I purchased a card with a quote from Christian D. Larson on it today (yes, I am a greeting card addict), which really has me thinking:
It is better ro have faith in everybody and be deceived occasionally than to mistrust everybody and be deceived almost constantly.”– Christian D. Larson
I think this really struck a chord with me because I go so far out of my way to avoid feeling abandoned, rejected, hurt, forgotten, etc. I have this idea that if I don’t care and if I don’t trust others, then I can’t be hurt.
My therapist and I talked about this while in treatment, and broke down why it’s not true for several reasons:
- My definition of “rejection” is skewed — being told “no” doesn’t necessarily mean rejection.
- Not letting myself be vulnerable enough to form connections makes me feel abandoned, rejected, hurt, etc, anyway… because I’m lonely.
- By caring less to avoid the abandonment, I’m not giving the relationship a chance and of course it’s not going to work out and be the meaningful friendship that I’m longing for.
Christian Larson’s point was something I should add to my list — because mistrusting everyone does feel like constant deception. It reinforces the idea that you are alone in this world, people don’t care, and you are worthless. So while refusing to trust others may feel like the safe option, it’s really the opposite. Avoiding the chance of being deceived (which really does hurt and does a number on your self-esteem) is in reality more painful than trusting others and taking that risk.
I’m a math person… so using this idea, statistically it makes sense. If you trust 2 in 10 people, and 1 of them hurts you (somehow), then you’re stuck with 1. If you trust 8 people and 3 deceive you, you still have 5 trustworthy friends. You come out ahead.