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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Wang

Root of my trust issues

Updated: Apr 2

In some ways, I have major trust issues. A lot of it comes down to making sure that I have no regrets. I would consider whether I would regret not putting in enough effort to avoid outcomes I don't want, and decide to just not trust people and systems out of convenience. I usually deal with my trust issues by avoiding situations where I would "need" to trust someone. This means that I either just don't involve other people, or that I don't care about whether the people involved actually deliver. One example I always give to illustrate this is the way I make plans with people. I like to meet at coffee shops where if they don't show up, I would still chill or get work done. I would make plans for activities that I would still want to do by myself, if they don't show up. I would have backup plans in various ways to ensure that I don't "have to" trust that they will actually show up. In recent years, I have come to realize the root of my trust issues, which also happens to be the root of my focus on independence and my idea of how there’s an element of self in every decision.

When I was 6 years old, my mom worked as an English tutor on the side. I remember vividly that there was one morning where she had to get up early to teach a student at our apartment and decided to not wake me up even though she promised me she would the night prior. I felt lied to and betrayed. Quite honestly, I still feel lied to and betrayed when I think about it. Emotionally speaking, it had a tremendous lasting impact on me. I suppose that I came to the realization that if my own mom wouldn’t do this extremely basic thing in which she agreed to, then I can’t actually trust anyone to do anything. I must either accept the possibility that they don’t do what they agreed to or face the betrayal and other emotions I would feel. It's an easy choice for me.

I understand that she did it out of love. She saw me sleeping nicely and peacefully. She didn’t want to wake me up. I was a growing boy and sleep is always important. Overall, she thought that was the best for me. I can also understand that and even kind of agree with it. However, what is the “best” for me isn’t necessarily what is the most suitable for me based on what I actually want, which is how I would define as the “best for me”. I wouldn't label this as selfish, but I would say that it falls in line with how I think that there is an element of self in every decision. Even out of love and the "best" intentions, what you want for someone else is still what you want. Even when you want the same thing, you have your reasons for wanting that and you get something out of it. It could never be just for someone else. There will always be an element of self in every decision.

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