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25th Sep


Trust & Self Esteem

At first glance, these two areas of psychology do not seem to correlate with each other necessarily.  However, when you begin to think a little more, I believe there is a correlation.

For starters, what is the definition of trust?  According to Merriam-Websters, trust is defined as: assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.  And the definition of self-esteem is: a feeling of having respect for yourself and your abilities.

So what’s the connection between the two?  They go hand-in-hand.  when one has a poor self-esteem, the lack of respect and pride in one self is apparent.  Why?  There is a missing trust within oneself to accomplish life’s challenges.  One feels that he/she cannot rely on the character, ability or strength of oneself.

What does research have to say about the connection between the two?  Research does support the correlation with the obvious explanations.  (One such research can be found here: http://www.studentpulse.com/articles/688/2/self-esteem-and-trust-correlation-between-self-esteem-and-willingness-to-trust-in-undergraduate-students).

I think it is also worth mentioning that it can also relate to control.  Someone with an acceptable level self-esteem has some internal locus of control will interact positively within his/her environment – internally and externally.  It would then follow, if one demonstrates an appropriate level of control in his/her life – internally and externally, trust would just be an example of that positive locus of control.  You are confident who can you “let” into your life and who you cannot.  Someone with a poor self-esteem realizes that he/she doesn’t possess the necessary skills to control who is “let” into his/her life, for he/she doesn’t trust him/herself.

I’ve spent a considerable amount of time over the years working with clients and the control or lack of control within their lives.  This is just one more example.  Sometimes we’ve spoken about the reality of not being able to maintain control and sometimes we’ve spoken about the necessity to maintain control.  As with so many other areas of life, control is a double-edged sword.

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