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Trust, or lack thereof

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Occasional_Demon, Oct 14, 2011.

  1. Occasional_Demon

    Occasional_Demon Well-Known Member

    Do others find that they either trust people too much, or don't trust others at all, with little grey in between?

    I find myself oscillating between the two, which while I intellectually recognise as unhealthy, I also can't seem to help myself. I guess I've had a few unpleasant encounters with people over the past few months alone, such as:

    + Failing my final social work placement because my supervisor decided, after 15 weeks of telling me he was going to pass me, that he was going to fail me on the last week, about a day out from my last day at my placement. Which then led me to being kicked out of the social work course that I'd been working on and off for about ten years, and having to change my long-term plans, as well as my career plans and degree;
    + Finding out that a bunch of people from another forum I go on have formed a Facebook group with one of the main intentions being to ***** about me, and someone wanting to "mess" with me [not that hard to do really when I've got ASD and schizoaffective disorder - apparently I'm "paranoid" and I have "communication problems"];
    + Realising that my relationship with my ex was much worse than I thought it was - what I thought constituted "normal" behaviour in a relationship actually wasn't normal, and can be easily considered abusive [some people even described some of what happened as "rape" but for me, I'm not sure about that].

    So it makes me firstly wonder, why do I put myself in these sorts of situations where it seems like I put my trust in entirely the wrong people? I feel so naive in that I never realised that people could be so malicious and duplicitous, and it's repeatedly. Then it makes me wonder why people react to me in such a way. Has it got anything to do with ASD at all, or is it a personal failing of mine?

    Sometimes I just think it might be just easier if I shut out everyone from my life and lived like a hermit. It goes against my nature because I do enjoy other people's company, but I'm a little tired of being repeatedly treated unpleasantly by people.
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  2. King_Oni

    King_Oni Well-Known Member Staff Member Admin V.I.P Member

    Well, it's kinda hard at times to well.. "screen" people to see what they're about. You'll always have bad apples. It just is really weird if those bad apples are the ones you've put trust in for quite a while.

    I'm a bit like you I guess, I sometimes think it's easier to just live like a hermit (of sorts) and not care for anyone else. But I do in fact enjoy being around, well... interesting people. It just happens that the terminology of "interesting" is quite hard.

    People something think I'm a really bitter guy, but I'm only half as bad i can honestly say... but if I tell people about experiences I had with "friends" and all kinds of trust issues, people usually tell me "oh, actually, you're rather nice considering that bagage".

    I don't think you should blame yourself. Some situations aren't really stuff you "choose". The social work stuff... I don't think it has to do with you, But it's, to my experience, what supervisors sometimes do. If they're not nice, chances are you're not doing your job correct until they drop you... (and subsequently have a better reason to drop you). I don't trust supervisors/bosses at all... they all have a really weird stance towards me (and a lot of employees I've met in my life).

    It's rather childish for people to form a FB group about it. I could really do without those people...

    And as for you relationship... I don't know... I also think, that with relationships, who are other people to judge? Even if I want to be abusive... if the other one is fine with it. Granted, it's a different deal when your significant other doesn't dare to speak out... but in general... meh. As long as you're both happy.
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  3. CSJIV

    CSJIV Active Member

    Oh, no, it's to do with the AS, but I wouldn't spend too much time worrying about it. I was told for weeks that I was doing great teaching, only to have a horrible review--literally--thrown in at me and told to sign it. Blind sided would be an understatement. I've had relationships that were unhealthy too--borderline abusive. Looking back, I knew I should have gotten out sooner. Emotions do cloud judgement for sure. I always vacillate between wanting to be around people and shutting them out completely because, you're right, it is easier, but you can't do that and be happy. Just be okay on your own. Reach out to new people. Stay away from negativity in all it's forms. Good luck.
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  4. epath13

    epath13 the Fool.The Magician.The... V.I.P Member

    I think it might be a common issue among people on the spectrum (just an opinion) because many of us often fail to recognize people's hidden agenda in their behavior. Sometimes it's hard to do so whether someone's on the spectrum or not though. As a child I decided to trust no one just in case, it looked easier that way. Later I usually relied on my intuition and in many cases only on my intuition. Sometimes I would go against my gut feeling and end up in trouble but I usually did it to test reliability of it. So at this point I hope that my intuition is not going to fail me in the future as well, because sometimes it seems that I can't rely on anything else.

    As for relationship, I think it's all about your personal standards, feelings, and values. Are you treated the way you want to be treated or you tolerate certain behavior for some reason but don't personally accept it?

    I don't know about you but it's hard for me to deal with the "outside" world sometimes. It is confusing and people are confusing... So it is hard to figure out whom you can trust and whom you shouldn't...

    Don't really know what else to say at this point...
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  5. Occasional_Demon

    Occasional_Demon Well-Known Member

    Yes, I've wondered if some of this, at the least, has to do with me trusting people at face value. I think I have a tendency to believe people when they present as <x>, even though they might have other agendas that a non-autistic person might've been able to pick up.

    Sometimes I wonder if people exploit that aspect of me, and I wonder if that above aspect is somewhat linked with being ASD. Not necessarily saying that only ASD people have the above trait, but perhaps it is a trait that is more common amongst those on the spectrum.

    As for my relationship with my ex - I guess I was especially vulnerable because it was my first relationship [I started late - I never dated in high school], so I guess I wasn't sure what to expect and what was right or wrong.

    I've had lots and lots of incidences over the years of people who I believed thought well of me suddenly turn around and cut me out of their lives. The more these incidences happen, the harder I've found to trust people, even though I've had reassurances from my current partner and some of my friends that they would never do that to me.
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  6. Spinning Compass

    Spinning Compass Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    I have a lot of trust issues, too, for the same reasons that others have mentioned. I've just come to the conclusion that people are not to be trusted until they have shown themselves to be trustworthy. The trick is not to let them know that you do not trust them, because then you are setting yourself up for accusations of paranoia.

    One of the dirty little secrets that is not talked about much (except on forums like this) is that we live in a dishonest society. At least we do in the United States. I can't say about other countries or cultures. Believe it or not, some people actually prefer lies to truth. I learned early on that the key to getting along is to tell people what they want to hear, even if it felt like a lie to me. People love it. It's hard for us Aspies because we aren't wired to think like that.

    So people are dishonest, yet they get offended when you admit that you don't trust them. What gives?

    Many times I go into a store and I see the sign, "no checks." I have never once seen anyone give the cashier a hassle over this and say, "Well, my checking account is good! You shouldn't judge me because someone else wrote you a bad check" and so on and so forth. No. People seem to accept the fact that this particular business has learned the hard way that people cannot be trusted when it comes to checking accounts, and that is why they have issued a blanket policy of "no checks". But when it comes to other aspects of life, people are not so understanding. They are offended at your refusal to be "open" and trusting. They don't stop to think about what your history might have been. They don't realize or don't stop to think that trust, once lost, is hard to regain; and trust, multiply lost, is damn near impossible to regain.
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  7. earthsteward70

    earthsteward70 Active Member

    People do get offended when their integrity is questioned, even if they are dishonest, and know they are. Still, if you tell them they are they fly off the handle. The honest ones? They don't make that reaction.

    At the gas station everything is pre-pay no exceptions. I was getting gas one time and the man had to go pre-pay and he came in and bitched about the non-trust. However, he would have had to come in and pay for his gas after anyhow, so I couldn't see the reason for bitching. He said that it was because he had kids in his car that he had to leave unattended.. If I was scared like that, I would have brought my kids with me into the store. JMO.

    I think that I have always wanted to see the good in people. If I read a person as basically good I want to trust them, however there are a lot of good people out there that are dishonest and not upfront, etc. I've gotten burned a lot from 'friends' It seems like a lot of people have agendas. My first husband was very charming, yet turned out to be abusive. Yet, he was basicly good. I believe that he was mentally ill. I chose him because my mom was stifling me and when I got 18 I made a life with him. I call it my decade of hell.

    My second husband was charming yet he was never wrong. I didn't know if he was evil or sociopath. Maybe they are one in the same. He always had an agenda, yet somehow I could see them coming. It was as if I was smarter and one step ahead of him, defeating his agendas every time. I spent the last 4 years of marriage trying to think of how could I take care of my kids with just one income without him. God helped me out in that way one day when the ex went to jail after beating me up and I moved out on my own. It was as if God said :shove: "There now you are out on your own and you can do it because you have to." Some of the biggest blessings I've had in my life have been rude awakenings like these, disguised as disasters.

    NOwadays, I am always on the lookout for myself and my sons. If I meet someone that uses me I kick that friend to the curb as soon as I realize what's going on. One of the reasons I'm alone is due to my lack of trust. It's one of the issues I am working on because I don't want to be alone when my kids are grown in another 12-15 years and gone.
  8. Arashi222

    Arashi222 Cuddling Vampires V.I.P Member

    You are all speaking my language. I think it is part of being on the spectrum. Other people don't seem to have this problem with making and keeping trustworthy friends in the same way I do. I guess this thread hit a little close to me personally as I recently had an incident with two people who are now ex-friends and one of them I still have to work with (which is just...no words for that sorry).

    I had a situation a lot like both what Epath13 and Occasional_Demon Said. I think they expolit us sometimes because we don't get and we don't get what we did wrong if anything. People always tell you that trust is to be earned but often they expect it right away. I had started to let my guards down with my co-worker and her friend who seemed really nice now neither of them knew I had AS I never told them because they should like me or not based on me not because of a disorder. Back in October of 2011 after getting into a fight about the fact that they purposely invited me to a movie then changed the time so I couldn't go. i got into a fight with one of them and asked the other to help me with wording my feelings because I felt I was being taken wrong. She turns around calls manipulative and says I've been emotionally abusive to them because I want things to be in my control and blah tells me she never wants to be friends with me again (mind she works at the same place I do).

    She called me horrible names told me to get counseling for my 'issues'. I trusted her, I had finally started to open up to her after 3years of friendship. Mind I was officially diagnosed with AS 2.5yrs ago. But I always suspected especially while in school it was my supervisor who suggested I get tested. I absolutely think its a trait that we have. (long story short) I actually was told by the other person that I was a liar of omission for not telling them sooner that I had AS. That then they wouldn't have been my friends. I guess this time I learned the hard way again. Trust. Trust is a hard thing to come by I either been too trusting or not trusting enough and get called paranoid and emotionally abusive because of it.

    I think we don't understand and then by the time we do or see what is really going on we get jaded more, hurt more and less willing to put our trust into other people.
  9. 2010Dolby

    2010Dolby New Member V.I.P Member

    I was a very niave and trusting guy until a few years ago. Once I got into the professional workforce and other "grown up" things I got screwed over too many times. My ex-fiance turned out to be a cheater, one of my bosses was ripping me off financially, someone got murdered in my apartment building, etc.

    So, now I refuse to be in a long-term relationship again. I climbed the ranks higher then that scumbag ex-boss . And I have 3 shotguns, one in my apartment, one in my car, and one in my truck. Love everyone, trust no one.
  10. alien girl

    alien girl Well-Known Member

    i either trust people too much or not at all. i've trusted people i shouldnt in the past. i've thought people's motive were unselfish as they preteneded to be my friends and want to help me, and i marvelled at how friendly and unselfish they were, only to be stabbed in the back later - and realize they were so nice because they wanted me to trust them.
    on the other hand, i look for selfish reasons all the time, especially now after what happened, several times with several people. i used to do that anyway, trust those i shouldnt and suspect those who i should trust. now no matter what a person does i will always look for selfish reasons. sometimes i question if mother teresa really wanted to help all those hungry people in africa, or did she just want to look good, for her ego? somewhere in the back of my mind i know i'm being paranoid but can't stop thinking this way. i swing from total, sometimes immediate, unjustifible trust to paranoid suspicion.
    it's probably because i can't know the reason behind others' actions and dont read the signals they're sending. i dont know where i stand.
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  11. fredvizsla

    fredvizsla Member

    You know, there is a third option. Instead of immediately trusting or not trusting people stay neutral. Watch how a person interacts with other people. Pretend you're a zoologist watching a different animal species. Aspies have to learn how social people behave! Accept that social typical people will "not be honest" - it's built into social behavior and I believe it makes for a lot of unhappy neurotypicals who become mean people. Fortunately Aspergers don't have to become like social people. We can retain OUR values of honesty and fairness, but it requires NOT PLAYING THE SOCIAL GAME. If you do, you will be victimized; our openness and trust makes us targets - like dead meat to vultures. My blog has many posts that explain social behavior..
    for more: Asperger: The HypoSocial Human | Investigating the Asperger brain as a legacy of ancestral humans
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  12. Spiller

    Spiller Differently sane-ish. V.I.P Member

    I've just come to accept that I'll always take people at face value, as that's the only way I can interact, and they will use and abuse me, or not, as they will.. I can't influence their behavior, I can only work on my own feelings about it and in my latter years I've decided to accept that I'm wired differently and try to allow that that's just the way the rest of the world is; as long as I can find a way to be happy in my little corner of it, that's all that's important.
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  13. Cerulean

    Cerulean Well-Known Member

    I used to be very trusting but I've learned from it!
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  14. Harrison

    Harrison The Mad Taoist V.I.P Member

    I trust everyone I meet until they prove me wrong.
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  15. Aspergirl4hire

    Aspergirl4hire Mage, Sage, Revolutionary V.I.P Member

    There's new research on this by Paul Ekman, Daniel Goleman and others. I'll try to find the link. The honest ones actually stay angry and the dishonest ones get over it quickly. The honest remain angry because their integrity was questioned--the thing that makes them honest. They've been challenged on a permanent thing. The dishonest do not stay angry: either the gig is up, because their con has been seen through, or the con is succeeding and they want to move quickly on to realize the value of their hidden agenda.
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  16. Progster

    Progster Well-Known Member

    Yes, it's hard to trust people, once bitten twice shy. I keep people at arm's length and don't let them into my world until I have an idea of what kind of person they are. If I can't trust someone, it's hard to build a relationship with them. I once had a so-called friend, who then treated me badly, so I didn't speak to her for 5 years. Then, she asked me to collaborate on a translation project with her. But I was very wary and defensive around her, it was constantly at the back of my mind that she had hurt me in the past, and my meetings with her caused me great anxiety. Eventually I had to tell her that I couldn't continue with the project, even though this time she hadn't done me any harm. I just couldn't cope with the anxiety it was causing me. It's easy to forgive, but not to forget.
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  17. DogwoodTree

    DogwoodTree Still here...

    Forgiving and forgetting shouldn't be done together anyway...it's a myth that they must happen together. Forgiveness and trust just aren't the same thing.

    Internally (but not out loud necessarily because they might get offended unless they're committed to a personal growth journey!) say to the person who has wronged you...

    "Forgiveness is given because of who I am in this relationship.

    Trust is earned because of your behavior in the relationship."

    And it goes both ways. They forgive you when you mess up because of their character, not because you deserve to be forgiven. But you earn their trust by treating them with kindness, integrity, and self control.
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