Why do I easily distrust people

Suspicion: where it came from and what to do

Politicians, used car dealers, bankers - these are the professional groups most of us bring mistrust opposite. If it is still appropriate at this point, it can be too much mistrust but also have unpleasant consequences on the job. It starts with the fact that suspicious people have a harder time with their colleagues and even goes so far that their private life suffers. But something can be done about it ...

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How does distrust arise?

Mistrust arises when we repeatedly disappointed and our trust has been abused. This applies to both private and professional relationships.

In our private lives, we can be counted among the suspicious people because we are still carrying around injuries and bad experiences from a previous relationship. Professionally, it can be enough that one colleague is steal our trust and used it to his advantage.

That already shows: Everyone reacts differently on disappointments and insults and develops a more or less strong distrust of others for the same reasons.

Not only is distrust the opposite of trust, it is also one Signs of a lack of self-confidence. There seems to be a connection between attitudes towards one's own life, a positive self-image and the ability to trust other people.

In a nutshell: Who is happy with his life, has fewer problems with suspicion.

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Distrust and self-fulfilling prophecy

Should be suspicious of healthy skepticism separately become. While the latter can be positive in that it protects us from rash and ill-considered decisions, mistrust can endanger any relationship with other people.

And then when mistrust determines our thinking and acting. If our trust is repeatedly disappointed, even abused, we become more cautious. The result: We are having a harder time with putting trust in another person again.

This turns the mistrust to a cognitive bias, to a self-fulfilling prophecy that can determine our everyday life. Like other cognitive distortions, self-fulfilling prophecy determines us more or less unconsciously.

People who have already experienced many situations in which their trust has been abused distance themselves more than others from new situations and people. They find it particularly difficult to gain trust. In order to begins a vicious circlethat they rarely find their way out of on their own.

Because studies also show that: People who are particularly suspicious will in return rarely trusted.

Mistrust also harms others

Not only people who are suspicious suffer from the feeling. Also to those who constantly distrusted by colleagues it will not pass without a trace. This emerges from a study by scientists from several American universities, which is published in the article Daily mistrust: A resource perspective and its implications for work and home has been described in more detail.

The study starts from a new starting point. While previous studies focused on the person whose trust was disappointed, the researchers led by study leader Klodiana Lanaj von the person who is mistrusted.

According to the authors, it can be assumed that that too distrust brought towards them has an impact on the person being treated - and the results seem to confirm the assumption.

The test subjects were shown a little more distrust at work every day for a period of three weeks. After three weeks, the subjects felt emotionally exhausted and subsequently withdrew more and more from their colleagues.

But it didn't stop there. Even after work those who were confronted with a great deal of suspicion had to struggle with problems. These became even greater when the test subjects had the feeling that their colleagues completely rightly mistrusted them.

How can you build trust?

Reason enough to show a little less suspicion. Working on your own attitude is usually not that easy. As we have seen, however, it can help to inspire confidence. Who is trusted, who can sooner or later reduce his distrust of other people. With this we bridle the horse from behind, but this strategy is still a start. That's how it works:

  • Smile

    “Dogs that bark don't bite.” The thing with smiles works in a similar way. Who else open and friendly encountered, he cannot be up to anything bad. That is the popular opinion.

    Therefore, people appear who smile a lot more personable and trustworthy than others. Still, you shouldn't overdo it with your smile. If it looks artificial and fake, it is more likely to arouse suspicion.

    So only smile when you like also feel like it. You can promote this, for example, by thinking of a nice situation or a funny incident.

  • Nod often

    Nodding creates a bond. If the other person says something and you nod, you are showing them that you agree with their opinion. This gives the interlocutor the feeling that you understand him and that he can rely on you in case of doubt in the event of a conflicting opinion.

    The same rule applies here: continue to nod targeted and not arbitrarily. If you overdo it, it's more likely to be counterproductive.

  • Maintain eye contact

    If you look your counterpart in the eye during the conversation, it also creates trust. People who have something to hide like to look at the ground or at the tip of their feet.

    If you don't do that, look your colleague in the face with conviction, and you can do it a common ground.

  • Communicate openly

    Open communication without secrets or even lies creates trust. Of course, you cannot and do not want to talk to everyone about every topic over and over again.

    Instead of lying or trying to excuse, in this situation you should rather say that you are about to can't say anything - or want to. Your interlocutor will give you more credit for that than a little white lie that comes out later.

  • Admit to mistakes

    This point is related to the previous one, but still deserves a separate mention. He's just coming in professional context sometimes too short.

    Superiors and executives in particular tend to downplay their own mistakes or to hide them completely. They are missing out on an opportunity. No employee will believe them flawless every day Mastering the many challenges anew.

    The result: people who cannot admit mistakes will eyed suspiciously by others - either openly or behind closed doors.

These professions are the most suspicious

Most of us are probably rather skeptical about used car dealers. But there is also other professional groupswho eyed the Germans suspiciously. These are, for example, the following (in descending order):

  1. Politician

    Politicians see it at number one in the ranking of the least trustworthy jobs. Most people will not be surprised. Nepotism, canting and fake doctoral theses just don't seem trustworthy.

  2. Insurance salesmen

    Germans are overinsured. Maybe that's why they doubt on the motifs the insurance agents who sold them the insurance.

  3. Advertisers

    “Higher, faster, further” is what the advertising industry wants to make palatable to us, and it usually stays that way Reality on the line. No wonder that only a little more than one in four respondents trust members of this profession.

  4. Journalists

    Whether it is with the Accusation of the "lying press" has to do? We cannot say why it is, at least the reputation of this professional group was better.

  5. professional athletes

    Corruption and doping allegations have caused this professional group to decline in reputation. This puts you in fifth place among the professions that are viewed with the most distrust.

  6. banker

    More greed than customer benefit - This is the image that bankers spread in society. And that has gotten worse since the financial crisis. Nevertheless, 40 percent of those surveyed still trust this professional group.

  7. TV presenters

    TV presenters are closely related to journalists - and are therefore also viewed critically.

  8. actor

    Anyone who earns their money with it, on call Play emotions, does not necessarily look trustworthy. In any case, less than half of Germans put their trust in this professional group.

And which professional groups do we trust the most? The overview (also in descending order):

  1. Paramedics and firefighters

    No question: Rescuer are well received and most trusted by the population.

  2. Nurses and nurses

    Many Germans also trust this professional group, which is why they are only slightly behind first place in the ranking.

  3. Pilots

    Also the third professional group decides our life and therefore occupies third place in the trust ranking.

  4. Technicians and engineers

    That was just the art of engineering a few years ago The figurehead of the German economy, that has now changed a bit. However, the loss of confidence is still limited. After the emissions scandal, one could have expected more distrust. After all, 85 percent of those surveyed still trust this professional group.

  5. Entrepreneur

    The entrepreneurs are in fifth place and thus on the brink. Just about half of the respondents trust this professional group. But it also means that the other half doesn't trust them.

  6. Seller and Dealer

    This professional group barely makes it to last place in the ranking of the most trustworthy jobs. The respondents assume that salespeople use the Truth be somewhat flexibleto sell their product or service.

[Source: Trust in Professions Report, GfK Association]

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October 16, 2020Author: Julia Sima

Julia-Eva Sima works as a freelance journalist and worked for the career bible for a few months.

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