Who Do You Trust?

Last year I made an unusual New Years Resolution. I decided to give up having friends. That’s right. I was going solo. All I needed were Fionnuala and the kids. The reason? Well largely it was forced upon me. I had self destructed in such spectacular fashion that some people no longer wanted anything to do with me. Others did but only if I adhered to a number of pre-conditions. After some consideration I came to the conclusion that I couldn’t. And others again I had to cut adrift myself as they simply were not good for me.

Within a relatively short period of time I went from having a reasonably busy social life to well….nothing. We left the church we had been actively involved in and are still struggling to find a new spiritual home. I cut off all my ties with various running groups I had been linked to. I left all formats of social media and deleted a swathe of contact numbers from my mobile phone. I don’t have a big family. I have one sister who I don’t see very often and I lost my father in 2010 to prostate cancer. Since then my mother has become something of a recluse and, although we talk every day on the phone, I maybe see her once every couple of months.

It was Fionnuala and the kids. I got up, went to work and came home. I run on my own. I go and watch my son play rugby but don’t really mix with all the other parents. I keep my head down wherever I go and usually wear a cap. People walk past as if I don’t exist and that’s just fine by me. I used to seek out the limelight whereas now I shun it. Plus I can no longer fall back on alcohol to combat my social awkwardness. I’m a weirdo, a geek, an oddball. As long as I have my Kindle Fire and Netflix then I’m as happy as a pig in you know what.

I wouldn’t go as far as to say I’m anti-social. I’m shy and awkward but I would love to have friends. The written medium is my strongest communication format. I feel very at home when I am writing. Put me in a room full of strangers, however, and ask me to engage in small talk and I would crumple in an embarrassed heap. I’d be like the Wicked Witch from the Wizard of Oz. ‘I’m mellllllttttiiiiiiinnngggggg!!!!’ Flying monkeys optional. They really freak me out by the way.

I want to have friends but I just can’t get my thang together on this front. I’m just me and not a lot of people get thar. I like hobbits and zombies and running 26.2 miles for ‘fun’. These icebreakers tend to be greeted by a lot of blank stares whenever I drop them into the conversation. I’ve been trying to explain my rationale regarding this situation for five paragraphs now but I guess the ever so eloquent Taylor Swift sums it up best.

I don’t trust nobody and nobody trusts me….

The Social Media Wannabe Formerly Known as Stephen Black has inflicted and sustained considerable damage over the last few years. Thank God I’m now back on the straight and narrow. I have massive trust issues, however. I trust very few people. I’ll take that a step further. I don’t even trust myself most of the time. It can take years to establish trust but you can destroy it in a few seconds. Fionnuala dragged me very reluctantly back onto social media via this blog and I am slowly starting to find my feet again. I am learning to trust others and myself again. I hope others are learning to trust me as well.

It’s a constant battle though. I want to help people through this blog but I’m ever alert and wary. Am I coming across as too arrogant? Pretentious? Am I disclosing too much about myself? Too little? How do I come across? Am I doing enough? The questions keep coming. And it all boils down to one little word – trust. Trust rusts. It needs constant attention like one of those massive road bridges that are constantly being painted to combat corrosion. Once the painters get to the far end of the bridge they have to start all over because the near end has started to rust again.

I want to thank WordPress. For allowing me to be myself. For allowing me to lower my defences and display my weaknesses and vulnerabilities. For allowing me to trust people again. For allowing others to trust me. For allowing me to learn to trust myself again.

I am everything you are allowing me to become. I trust this community, this tribe. I think I’ve finally found my people. Thank you.

Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

Where do you stand on the issue of trust?

109 thoughts on “Who Do You Trust?

Add yours

  1. It’s alright if you don’t want friends, we have different relations for different purposes. You can find a friend in your own familyโค๏ธ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow, I felt like I was reading my life story, lol. I’m totally an introvert. I don’t have many friends myself. My social life is non existent. But I’m slowly coming out of my shell here on WordPress.
    As far as trust goes, I have major trust issues. I’ve always had trust issues…..and once you gain my trust you have it until you don’t. Once you lose it, it’s very hard for me to trust you again. I’m not saying I’ll never trust you again but it will take a long time….
    I really need to work on this. It’s just so hard.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Ironically, I wrote a blog about this very thing yesterday. I trust no one who hasn’t earned my trust. I, like you, have social media issues, and my own brother wonders if it hurts me that no one comments or likes my posts. The new and recovering me could care less. I want to be able to trust, but this year cost me a sister, two nieces, one nephew, a best friend, my stepson and a mother in law, all of whom I trusted and all of whom hurt me beyond what words could communicate. I will be your friend, you write a fab blog and your compassion for others is enviable and rare. Cheers to those who earn our trust in 2018.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Great post ! Trust also goes hand in hand with fear – the fear of failure or embarrassment, and the shame that accompanies those. Sounds like you are already learning to trust yourself (hence posting your thoughts for the world). You’re doing fine ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Yes. I have a trail marathon planned for my birthday. There is nothing like spending a sleepless night in a tent then getting up at the crack of dawn to run a marathon for your birthday. That takes the cake! lol. How about you??

        Like

  5. Thanks for your words. I’m a 101% introvert over here.
    I can relate to a lot of what you said and agree that being able to be on WordPress and totally be “ourselves” (unfiltered) has the potential to be very healing.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I cut off a few friends about a year ago and have stopped trying so hard with others than in reality never try with me. I think we all come across a time where we just need to stop trying to please everyone else and do what is right for us. I have a handful of friends and an even smaller amount I could actually call on in an emergency. Social media is very good at fooling us that we have lots of friends but I’m reality it’s up to us to realise who is worth trusting. By the way I love Hobbits ๐Ÿคฃ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I’ve stopped trying with a few people who would never initiate contact. I stopped making the effort and have never heard from them since. It’s disappointing but I can’t force them to like me. Are you a big LOTR fan?

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      1. I know the feeling but what can you do. Yes we love it in this house I’ve watched the Hobbit films that many times I’ve lost count! They are my go to films when I’m on my own for the evening! And I got the Hobbit book for Xmas because I seem to have lost my copy from when I was younger so excited to start reading it ๐Ÿ˜

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  7. Introvert – I could write an entire blog post on this myself. I had to educate and practice myself out of serious social awkwardness. Now, I’m in a very public career and things have gone to the extreme opposite. I feel similarly as you, that I need no one, and most days I don’t want anyone around. My reasons are much, much different – I actually do not want to know most people well enough to form an opinion whether I like them or not or trust them or not.

    I am 100% completely comfortable with myself and the person I am. What I have found through many, many encounters is that most people, and maybe myself as well, do not ever display the “real” person they are. We only see the real person when they start to feel comfortable around you, and it usually is not the impression you originally formed.

    Not sure what happened to you to make you lose “trust” or to decide you don’t want any friends. Mine is a personal choice to limit the people in my life for less clutter and less drama. I actually find social media to be comforting – no one is completely themselves but I know that going in and if I see something I don’t like – Unfollow “click”, done.

    Thanks for sharing this, and I hope you don’t find my comments harsh, but we’re kind of on the same page but for slightly different reasons maybe.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I have always been an extrovert, gathering the broken, repairing them and releasing them back into the wild. Much was so I did not have to face up to my own issues and some because it actually made me feel good about myself. Sadly since I had my turn in June I have not had much support and it is a part of my problem because I know that if it was one of the people I know I would be there doing whatever I could. This is why I have decided that I am going to concentrate on getting my health to where it should be and then be a little more selective with who I help.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. This really resonated with me as I am sure it did with many others. Writing is the way I communicate best. It enables me to unload myself of burden and connect with others I wouldn’t normally be able to do. I think of myself as an ambivert, somewhere in the grey area able to navigate, if necessary through social situations with some discomfort and probably slightly awkward. However, I prefer the sanctuary of my home and the familiar, the friends and family that don’t attempt to force me into a definition that makes me question my self-worth. I used to be all trusting until I was burned and now I have gone in the opposite direction and limited dispensation of my trust.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I’m more introverted than extroverted, and in my atheist years, I used to trust no one – not even myself, or I got confused about who to trust and made some stupid choices – until I decided to believe in God. I still make stupid choices sometimes, but over the years, I’ve discovered these three things about trust:

    1. No one is 100% trustworthy, and no one is 100% untrustworthy because we’re both human and divine;

    2. If I trust God, I’m okay, but I fail all the time (see point #1);

    3. If I walk into a room filled with lots of people I don’t know, social anxiety grabs the upper hand, but if I tell myself, “It’s not about me, it’s about others and what God wants me to do right here and right now,” then I’m okay – except when I fail to trust (see point #2).

    Thank you so much for your post, Stephen. Does my reply make any sense?

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I am a bit of both-introvert because I don’t share deep personal stuff, except with Jesus. Extrovert because I do love people but at the same time and I have learned to trust them to be the same as I am. I trust people to be people, failures and successes. I am one of them. But Jesus I trust to be Jesus, Lord and God. If He is pleased with me, then others’ thoughts, though they may hurt, don’t matter.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m an extrovert but an introvert when it come to my personal life which i’m trying to slowing change. Trust is something which is very important! Like i’ve told my husband before, if i lose my trust about him it will be very hard for me to ever trust him 100%. The reason being once you lose your trust on someone, they can do all the things in the world to make you trust them again but in the back of your mind you will always have this doubt in you.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I, too, am on the no friends train. Not completely by choice, though. I donโ€™t trust people easily โ€” their motives, their intentions, or their commitment to staying in my life, should I grow to trust them. I trust myself, though. Iโ€™m a pretty decent person, kind and trustworthy. So I rely on myself. My kids are my only friends. That used to bother me a lot, but after a lot of failures in the friend-making department, Iโ€™ve adapted. It is actually possible to turn so far inward that other people just stop mattering.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. This may sound odd, but I think God wants us to see clearly that we must not put our trust in people, even our family members. We love them all, but trust is something I only give to God. The Bible says Jesus did not trust in men because he knew what was in them.

    I think God wants us to have a friend or friends, but never forget they are a sinner like you and me and will make mistakes or sins that can make you feel bad. But ask God to not let you be offended by people, he will do that.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. A long time ago, about 8 years ago I was 100% what you describe and to a certain extent I still have some of those tendicies. I was the person that didn’t make eye contact, I walked with my arms folded in front of me protecting myself. I didn’t have friends at all. My husband and two kids were enough. Life had not been good to me, i could not trust myself, I didn’t even like myself. Something happened and everything changed but not without a lot of kicking and screaming.
    I can relate to this post for sure. ๐Ÿ™‚ amazing how many people are just like us out there.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. We have great deal in common and I find your honesty refreshing. Social media does seem to make it easier for people who are socially awkward, but that the same time social media is not quite the same as socializing. I wish I had more friends, but I have a hard time trusting that they are really my friends. I was in ministry for a number of years where I was the front guy, but learning how people really felt about me has left some deep scars and trust issues. I keep to myself, but thereโ€™s plenty of time that i just get lonely and start wondering why Iโ€™m even here. I would like to feel accepted somewhere, but I seem to be damaged. I easily get my feelings hurt and go off into my own world. Itโ€™s at least refreshing knowing their are others struggling socially too.

    Liked by 4 people

  17. This teared me up!!! You are doing fine and we love you!!!
    I see this place as my escape from the world, a place where I won’t be bothered by how I look, what I have or the way I act. I can be myself with these people, and it’s a blessing!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Another great one Stephen. I too have no social circle. I very much go to work come home get up work again etc….On my days off i see my daughter which is a very important time for me. I am a bit of both if i am honest introvert and extrovert. The nature of my job has me interacting with the public all day long. However as soon as i leave work i am very much happy to be like you described. Keep my head down and shun away from the crowd. I have also DJ’d for many many years again this is the extrovert side of me. I do not crave attention in any form. As far as trust goes? I could probably count on 1 hand how many people i do trust. I backed out of my friendship circle due to a number of issues. Ever since my ED admission i have not even heard from one of them……. This says everything that i need to know about them in my eyes. Although i still have them all on social media, interaction is non existent. This begs the question why have them on there at all?? A good question to which i can say i have no answer…….. Maybe deleting them would be a healthy step?? Who knows. The WordPress community is certainly as very good one, i have lots of support which i find very humbling and as i have stated before i thank each and every one of them. As you know you are one of those people. So Stephen thank you…….

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Your honesty helps a lot of us who have felt what you did. I know what it is like to doubt, and I know what it is like to feel isolated. God has helped me so much in everything. May He continue to help you, and lift you and your family up ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Iโ€™m an extroverted introvert…ha! Talk about being pretentious ๐Ÿ˜ฌ I am similar in that the written word is my comfort zone. And I have found a tribe on here willing to bear their souls. There is comfort in the somewhat anonymity. So bear it and be brave! Be unapologetically you ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 1 person

  21. For me, I consider myself a social introvert. I like being with people but after too much Iโ€™m drained. Trust in my opinion is earned and must be meticulously maintained. Iโ€™m really inspired by your writing. Keep it up. Youโ€™ve go a wonderful following that supports you fully. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

    Like

  22. You don’t know how much I enjoy your posts. I’m thinking the introverts of the world, the socially awkward geeks, need to band together and form a club. No need to partake in normal small talk, not even any social greetings. Just jump straight into talk about hobbits and comic book heroes and tardises (is that the plural of tardis?) and comic-cons and stuff like that. Our geeky hobbies are really where we shine.
    As for trust, once broken it is hard won again. I’ve been on the end of the one having their trust broken. For someone who isn’t the life of the party that everyone wants to be around, not being able to trust someone close to you is devastating. But what God showed me is that I can trust people to be people, and that means even those with the best intentions will sometimes fail. I can trust God to be God, the one with me through it all, growing good things in me even through the painful events, and giving me peace and strength for the journey.
    Your struggles remind me of one of my favorite Christian singer, Rich Mullins. He struggled with so many things. He failed so many times. But out of those dark places and because he was willing to let God do it, God was able to use him to minister to thousands of people. His lyrics were so real and raw and true. And God used him in mighty ways, even though from all appearances he struggled with his demons until the day he died. My point in mentioning this is that you don’t have to be perfect for God to use you to reach people. You don’t even have to have it mostly together. You just have to be willing to be real and keep coming back to Him. You just have to be willing to let God use you despite the mess. Sorry to be so long winded.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Wow, so brutally honest and fragile like so many of us. I am an extrovert but I need to be left alone too. That alone time is often when God speaks to us the most. Put on my favourite Christian music and enjoy just being me. I think it is really important thing to have trust which sounds like you have in buckets with your wife. Trust God first, and hopefully he will give you the discernment to know who else to trust. Like you my life changed three years through family bereavements and now I don’t do the small talk or conversations about shallow things. I have too much to do to be distracted from God’s purpose for my life. Hang in there!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I trust my wife implicitly. She really is my rock. I hope you continue to thrive in your relationship with God. You seem to have made great progress. I can be nothing but honest. I’ve spent too long living a lie.

      Like

  24. I say this “TRUST IN THE LORD JESUS-YESHUA CHRIST with all thine HEART and SOUL”!!

    May our ONE TRUE GOD THE FATHER who art in Heaven Above Bless all my Sisters and Brothers in Christ Jesus-Yeshua and Your Families and Friends!!

    I Love you all Everyone through Jesus-Yeshua Christ, because HE LOVED ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’• EVERYONE FIRST!!

    Love ๐Ÿ’• Always and Shalom ( Peace ), YSIC \o/

    Kristi Ann

    Liked by 3 people

  25. I’m a mix but I reckon I lean more towards introvert. I love being with people but I don’t get energised after being with others, I need my own space then so I can get stuff together. I’m learning the trust thing. Slowly getting over my own crap in my head and heart which frees me up to trust others.

    Thanks for sharing this post. Transition and process come to mind after reading what you had to say. Both are annoying and sometimes painful, but if one wants to grow or move forward then they are unavoidable. So may as well ride that wave and be transformed along the way dude.

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  26. You know those ridiculous personality tests you can take online that tell you whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert? Well, none have them have been able to give me a satisfying answer one said that I’m 52% an introvert (shakes head in frustration). The best I can tell you is that I shine when asked to make chit-chat with just about anyone and even though it terrifies me I’ve always done decently well in public speaking especially if I’m passionate about what I’m speaking on. But people drain me. I also have hyper-empathy which means like it or not I know what the people around me are going through pretty much all the time especially if it’s pain ๐Ÿ˜ฆ so I prefer not being around people as much. As far as trust goes, my issues are pretty severe. But that’s another essay long comment with lots more scar revealing that I’ll happily share, I just don’t know when I should stop whining about the scars and just accept that they’re not going away and then I wonder what will happen with the rest of my life cause I’ve got to let people back in sometime time (ugh sorry this was much longer than I expected it to be)! As always you his the nail on the head WordPress is really starting to be a place where I could feel safe venting a few more of my insecurities. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s interesting you say that. Fionnuala and I are considering setting up a private group for prayer and where people can discuss topics that they might not be comfortable discussing on WordPress. Would you be interested Elizabeth?

      Like

  27. Introvert all the way. I am so much happier at home with just my family than anywhere else. But, being in ministry at a small church has forced me to come out of my comfort zone and meet the needs there. Also, being a freelance writer and having to interview many people through the years means I’ve gotten good at drawing others out–but I much prefer to keep them talking about themselves than share information about myself. I’ll always be a private person.

    Like

    1. I’m much the same. My work ‘forces’ me to be outgoing but it’s not the real me. I prefer to be at home. I was very involved in a church but we moved on from it and don’t really have a church life now. Which is sad but the blog helps.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. One more thing–I always go back to Psalm 139. God made us each the way we are for a reason, introverts and extroverts both. I have to believe him when he says I am “fearfully and wonderfully made.”

    Liked by 1 person

  29. I am an introvert. I used to strive for friends and then fight to maintain the friendship but I find myself a hard person to deal with. I have one friend but it seems we are drifting apart. I’m mostly fine with it but part of me wonders what’s wrong with me. She seems to want to hang out but then when I ask to firm up plans, she ignores me. I just feel I’m an obligation. And at this point, I just don’t have the energy to be with people who only kind of tolerate me or we are friends on paper.

    I don’t trust many people either. I’ve seen an awful lot of dressed up, together people with nice sounding words who turned out to be back stabbing egomaniacs. I just don’t care anymore.

    I enjoy being by myself or with my family. I enjoy my dog, my art, and blogging. My love of God doesn’t live in a church. It is anywhere i am. I just don’t have the fellowship thing down right now but I consider my family to fill that role. If organically something else happens, that’s fine but I’m done forcing things to happen or into existence. I’m at peace with my lowly life. I am thinking of axing out facebook. That’s just a mental illness waiting to happen.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I could have written this myself. My experiences have been very similar. Some of the worst behaviour I have witnessed has been within a church environment. The same goes for social media although I feel more at home on WordPress. You sound like a person worth befriending. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Same to you. Us introverts tend to be highly misunderstood. But the biggest issue I face is understanding who I am. I don’t seem to understand myself a lot of times. Thanks for listening to my rant.

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          1. I blog sparsely on the free wordpress site. I do blog more on my everydayelle website, but that one isn’t as personal. I try to do both but, you know, time! I will try to read yours often. I can relate to much of what you say. It’s a balance to trust, love, and be real and then also set boundaries and know what isn’t good for you. Sometimes we just need to break away from everything to find out who we really are.

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  30. Trust is a tough one for me. I am pretty much an introvert although people who work with me might not think so. That’s just it, though, I’m not really myself at work it’s just a part I play. My social circle is pretty small; my boyfriend and his kids for the most part, and my dogs, can’t forget them. Sometimes I think I really need to improve that area of my life, I should have more friends, be more social. When I was going to 12 step meetings they were always pushing the “don’t isolate, get involved” stuff which actually made me more uncomfortable. I don’t want to have a huge social circle of people if I’m just playing the part, I want a few close friends that I can feel truly genuine with, that I can trust.

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      1. Even I feel at home with wordpress. A very nice article. Your were so open and so frank. I even believe that solo people are better that ones who need to be on their guard while being amongst so called friends.

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  31. Like you, I’ve had the same concerns about my blog–am I really helping others with this? Is this pointless? Does it seem like I’m focusing on myself too much because I’m sharing my experiences (I think I had seen a blog post that said something like this and I started questioning myself)? I realize that sharing our experiences isn’t not pointless; that’s how we learn from and support each other. Although I’m an introvert, I don’t mind sharing if I know it can help someone else which is my goal for my blog and my book; writing is how I express myself the best. And as for trust, it’s difficult, because of past experiences with people who turned out to not be genuine. So now I’m just focusing on trusting God and listening to what He tells/reveals to me.

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      1. It’s called The Secret to Creating Loving Relationships…I co-authored it with another writer and we discuss the mistakes we made in our previous relationships, the warning signs we ignored, and how to make better decisions in relationships.

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  32. Agree to all of this. Introvert myself but I can feign social niceties in a required setting. I haven’t had regular friends since highschool when my core group of friends just up and turned their backs on me after 6 years. After that my only friends were people I worked with – even though we may not ever do anything outside of work. I did attempt once more to reconnect and that again blew up in my face. So I was done trying. I get my required social interaction off of social media where I can stay connected to important people without having to sit through dreaded coffee dates or the like. I have one dear friend/previous coworker who I keep up with online and that is about it outside of work and family. Who says we need more than that.

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