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Pistanthrophobia or The Fear of Trusting People – 10 Clear Signs This Fear Is Destroying Your Relationships

Pistanthrophobia or Fear of Trusting People

Do you often worry about what your partner is doing and who they are with? Do you often find yourself imagining all kinds of worst-case scenarios and assuming that they are being unfaithful to you? Do you believe that no one around you is worth your trust? (1)

Well, if you’ve answered all of the above-mentioned questions with a yes, then chances are that you may have pistanthrophobia. (2)

Pistanthrophobia: Definition

According to Macmillan Dictionary, pistanthropia is “fear of trusting people due to past experience and relationships gone wrong”

Pistanthrophobia: Meaning

Pistanthrophobia is a fear of relationships, i.e fear of getting hurt by a partner in a romantic relationship. This is an excessive fear that is irrational and persistent and it is a fear about an activity, situation, or person.

Oftentimes, the person suffering from pistanthrophobia has no real reasons to feel afraid because they are not in real danger. However, someone with the condition will do anything to avoid the situation or the person that triggers their fear and anxiety at all costs. Therefore, this type of phobia can have a damaging effect on a person’s life by disrupting their relationships and lowering their self-confidence.

“Pistanthrophobia is the fear of trusting others and is often the result of experiencing a serious disappointment or painful ending to a prior relationship,” says Dana McNeil, a licensed marriage and family therapist.

The people suffering from this kind of phobia, feel that they can’t trust anyone. They fear getting involved with someone and then getting hurt in the process. These people fear having their hearts broken and going through the same sadness and trauma that they once went through. So, they avoid getting into a relationship in order to protect themselves and protect their heart from future pain.

However, when someone does everything to avoid relationships, they also stop themselves from experiencing the joy and happiness of being into one. And if this is the case, then they are prevented from realizing that the first traumatizing experience is not an indicator of the future ones.

“They tend to exaggerate the probability of something going wrong, which is typical for people with anxiety,” Dr. Herskowitz explained. “They overestimate the probability of the worst-case happening.”

Some of the worst fears that people with pistanthrophobia have are being seen as unworthy, being cheated on, or being abandoned. These people don’t engage in a romantic relationship, and even when they do it is always on the surface level i.e not expressing their emotions or revealing personal details about them.

Pistanthrophobia: Symptoms

The symptoms of this condition are similar to the symptoms of other phobias. However, people having pistanthrophobia have more specific issues when it comes to dealing with other people and getting into relationships. The symptoms of pistanthrophobia include:

  • Trembling and sweating;
  • Shortness of breath;
  • Rapid heartbeat;
  • Excessive and persistent fear and panic which is also irrational considering the incident in question;
  • A strong urge to escape the triggering person, object, or situation;
  • A withdrawn and guarded nature;
  • Anxiety and a strong desire to get away from uncomfortable conversations in relation to dating or an intimate partner;
  • Being unreceptive and cold to anyone who tries to flirt with them;
  • Avoiding deep conversations with a potential love interest.

“These behaviors are all considered unsafe to a pisanthrophobe, and they are hypervigilant about letting themselves participate in behaviors that have a potential to lead to vulnerability out of a fear that the connection could lead to a deeper relationship,” saysDanaMcNeil, a licensed marriage and family therapist.

What causes pistanthrophobia?

Just like any other phobia, pistanthrophobia is usually triggered by an event or a person. There are many people who have had traumatic experiences regarding a past relationship in which they were betrayed, rejected, and heartbroken. As a result, they face the horror of having to experience yet another hurt and that is the reason why they avoid getting into a relationship at all costs.

The fearful feelings occur because of the person not being able to forget the traumatic experience and being constantly overwhelmed with thoughts of hurt, betrayal, anger, sadness, and rejection that they can’t open their heart and trust again.

Pistanthrophobia is defined as the fear of trusting others. So, if you’ve had many difficult and painful experiences in which you got hurt by other people, then it makes sense that you might have a hard time trusting other people.

If you were betrayed and hurt by someone who meant a lot to you in the past, it makes sense that you might have difficulty opening up to others and building healthy, happy, and successful relationships.

What you need to know is that pistanthrophobia can greatly interfere with your relationships. So, if you don’t want your pistanthrophobia to gain total control over your life and wreck all of your potential romantic relationships, first you need to identify whether or not you have it and then face it.

Here are 10 clear signs that your fear of trusting other people is destroying your relationships:

1. You’re constantly overthinking everyone around you.

Whenever you meet someone new, you tend to think that they’re not being honest with you. You’re analyzing their behavior and trying to find out what their hidden motives are. Sometimes you’re even unable to pay attention to their words since you are too busy overthinking their suspicious character.

2. You find it hard to believe that trustworthy people exist.

You’re convinced that every person you meet is going to hurt you one way or another. No matter how good to you someone is, you think that it’s only a matter of time before they take advantage of you and betray your trust in them.

Clear Signs Your Fear Of Trusting Other People Pistanthrophobia

3. You think that you’ll be single forever.

You keep complaining to everyone around you that you’ll never find someone you’ll be compatible with and with whom you’ll be able to build a healthy, happy, and lasting relationship. And the worst thing is that you truly believe in this.

4. You easily get jealous.

You’re so insecure about where you stand in your partner’s life that you easily get jealous over the smallest and most trivial things. You’re constantly worrying about whether your significant other is being entirely faithful to you.

What you need to understand is that irrational and extreme jealousy has the power to destroy even the strongest relationship.

5. You perceive everyone as potential liars in disguise.

Whatever someone tells you, you never trust them. You sense a lie behind every word they say to you. When someone gives you a compliment, you can’t help but think, “Oh, what a terrible liar he/she is.” It’s like you’ve been programmed to think and perceive people that way.

6. Murphy’s law is one of your most favorite laws.

Murphy’s law which is typically stated as: “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong,” is something you firmly believe in. You believe that you weren’t meant to love and be loved.

But, what you always need to keep in mind is that when it comes to attracting love, happiness, and good things in life, thinking positively is an important prerequisite.

7. You need to be constantly reassured of your partner’s love for you.

You always need your partner to reassure you about how much they love and care about you. You feel and behave this way since you want to be 100% sure that they aren’t going to hurt you.

When your partner tells you, “I love you” and showers you with attention and affection every single day, and spends the majority of their free time with you, you feel like you can get rid of your suspicions completely.

8. You have pledged that you will never trust anyone again.

You were betrayed and hurt so many times in the past that you’ve made a decision to never trust anyone again.

You’re trying to protect yourself from getting hurt again. And you simply can’t stop thinking that others are liars, cheaters, and manipulators who are only interested in taking advantage of you.

But, what you need to remember is that unless you start thinking and perceiving others differently, you’ll never be able to build a harmonious, happy relationship with someone who could actually prove to you that trustworthy individuals do still exist out there.

9. You demand too much in your relationships.

When you begin dating someone, you can’t expect them to pledge undying love right away. You can’t expect them to spend every minute of their free time with you. You can’t expect them to forget about their friends, goals, and interests in their life and make you their number one priority. Sadly, this is what you’re constantly doing.

10. You’re too quick to break off relationships.

When you’re the type of person who easily gets jealous and who has a hard time trusting others, chances are that you tend to break off relationships too easily as well.

You simply don’t believe in giving second chances. Even if your partner hasn’t done anything wrong, if you get suspicious about something related to their behavior, you don’t bother at all to justify them. You break up with them without a second thought.

5 Ways to Overcoming Pistanthrophobia

For those suffering from this condition, there is good news – Pistanthrophobia can be cured. Even though it may take some time, there is a way that a person can heal from their trust issues and stop being scared of relationships. Below is a list of 5 ways to do that.

1. Get real with your triggers

Every person has something that triggers them and makes them feel anxious and afraid. You should try to find what your triggers are and then focus on minimizing them as much as you can. You should get real with your triggers and know that sometimes the danger does not exist and it is only in your head.

2. Start healing yourself

If you jump from one relationship to another, then you don’t leave enough space for you to heal from your traumas. Moreover, getting into relationships before you are healed will leave you feeling emotionally drained and heartbroken. So, give yourself time to grieve and heal because every trauma requires patience and consistency in order to overcome it.

3. Seek therapy

A therapist will offer you insights and tools to help you get to the core of your problem and overcome it. They will also help you regain trust and remove your fears from getting romantically involved with someone. A therapist can also help you regain the confidence to get back onto the dating scene and start meeting new people.

4. Remove your emotional baggage

Leave the past in the past and start trusting again. Begin a new relationship with an open and trusting heart by reminding yourself that the bad experiences from your past do not have to shape your future.

5. Bring the positivity back into your life

I know it can be hard to start trusting again, but it is crucial for you and your well being to heal. You must alter your thoughts and start having a positive outlook on life. You should regain your faith and have hope that everything will go well.

 “I Can’t Trust No One” Quotes