Pistanthrophobia: The Fear Of Trust (Yes, It’s An Actual Phobia)

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Flickr / Basheer Tome
Flickr / Basheer Tome

Trust is a thing that’s hard to earn yet easy to break. It’s fragile. It’s a leap of faith. It’s a terrifying thing to allow yourself to be vulnerable and open up to someone else. For one thing, what if they don’t like what they see when you tear down all those walls you put up and show them your raw personality? That, I would say, is one of the most terrifying things when it comes to love.

Meeting new people has a thrill to it. You get filled with an outpouring of emotions as you begin to learn all about this person, their insecurities, their fears, their passions, their fascinations… it’s exhilarating. You begin to grow attached to this person. You love seeing this persons’ name light up on your phone, instantly bringing a smile to your face.

You strive to bring a genuine smile to his or hers face and your willing to do whatever it takes to keep it there. You are willing to forego rationality, and plunge into the depths of faith, hoping, in the long run, this person will pull through and be the person you believe they will be. Your emotions trump the truth screaming in your face because you give in too easily to the desire to wrap your arms around his or her neck again.

Opening up to people is one of the most vulnerable things an individual can do. It’s not only about showing this other person all your talents and joys, it’s about allowing them to accompany you to fight off your fears and insecurities. Hoping they will stand by your side through everything, and continue to fight alongside you all the way. I mean, why shouldn’t they? Why wouldn’t they be willing to try and understand all the little things going through your head…helping you sort them out, preparing to overcome them step-by-step. Like I said, terrifying.

As a college student, I’ve been on the outside looking in, and the inside looking out when it comes to relationships and trust issues. I’ve watched friends in long-term relationships get cheated on, but still find it in their hearts to fight, through the heartache and betrayal, to build a better, stronger relationship than they had before. Taking their insecurities and working on them, together, as a team. For some, all it takes is one betrayal of trust to believe that all men, or all women, are the same way.

They’ll find themselves second-guessing everything their future partners say or do. They’ll find it hard to completely open up again because their worried that they’ll only get their heart broken again. I’ve seen people struggling, doing everything they can, to make a long distance relationship work. It’s like their constantly grasping for the threads of hope that are dangling in front of them, but still somehow find their fingers slipping into thin air. I’ve also seen all these relationship problems, affect any new relationships they are about to take part in.

However, in the end there is only one thing you must overcome: Pistanthrophobia. And that is your fear of trust. No matter who we are, what we’ve been through, or whom we’ve trusted this is a fear instilled in us. It may not be easy to let others in, or get close to those who let us in, but run with your emotion and know that moving on with that fear within you takes strength. TC mark

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