the past, settling for less, or not listening to our inner child because our parents and elders used to tell us to do otherwise.

How to overcome trust issues?

It can be hard to overcome your trust issues, but if you never try, you will never be able to form healthy and loving relationships.

Here are some ways to overcome your trust issues —

1. Have open communication

If you wish to overcome your trust issues, you can start by having an open dialogue about them with your loved ones, whether it is your partner or a friend. Let them in on your insecurities and fears, and tell them what makes you so scared to trust them or anyone else. This will help you feel better, and your loved ones will understand you and help you get rid of these patterns slowly and steadily.

2. Taking small steps

If you feel your loved ones haven’t given you a chance to not trust them and have given you all the space to be vulnerable and be yourself, it is your time to take that small step forward and make them a part of your inner circle.

Take conscious steps and ask yourself if trusting them makes you feel safe or not. And if you feel safe and comfortable, it is time to take that leap of faith.

3. Introspect and build trust consciously

If you wish to overcome your fear of not trusting anybody, introspect yourself and your patterns. Once you get to know your patterns, you can consciously work on them by unlearning your old ones and making new ones for yourself. All of this comes down to building solid trust with yourself and your inner self.

4. Give yourself time and space to heal

Acknowledging and validating your feelings is an important part of healing. If you keep disregarding how you feel, you won’t be able to heal yourself properly. It is important to be soft and polite with yourself and give yourself all the time and space to heal properly.

5. Take professional help

If you feel you are not able to control this issue and want somebody’s assistance, then you should consider professional help. It can be difficult to take that first step and go to a mental health practitioner.

However, after that first step, you will actually feel a lot lighter and better. You can take professional help from the platform Now&Me, where the cost of the therapy starts as low as Rs. 30 and costs 1/4th the cost of traditional therapy. You can talk to the therapist according to your convenience via chat, phone call, or video call; it is absolutely up to you.

Taking mental health assistance will not only help you see right through your patterns, but it will also help you become more self-aware and loving towards yourself.

The importance of trust in romantic relationships

You must have noticed that it is often our romantic relationships that suffer the most if we have deep-rooted trust issues. Have you ever wondered why?

Well, when it comes to our intimate relationships, most of our childhood patterns and upbringing are reflected in them. You must have heard of the term “your partners are like your mirrors" — they show you your patterns and flaws that need to be healed and embraced.

To have that level of intimacy and vulnerability, it is important to have trust. Our inner child gets out in front of people we feel most comfortable with, and if we choose a person with whom we wish to have an intimate relationship, we must have trust and loyalty in that relationship.

Without trust, there is no relationship; there are only fun and games. So if you feel that your relationship lacks trust and you wish to get intimate with them, talk to them, get your feelings out there, and be radically honest with them.

Is having trust issues a mental illness?

Having trust issues is not a mental illness. However, it can lead to harmful effects if not treated on time with proper treatment, for example –

  1. Anxiety disorder
  2. Post-traumatic stress disorder
  3. Depression
  4. Bipolar personality disorder

Having trust issues can lead to your thoughts or irrational beliefs acting up, which can lead to serious problems if not dealt with on time. So although trust issues is not a mental illness, it can lead to other serious consequences if not taken seriously.

It can be hard to lead full-fledged life when you have are carrying the burden of not being able to form healthy relationships. Talk to a professional expert and get rid of your trust issues in a healthy manner for free.

How can Now&Me help?

Our platform, Now&Me, is a safe place that makes you feel light by writing out whatever is weighing you down. It can help you engage with others and make you look at things from a different perspective while helping you practice gratitude, which further pushes you to love yourself. Become a part of the larger community and seek help with your trust issues.

When you do not know how to tackle your trust issues, sign up on Now&Me and seek online therapy. Be a part of a non-judgmental, inclusive, and friendly community . A platform made for you to readily ask for help and let our mental health therapists help you understand the root cause of your trust issues and make you aware of how to effectively tackle them.

Invest in your mental health and download Now&Me for free!


Trusting your partner can't happen suddenly. To get to a point where you are absolutely vulnerable with them, you have to communicate with each other, be radically honest, and shed your ego while being with them.

If you feel you have trust issues for no reason, then you probably aren’t aware of your reasons. There is always some reason for not trusting someone and having that wall in front of you. If you wish to know the reasons, you can always seek help from a behavioural therapist.

Signs of a man with trust issues vary according to their personality, but they mostly include possessiveness, suspicion, controlling behaviour, thinking of worst-case scenarios, or making false accusations.

The symptoms of trust issues vary from person to person; however, some of them include self-doubt, anxiety issues, constant accusations, assuming the worst, a lack of forgiveness, intimacy issues, being overly protective or possessive, and overthinking.

Signs of a woman with trust issues vary according to their personality, but they mostly include overthinking, protectiveness or possessiveness, suspicion, controlling behaviour, thinking of worst-case scenarios, or making false accusations.

Trust issues can have different roots, like childhood trauma, negative life experiences, parental conflicts, relationship trauma, or attachment styles.

The signs of not trusting someone vary from person to person. However, some of the signs are that they are overly protective, make false promises, show possessiveness, refuse to forgive, and are always defensive of their actions.

Some of the most common trust issues are relationship trust issues, friendship trust issues, workplace trust issues, and trust issues with yourself.

If you wish to level up with your boyfriend and trust them with everything that you have, you need to open up to them, let them in, and share your fears and insecurities with them. Have a radically honest conversation, support each other, and most importantly, be there for each other.

When a person has trust issues and is scared to form intimate relationships, this issue is called pistanthrophobia.

Yes, trust issues can be a serious red flag if the person suffering from them doesn’t do anything about them and keeps roaming around their issues without sharing them with loved ones. This can be cured if you really ask your friends/family for help instead of keeping it inside you.

If you have trust issues in your relationship, you can have an open conversation with your partner, try introspecting about your patterns and working on them, or even journal your feelings and feel lighter. If you feel like taking professional help, you can consider therapy and talk to a therapist about it.

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