Too Trusting? 10 Warning Signs You’re Being Snookered

Trusting too much

You feel like a complete idiot when it happens.

At first there’s complete shock and disbelief.

Then when reality sinks in, you want to punch somebody’s lights out.

“How could I have been so stupid?” “Why didn’t I see it coming?” “I can’t believe she would do that to me.”

We’ve all been there. We’ve trusted someone we care about — a lover, a spouse, a friend, even our kids — and they blindside us with lies, deception, and manipulation. The first time it happens, it’s shocking and deeply painful. The person we love, the person we thought we knew and could depend on, has pulled the rug out from underneath us and betrayed our trust.

Sometimes betrayal is not quite so overt. It’s simply a failure to follow through, a more passive form of lying. “Did you go look for a job today as you promised?” “Oh sorry, I woke up too late. I’ll do it tomorrow.” And of course, tomorrow never comes. The loss of trust doesn’t happen with a bang but rather a slow and tortuous whimper.

When we care about someone, we want to trust them. We need to trust them. Trust is an essential part of any healthy relationship. It is the foundation of a marriage. It’s a building block of character in your children. And it’s the tie that binds us to our closest friends. Without it, there is no hope for emotional intimacy, lasting love, or inner security.

When someone we love breaks our trust, and they acknowledge their deception and ask for forgiveness, most of us are willing to offer it. We want to give our loved one another chance, an opportunity for redemption. And we ourselves don’t want a permanent rift in the relationship. We love this person. We want them in our lives.

But what about when trust is broken over and over again? What about the continual failure to follow through on commitments and promises? How many times do we let things pass, accept the apology, and offer our trust again before we say, “Enough is enough?”

The threshold differs for every person and every relationship. But some people continue to accept duplicity even when they know it won’t change. They offer their trust long past the time when they should cut the cord.

The fallout from trusting too much is insidious and eventually debilitating. It includes a loss of self-esteem, lack of trust in all people, loss of intimacy and love, and perhaps even anxiety and depression.

Do you find yourself trusting too much?

Here are ten warning signs you’re too trusting:

1. Your instinct is flashing

Maybe you can’t put your finger on it, but you know something is wrong. Your gut is telling you it’s happening again. You’re being deceived, even though all appearances seem to suggest otherwise. Your instinct draws from the accumulation of past experiences and wisdom, so don’t ignore it. If you think you’re being deceived yet again, odds are good that you’re right. Don’t ignore these feelings. Digg deeper and ferret out the truth. Yes, it will be painful to discover another deception, but you won’t feel like a fool.

2. You feel agitated and angry

You are constantly irritated and hyper-vigilant around your deceptive loved one. You’re just waiting for the other shoe to drop. You feel trapped between the longing to maintain the relationship and the pain of regular deceit. You can’t relax and enjoy the relationship, even if parts of the connection are otherwise positive. You just don’t feel happy around this person any longer.

3. Friends are commenting

Other people can clearly see what you’re refusing to acknowledge. Your friends may make subtle or overt comments about the unreliable person in your life and your acceptance of them. You might find yourself feeling angry at them for pointing this out, but deep inside you know they are right. When it gets to the point where other people see what’s happening, then it’s past time to stop trusting and move on.

4. Your lifestyle is suffering

The deceptions and unreliability of your loved one are starting to take a toll on your life. Maybe it’s impacting your finances, your work, your home, your safety, or other relationships. Your co-dependent behavior is contributing to these negative situations your life. When you see negative changes or events as a result of your loved one’s lies, you should see this as a huge signal it’s way past time to let go.

5. You no longer care

You’ve simply disconnect from this person. You know they’re deceiving you, and maybe they continue to ask for forgiveness, but you no longer care. You’ve given up on believing in them, but you’ve also gone belly up on believing in yourself. You have no energy or motivation to do anything about it, but eventually your lethargy will morph into despair or depression.

6. There’s no apology

Your lying loved one no longer cares. They keep deceiving you but offer no apology or remorse. You’ve accepted their behavior for so long, they don’t feel the need to ask your forgiveness. You’ve given them tacit permission by trusting too much, so why bother with apologies? Their respect for you has evaporated, and yours for yourself isn’t far behind.

7. Apologies are insincere

So maybe you still get apologies, but they are empty. You hear the words, but you know without a doubt the deception will happen again. And again. And again. You go through the motions of forgiveness and rebuilding trust, but who are you kidding? You have no hope the person will really change.

8. You make excuses

You find yourself facilitating your loved one’s behavior by making excuses for it. He lies because he had a bad childhood. She doesn’t follow through because she’s just had too much going on at work. You want so badly for the relationship to be happy and successful that you’re willing to become a liar yourself.

9. You redefine your integrity

The more excuses you make for this person, the more you come to believe it’s okay to do this. Or it’s okay for this person to behave the way they’re behaving. You lose sight of your values and integrity and try to re-write the script. It’s not really that bad. If the ends justify the means, the who does it hurt? You begin to think, “Maybe I’m just too sensitive, demanding, uptight.”

10. You alienate other people

Your friends and family can no longer tolerate your deceiving loved one. Or they can’t tolerate your toleration of the lies and your willingness to keep on trusting far too long. You notice people no longer want to spend time with you. They feel embarrassed around you or feel sorry for you. What is painfully obvious and uncomfortable for others has become acceptable for you. It’s time to take action.

Offering your trust to someone is a gift that must be earned. If that trust is broken, you need to see a sincere expression of remorse and an on-going effort to rebuild trust over time. If trust is broken more than once, then you need to be on high alert.

Trusting too much not only facilitates the very behavior you don’t want in your relationship, but also it undermines your mental and emotional well-being and erodes your self-esteem.

As painful as it may be, deciding to let go of the relationship is the best antidote for trusting too much. Empowering yourself by enforcing your boundaries of integrity will give you the strength to choose more trustworthy people in your life going forward.


Have you been in the position of trusting too much? How did it impact you and your relationships? Please share your inisghts and experiences in the comments below.


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photo credit: Digital Deconstruction.com

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Comments

  1. I totally feel where you are coming from. I know when you are completely open you have healthy relationships, but once in a while there are those people who take advantage of that and you are simply too nice to deal with it or too naive even to notice it.

    Personally when it happens, I feel sick about it but guilty for ending the relationship.

    • Kathleen says:

      I have just ended a relationship that was rife with deception and lies. I gave the benefit of the doubt too many times, to the point where I no longer expected honesty. I have paid considerably – my boyfriend was not only lying to me but stealing from me – he stole family heirlooms, gold jewellry – things that were not only expensive but of huge sentimental value including my deceased sister’s rings. I am sick to my stomach that I allowed him to continue lying and that I couldn’t believe him capable of stealing from me, even though things went missing…he denied and denied and I wanted to believe. So now, not only have I lost, but my nieces who were to inherit the heirlooms have lost as well. I feel that I have let them down by my trusting nature. I feel unable to trust anyone right now and my self esteem is low.

      • Sapphire says:

        girl i feel your pain!!!!!!! mine too, gift cards i had saved up (in a locked file cabinet i have only one key for) went missing, my credit card had charges on them i didn’t make but in the area he lived in, a necklace that i LOVED that my mother gave me for Christmas went missing and a yellow gold pinkie ring an ex gave me that i had for yrs was gone. It all led to him but he denied and lied, till this day never confessed to it but i know it was him because i later found out he had a drug problem and he had took about $500 out of my bank account because he remembered my debit pin code when we go grocery shopping!!!! low self-esteem will let this happen. smh co-dependent relationships

  2. Joseph Oluwatobi says:

    Trust is a double edge of sword you should be careful.

  3. So true, the warning signs are always there, but do we listen to our intuition or dare to acknowledge what is appearing right in from of our face! We’ve all been here, haven’t we. These are such helping warming signs to avoid being here again.

  4. Hi, awesome article ! the warning signs you mentioned are definitely true but the question is, do we listen to this signs, most people don’t, because they are blinded with love and false hopes that things will get better. Thanks for sharing a very enlightening article.

  5. JulieAnn says:

    I felt a sinking feeling on reading this. Having just put in a phrase into a search engine after yet another tortuous interaction with my nephew, this, and your page on dealing with mean relatives, came up.
    My poor late sister had a personality disorder and was separated from her husband (now also deceased) who was an alcoholic and a weak person. She raised her son in such a way that with the confluence of nature and nurture he stood no chance of emerging as a person capable of dealing with life. This is what I keep telling myself as he lies, manipulates and attempts to coerce me into financing him to continue with the way he likes to live. Intellectually I know that each time he contacts me he is either conservative with the truth or is telling bold faced lies. He has no food or electricity and needs money now, but does not seem to worry that as he is behind on the rent that he is likely to be on the verge of eviction, as that is not something that is happening NOW (I find that out later and have to deal with it). I know that this hedonist view, together with a complete lack of conscience, a history of mistreatment of animals and a cavalier attitude to the law etc are indicators of aspd. My friends & husband say I should not tolerate it, but can I see him destitute or betray my late sister’s trust? Vent complete!

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