Have you ever been hurt so bad that you cannot trust anyone no matter how genuine or true they are? Well, if this is you, then chances are high that you could be suffering from pistanthrophobia. This is a condition or extreme kind of fear that prevents individuals from trusting others.
In most cases, instances where people can't trust anyone stem from somewhere. It is possible that they may have been heartbroken by the same people they trusted too much. One such trust is breached, especially by people you never though would ever hurt or harm you, it becomes very difficult to let your guard down. It suddenly seems like you are putting up fences and protecting your vulnerability. In most cases, such people tend to let no one in, and even the little they do, it is only by a small percentage.
What is the meaning of Pistanthrophobia? Pistanthrophobia definition is an enormous fear of trusting people because of awful past experiences. As stated, the feeling of not wanting to trust anyone, where you feel like you have no capacity to do so is triggered by a nasty experience from before.
Most people do not just wake up and decide, 'I can't trust anyone.' Usually, someone they truly counted on, or banked all their trust on failed them and hurt them so deep. The damage may not be evident psychically, but deep down, such people are usually bruised and their emotions left wounded to the point that they imagine the same thing happening over and over.
Is Pistanthrophobia a real phobia?
Yes it is. This kind of fear manifests most when it comes to relationships. In most cases, the person suffering tends to be extremely jealous in a new relationship just because someone else hurt them in the previous one. It could cost a good relationship if not addressed immediately. Most people have lost great partners just because they could not bring themselves to appreciating the difference between the past and present.
Pistanthrophobia as a fear that shows up in moderation can be a good thing. It could guard you from getting into trouble again. However, it becomes an issue when it goes to the extreme. When you don't trust anybody at first, this can be interpreted as wisdom since you take time to know and appreciate the person.
It is only after learning their strengths and weaknesses that you can then let them in slowly as you figure out if they are worthy being in your life or not. On its own, this fear does no harm. However, its signs and different manifestations could ruin your chances of being happy in any kind of relationship.
How Pistanthrophobia manifests
It is possible to be suffering from this condition and not know about it. If you spend a lot of time on your own, then you could assume that it is simply a matter choice. However, there are symptoms that make it clear. Here are some of the different reactions that definitely identify you as one suffering from pistanthrophobia.
1. You tend to be skeptical about each person you come across
Well, it does not matter how highly recommended someone comes. You can never bring yourself to trust them. You will always cast your doubt about an individual, no matter how adored and loved they are. In a crowd of friends, you seem to be the only one that does not embrace newcomers. When new people try to get too close, you become wary of them. You tend to believe that it is only a matter of time before they unleash their claws and scratch you like all the others did.
2. You never see yourself in a happy relationship
It is especially difficult when the person who hurt you was the one you were dating. When the scar is deep, you tend to think that your end of happily-ever-afters happened. You hardly give anyone else a chance to get close to you since you believe that they will do the same thing. You also believe that happy relationships are an illusion. In most cases, people around you know that you will never settle down, and that you have chosen to be single for life. In fact, in most cases, the idea of a happy relationship irritates you.
3. You always overthink
It seems as though your mind is always on overtime thinking about what a person is about to do to you next. You never judge any person as face value or just stop at the first impression. For you, there has to be something deeper and hidden in them. You tend to believe that everyone has a sinister motive that they are waiting to unleash when the time is right. It is difficult for you to imagine that things are just as they are presented. You tend to dig for more as if looking for dirt that is nonexistent.
4. You are a doubter
Unless something is so clear and indisputable, it is impossible for you to just believe in its truth.Your first approach is to treat every person as a liar, or a potential one. You have become so corrupted that your mind hardly has the capacity to sift through lies and truths. You tend to look at people through the sieve of untruth. In fact, you look at the nicer person as the biggest liar whom time would prove.
5. You are such a pessimist and strict believer in things that could go wrong with you
While most people tend to focus on the positive and what could be right even in crisis, you are the exact opposite. You overanalyze what could go wrong with practically everything, even when everyone around you is celebrating and everything is working out well. When asked, you cannot remember when last you were positive about anything. It is not surprising that you are always sad and unhappy.
6. You are one person that gets jealous too quickly
It can be adorable to have a jealous partner, as long as it is done in moderation. Jealous, when guarded can be proof of love and care. A partner needs to be slightly possessive and protective of you. However, when this feeling gets out of hand, then it becomes dangerous.
You tend to be overly insecure and threatened by the smallest things that come to affect your relationship. You never want new things or people that come into your relationship since you view them as potential threats. In extreme cases, you tend to monitor your partner's every move. Slowly, you will start blaming your partner for everything, and make it seem like it is never your fault. This is a recipe for disaster in most cases.
7. It is a conscious choice for you not to trust anyone
It appears as though you decided early in life that you would never trust anyone. You seem to have put up walls and fences around you as a self-protective measure. No matter how hard people try to get in, you quickly erect the wall that no one can penetrate in. This is always from a point whole-hearted decision and no one appears to have the power to make you change your mind. You refused to look at the bigger picture, or even believe in humanity just because you convinced yourself that people are sick manipulators that are out to break your heart again.
8. Constant reassurance is the only thing that keeps you sane
For those in relationships, your partners need to work extra hard for you to believe that they truly care and love you. You are constantly in need of reassurance, and more often than not, you want to be told about how much he or she loves you. Unless you have a partner that is extremely patient and loving, you may think they do not care. It is up to your partner to ensure that you feel protected and love.
How is pistanthrophobia treated?
Now that you have understood the symptoms and manifestations of pistanthrophobia, the next sensible thing to do would be to figure out how it is treated. How do you trust someone who has never hurt you? Is it even possible that you can teach yourself to trust again? These questions are important for anyone that is willing to change but unable to do it. The good news, however, is that it all starts with wanting and desiring to change. It is possible to overcome this fear, and turn a new leaf. The following are a few suggestions that you could adopt and start your healing journey gradually.
1. Understand what triggers your fear
This is the first step as it will help you to stay away from whatever ignites the extreme fear. Once you know what is hindering you from enjoying life fully with your partner, then you can start working on these things gradually. Take caution not to rush yourself into healing and end up causing more damage. It will definitely be difficult at the beginning, but over time, you get to understand and appreciate yourself better.
2. Remember that all things need time
Whoever said that time heals all things was not far from the truth. No matter how deep the hurt is, time plays a significant part in making you heal completely. Appreciate the fact that it takes a lot of time to heal and uproot what was hidden deep inside your heart. Celebrate the little progress you make, and allow yourself enough time to get to know the new you. In case you stumble a few time, do not pressure yourself. Remember the aim is to wheal wholesomely and truthfully.
3. Get help if its too much to handle on your own
Well, therapy is available for anyone that feels overwhelmed. Surprisingly, these professionals have been specially trained to walk you through the deepest of holes that you will not believe it at first. They will help you deal with your struggles and help you find your own light. In case you are confused about where to start and how to go about everything, then it is best to seek professional help.
4. Invoke positive thoughts
It may be time to change your line of thought. The fear of trust can easily be tackled by being positive always. Surround yourself with things, people, and even movies that inspire positivity. The energy around you should always be positive. Keep off anyone that wants to drag you down with complaints and related negative energies. This has to be a deliberate effort to surround yourself with things that make you happy. If you must, do not be ashamed to walk away from anything negative. The impact of this kind of energy on your recovery is disastrous.
If you are the kind of individuals that don't trust people, then asking you to stating trusting people can be a tall order,or an even impossible fete. If you are among the many people who have been hurt beyond repair, as many think, then the idea of recovering from pistanthrophobia may seem impossible. Fortunately, it is a battle that can be won. You do not have to miss out on beautiful relationships with people who truly love you just because someone failed you.