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A Letter about Trust

Uploaded by palma on Sep 11, 2000

Sam Vaknin's Psychology, Philosophy, Economics and Foreign Affairs Web Sites


The Narcissistic condition emanates from a seismic break of trust, a tectonic shift of what should have been a healthy relationship with his "primary objects" and the transformation of his self into the subject of love. Some of these bad feelings are the result of deeply entrenched misunderstandings regarding the nature of trust and the continuous act of trusting.

For millions of years nature embedded in us the notion that the past can teach us a lot about the future. This is very useful for survival. And it is also mostly true with inanimate objects. With humans the story is somewhat different: it is reasonable to learn from someone's past behaviour about his future behaviour (even though this proves erroneous most of the time). But it is mistaken to learn from someone's behaviour about other people's. Actually, most psychotherapy is nothing but the effort to disentangle past from present, to teach the patient that the past is gone and has no reign over him anymore, unless the patient lets it to.

Our natural tendency is to trust, because we trust our parents. It feels good to really trust. It is also an essential component of love and an important test. Love without trust is dependence masquerading as love. We must trust, it is almost biological. Most of the time, we do trust. We trust the Universe to behave itself according to the laws of physics, our army not to go mad and shoot us all, our nearest and dearest not to betray us. When trust is broken, the feeling is that a part of us dies, is hollowed out. Not to trust is abnormal and is the natural result of bitter or even traumatic life experiences. Mistrust or distrust are induced not by our own thoughts, nor by some device or machination of ours - but by life's sad circumstances. To continue not to trust is to reward the people who wronged us and made us distrustful in the first place. These people have long abandoned us and still they have a great, malignant, influence on our lives. This is the irony of the lack of trust.

So, some of us prefer not to experience this sinking feeling: not to trust and not to be disappointed. This is both a fallacy and a folly. Trusting releases enormous amounts of mental energy, which could...

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Uploaded by:   palma

Date:   09/11/2000

Category:   Miscellaneous

Length:   5 pages (1,151 words)

Views:   1509

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