A surprising number of people have trouble putting their trust in others. Some of us are Not Trust Someone as our friend and partner, even if they have repeatedly earned our trust and loyalty. Maybe you give your trust to everyone you meet and often pay the price for your naivety, whether you trust people too much or not enough, you’ve probably asked yourself this question many times before. How do I know if and when I can trust someone in my life? Trust is, in many ways, foundational in all of our relationships, romantic or otherwise.
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For example, you trust your coworkers to fulfill their responsibilities. You trust your friends to stand by you and keep your secrets. Over time, you learn who in your life can and cannot be trusted. There might be someone at your job who doesn’t show up when it counts. You might have friends who’ve betrayed you in the past. Sometimes it takes a frustrating or painful experience to learn whether someone is as trustworthy as you think. But what if you could learn this powerful lesson before you get hurt?
Imagine you recently met someone you really like, someone you’re interested in dating, and perhaps getting to know on a deeper level. Your feelings for this person are strong, but you’re hesitant to dive into a relationship. Why? Maybe you’re afraid of getting hurt. Maybe you’ve been attracted to the wrong kinds of people in the past, and you’re worried you’ll make the same mistake.
Luckily, there are easy ways to determine whether someone will betray you down the road. You just need to know what behaviors to look out for. In this article, we’re going to examine 13 signs you’ve met a friend, partner, or even a professional connection that shouldn’t be trusted. This person might seem charming, loyal, and consistent:
They might tell you how trustworthy they are, but if you put your faith in them, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment. Before you trust anyone, take a closer look at how they talk and behave. If you notice these tell-tale signs of an untrustworthy person, your trust may be better placed elsewhere.
1. Keeping Big Secrets:
Untrustworthy people don’t like sharing important pieces of information about their life. If you ask them what they do for work, for example, they might not give you a clear answer. The same might be true of their relationship status or their personal history. That doesn’t mean everyone who keeps secrets is a bad person. It’s perfectly normal to keep secrets, especially from people you don’t know very well. But there are certain things you can expect everyone to share, like the place they’re from or their field of work. So if someone in your life hides fundamental traits about their lives, then they may not be as trustworthy as you think.
2. Paranoid Projection:
Trust is a two-way street. People who are willing to trust others are usually the most trustworthy people you’ll meet. On the other hand, if someone is suspicious or paranoid, they may have something to hide. In many cases, these people unconsciously project their untrustworthy behavior. For example, someone who’s unfaithful to their partner may accuse their partner of being unfaithful to them. Whatever they’re so paranoid about, they may be guilty of the same thing.
3. The Empathy Gap:
Trusting someone makes you vulnerable. To trust someone is to let them into your world and give them a chance to understand you. Unfortunately, some people will use your vulnerabilities to hurt you and benefit themselves. So how can you distinguish between people who do and don’t have your best interests in mind? Trustworthy people tend to be highly empathetic. They want to understand things from other points of view and feel genuine remorse when others are disappointed.
Because they’re empathetic, they value things like trust and loyalty, and they never wish any harm upon the people they care about. On the other hand, untrustworthy people tend to be less empathetic or, at the very least, less interested in the experiences of others. They’re willing to abuse your trust because they don’t see the world from your point of view. An unempathetic person doesn’t feel bad about stabbing you in the back, so be careful with how much you share.
4. Fudging the Details:
Have you ever heard someone you know tell the same story in two different ways? Untrustworthy people manipulate the truth in whatever ways flatter their persona. Sometimes that means fudging the details or changing the entire order of events, as long as possible. As long as they look good, they won’t hesitate to replace fact with fiction. If you catch him in the act, they might say, oh, they forgot or they made an innocent mistake. But people who regularly alter the truth cannot be trusted.
5. Patterns of Dishonesty:
An untrustworthy person has likely been untrustworthy before. They may have cheated on a partner, stolen from an employer, or betrayed a friend. Maybe they’ve been unreliable in smaller ways, like canceling plans or failing to deliver on their promises. They have a pattern of letting people down or taking advantage of their kindness, and that’s a huge red flag. Why? Because this person knows how much they can get away with. They’re accustomed to neglecting loved ones and manipulating expectations. They know how to pass the blame and to avoid responsibility. If someone demonstrates a pattern of untrustworthy behavior, don’t let yourself become their next target.
6. Pushing Your Limits:
Untrustworthy people are frequently disrespectful of others’ boundaries. If you tell them you’re uncomfortable, they’ll press the issue, make fun of your sensitivity, or ignore your boundaries altogether. Why? Because they’re not respectful of you as a person. They may even experience a kind of thrill from invading your personal bubble. Anyone who accidentally crosses your boundaries isn’t a bad person. It’s also okay for people to ask why your boundaries are important to you, but if someone consistently makes you uncomfortable, there’s a good chance they’re not on your side.
7. Misplaced Validation:
Do you know someone who talks behind people’s backs? Maybe they share embarrassing stories about their partner or gossip about their friends. They gain a sense of satisfaction or validation from secretly tearing people down. If you know who spreads gossip, don’t get too close to them, and don’t be too trusting. Anyone who talks badly about others, they’re just as likely to talk badly about you.
8. Breaking the Rules:
Do you know someone who likes to break the rules? Some people get a thrill from defying the law or cheating the system. You might know someone who steals little things from convenience stores or avoids responsibility for something they’ve done wrong. They might justify their behavior, saying the rules are unfair or the system is stacked against them. But deep down, this person may believe they can do anything without getting caught, whether it’s breaking the rules or betraying your trust.
9. Buying Your Affection:
Do you know someone who gives excessive compliments and outrageous gifts? They do so much for you that you’re starting to get uncomfortable, and that discomfort only makes you feel guilty and confused. You want to be grateful for these thoughtful gestures, but what they’re doing isn’t as kind or generous as it seems. Think of their gifts like a juicy worm tied on a silver hook. To a fish, the worm looks appetizing enough, but underneath is something sharp and dangerous. In the same way, be cautious of anyone who’s constantly trying to buy your affection, because this person might have a secret agenda.
10. Not Trust Someone is Two-Faced Behavior:
Behind closed doors, this person acts like your best friend. They share your interests, and they tell you how important you are in their life. But around other people, they want nothing to do with you. This two-faced behavior is a common sign of self-interest and distrust. A friend who genuinely loves and respects you is proud to be seen together. Their public persona matches their private one, so they have nothing to hide. On the other hand, if your friend creates distance from you in public, then they may care more about their image than your trust.
11. Rejecting Their Mistakes:
Untrustworthy people struggle to admit when they’ve done something wrong. They don’t take responsibility for their mistakes, and they often blame their failures on the people around them. Imagine if this person did or said something that offended you. Could you trust them to own their mistakes and apologize? Or would they bend the truth or pretend that nothing happened? If the latter sounds familiar, then this person isn’t as trustworthy as you think.
12. Narcissistic Charm:
Do you know someone who’s self-absorbed or narcissistic? A narcissist is someone with an inflated opinion of themselves. They love to be admired and exhibit a false sense of superiority over the rest of the world. Because these people only care about themselves, they’re more willing.
13. Instinctual Anxiety:
Instinctual anxiety is the fear of the impulses and desires of the id, which is the part of the mind that seeks pleasure and avoids pain. It can cause different kinds of mental problems, such as phobias or panic attacks. Freud thought that it was caused by sexual frustration or inner conflict.