We Need To INVESTIGATE Our Distrust

When we distrust in relationships or whilst we're dating, awareness of our distrust is nice. But, managing our distrust is what is key. The thing is, we cannot manage that which we're not sure the root of.

We Need To INVESTIGATE Our Distrust

For instance, I've interviewed 300 people who were in the dating phase to determine if they distrusted and, if so, were their distrust issues Specific or Institutional. Initially, 174 of them noted that they have trust issues and 162 of them felt like their issues were Specific. Once I explained to them the difference between the two, they ALL acknowledged the distrust was Institutional.

Institutional distrust is distrust towards a person or a group of people based on negative experiences or perceptions with someone that fits or resembles that person or people in that persons group.

Example: Megyn distrusts Calvin because the last couple of guys that she has met were, in her words, ‘dogs’ and ‘liars’. Calvin has done nothing specific to warrant Megyn’s distrust but she distrusts him just the same. Megyn distrusts the institution of men and Calvin is a part of that institution.

There are several challenges with institutional distrust:

For starters, they who have it find it warranted. For instance, Megyn would defend her institutional distrust by providing countless examples of men who have wronged her. In fact, she would state that not having institutional distrust would make her a fool that was destined to be hurt again. The phrase “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me”, comes to mind. But who is the ‘you’ in this scenario? Calvin would argue that he has never fooled her once and thus he does not deserve to be binned in with the ‘you’, that he does not deserve to be guilty by association.

As well, institutional distrust is not generally accepted both ways. Said differently, Megyn may see her institutional distrust as warranted but if Calvin distrusted her because of a litany of negative experiences he has had with women, Megyn would be annoyed and offended.

Perhaps the most pressing challenge with institutional distrust, however, is the effect it has on the dating and relationship landscape as a whole. When we have institutional distrust, what we are really doing is categorizing large groups of people as gold diggers, liars, cheaters, emotional basket cases, etc. The more people that do this over a long period of time, the more that these categorical generalizations become our truths.

The repercussions to this are extensive and include sabotage, refrain and settling. If we don't trust the opposite sex, we will sabotage (unconsciously or otherwise) dates and experiences with them. We may even refrain from dating with a "what's the point?" mentality. Or, we will simply settle, convincing ourselves that the opposite sex is fatally flawed (based on our institutional distrust) but we'd rather be with them than be alone.

Are you living in a state of instructional distrust. If I were to explore trust even further in this MyTake I'd talk about the next layer which gets into intent or capability. As in, do we distrust their intent (motivations, integrity) or so we just distrust their capability to be faithful, communicative, etc. Thats a topic for another day.


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Most Helpful Girl

  • There is a lot of distrust, not just the 'I have been burned by guys/girls x number of times' but 'my friends have been burned by guys/girls x number of times'. There are so many generalizations. As someone who has many guy friends, I've certainly been asked to speak for my gender and to defend my gender. When they get burned, I have to remind them, do you think I would do that to someone I was in a relationship with, I wouldn't so clearly not ALL girls are like that, you had a bad experience. When something bad happens, it's all to easy to paint the entire group with the same brush and forget the good, or believe the good to be an exception, instead of believing the bad to be an exception to the rule. Perhaps that is also nature's way of ensuring we survive, if we know one person who died from eating a berry, isn't it safer to assume all berries of that kind are bad instead of assuming perhaps that the person managed to pick the one rotten berry.

    I think people need to remember, Calvin is not Bob or Jake, and Megyn, she is not the same Megyn who dated and was burned by Bob or Jake, she is older and wiser, she has learned things about being in a healthy relationship, she has better communication now with her partners, she has learned what she wants in a partner, what she's willing to compromise on. Calvin is not Bob or Jake and Megyn is not the same Megyn of the past, so it is unfair to think that the same thing will happen again.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • If Calvin didn't trust Megyn specifically because she was a woman, it would be called misogyny. Nobody says anything when a woman mistrusts a man because of his gender (Yes, I just used sex interchangeably with gender. Cash me ousside, how bow dat?). Honestly, that's fine with me. I don't want anyone putting their faith in me. They start expecting things, responsibility is had.

    Anyway, there are varying degrees of trust. There are just some things I don't trust anybody with like my life or freedom. Very few people have earned my trust enough for me to confide in them, open my home to them, even let them borrow my car. That number can be counted on one hand. In terms of dating, I don't trust anybody with even the slightest thing.

    That said, I just avoid dating entirely as described by the "refrain" part of this take. And it's not just trust issues. It's because the vast majority of women I have met have nothing to offer me. Even if a hypothetical woman has everything I wanted, I still wouldn't even give her beyond a tenth of the trust I give my best friend.

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What Girls Said 6

  • You introduce a lot of good ideas and concepts in your myTakes. I like this one especially because I--like most people on this website and in real life--have my own fair share of trust issues, both institutional and specific. I'd never thought of there being two different kinds of mistrust, but the concept makes perfect sense and is enlightening

    I've found out the best way to start learning how to trust people (because nobody ever taught me how to trust people to begin with) is to use people who trust me and positively receive them. The biggest turning point that helped me was when I lost my wallet at a new job and thought somebody had taken it, so I had everybody on a wild goose chase looking for it only to find out I'd left it at home the whole time. It was refreshing to see that people I didn't even know very well not only didn't take my wallet, but were nice enough to disrupt our training to help me look for it. (The wallet has sentimental value too, so it was especially worrisome when I thought I lost it.) I've been able to make a few close friends since then that I've been able to fully trust, so being able to trust (again or for the first time) is doable if you utilize the right method and people

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  • i think trust takes time and you should not date until you trust someone and you should break up if you are holding them accountable for things other people did.

    its amazing how irrational people can be about relationships yet STILL seek them. have self control and work on your issues before subjecting people to your prejudice.

    i dont think when people enter into relationships with trust issues they are unaware. i think they are hurt and seek to exact revenge on anyone. its incredibly selfish and irrational. like racism or sexism. you can see it and you should keep it to yourself. stay single. no one is forcing you to date danny billy bobby sara tammy judith or cindy. try being friends till you feel you can trust the. and if not, dont date.

    i dont have issues about trusting other people bc i go slow. bit i really hate when guys assume x y z about me bc im a woman. and they think that gives them insight into who i am as a human being. its disrespectful and i need to get to know a guy for a long timer before i feel confident he's not going to pull that bs.

    so i go slow but thats ok bc the less inclined towards prejudice a person is, the more time they will take to get to know you as a person. so it works out.

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  • I, just as many others, have institutional distrust. I just started seeing someone and I'm finding that I'm learning to judge him based on his performance with me rather than my past experiences with others. I'm seeing more what he's about instead of trying to make those things synonymous with my history. The process is slow and arduous but I'm making the effort to break away from my distrust. I believe that we have a future together as long as we close the doors on our respective histories.

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    • So you're moving from institutional to specific? Nice!

    • I guess you could say that. We've been seeing one another about 8 months now and he's never said or done anything that I've had to question or wonder about. He puts everything on the table and that makes it easier for me to do the same with him.

  • You can't distrust anything or anyone until you can trust... I trust with anyone to keep my "secret." I'm sure this has nothing to do with it but I'm a Scorpio do I but people through several trust tests. It's not that I don't trust it's that there are very few that have the ability to trust and many that have the ability to only lie. I can trust someone within a few hrs based on my intuition... My instinct is not to harm but help... If my secret was not kept I don't give a about urs anymore. With a relationship tho is different I'd have to know them personally, based other people's report, and how their attitude and mood changes when I am around them. If it's negative- no trust positive- trust... simpl

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  • well written

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  • Well isn't that our subconscious way of protecting ourselves? Anytime we have bad experiences we tend to be more cautious and avoid certain situations. Eg You were in an abusive relationship with a guy who, when he drinks he gets physical with you. After you leave that guy, you're most likely to never date a guy who drinks because you think of the previous bad experience you had with your ex. So if you have ever been hurt, I guess its natural or easier to distrust new people.

    That most likely makes no sense but thats my view. lol

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    • It makes perfect sense and it is what we do. I just want people to be aware of what it's called and what the repercussions of it are. 😬

    • I think it takes longer to trust again after being heart broken, but if you really want to be happy you do have to move on from the past.

      Great Take by the way.

What Guys Said 9

  • The definition of institutional distrust offered by @MazeOfLove would describe the view that I have had of women for at least 30 years.
    I used to be young, naive, thought that women were wonderful virtuous creatures and had a dream that I would find one special girl to love and care for . . . then reality re-educated me.
    After I had been rejected, shat upon and used more times that I care to count, then my heart was broken in way that would make a story for a bad soap opera, I came to see the members of the female collective (think Borg Collective) differently.
    Certain behavioural and personality traits are hard wired into different races and genders, as they are in any other animal.
    So, while it is unfair to blame one individual for the misdeeds of another individual, it cannot be denied that millions of years of natural selection have hard wired the members of a certain group to behave in a particular way. That is basic evolutionary biology.
    Thanks to the wonders of the Internet and the free and fast exchange of ideas, arguments and information, I have what I believe to be a fair and rounded view of the members of the female collective.
    Not long after I turned 30 I gave up looking for that one special girl and walked away from having anything to do with women (in terms of intimate relationships).
    Kick a dog often enough and it learns to stay away from the source of the pain.
    By the time that I was 35 women began to hit on me. I have been flirted with, asked on dates and propositioned sexually. This was unthinkable when I was 10 years younger.
    Perhaps women are attracted to men who appear to be not interested in them.
    There are currently four females who do the mating dance when they see me and are exasperated that I appear to not notice their displays of interest. One went so far as to grab me by the crotch, just to be sure that I understood her intentions.
    I cannot respond.
    When a woman hits on me, in my mind I see every women who has ever hurt me, I hear their voices mocking me and I feel a pain so deep that my soul bleeds.

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  • It takes a lot to trust people. I think a lot of mistrust happens because of the type of world we live in. People lie, steal, cheat and back stab. With all the stuff that goes on it's hard to fully trust people 100%.

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  • i think mine is instutionlised because of how my life has been. but i am learning too trust but not to much because i go out side my comfort zone when i trust girls or people in general.

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  • You some sort of sociologist or something? Some fat of the lamb professor taking government checks to push the marxist agenda?

    Could you please elaborate on your professional credentials? Who are these people you interviewed? Have you been published?

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    • I was published 409 times last year. You know how to use Google right? Have at it.

  • I generally trust until someone gives me a reason not to, but I'm not foolish either. Distrust is a method of self preservation

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  • I don't distrust people because of their race, I distrust them because of their ethnicity.

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  • Great mytake 👍

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  • Nice MyTake @MazeOFLove

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  • This was really good, thanks. I'm surprised honestly, after the last MyTake of yours I read I wasn't expecting to like any of the content you posted, so color me pleasantly corrected.

    You should do one of these on fragile ego's and how to handle respectful criticism without having to resort to emotional outbursts. Like people who use logical fallacies, such as appeal to authority, or censoring people who respectfully express a different opinion, in order to defend their ego instead of making a case for their position. And the value in being able to learn from others as well as them learning from you. Maybe throw in something about being able to listen as well, I think that is something everyone could benefit from.

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    • Yay, perhaps. I would probably add in the ability to post opinions without getting emotional. I've seen some inability for people to read and respond to something without getting angry, ignorant, or personal. Emotional intelligence is key.

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