Pistanthrophobia—earn yourself some killer points in Scrabble. But pistanthrophobia is actually a serious phobia affecting your relationships with others.
Essentially, pistanthrophobia is the fear of trusting someone. If you just had a flashback to all your failed relationships, I’m sorry, but it had to be done. We’ll get through this together. Messy breakups don’t just leave us with a nauseated feeling in our stomachs every time we hear our ex’s name, but they also leave us traumatized and fearing our next relationship.
You may think you’re completely over your ex. If you’re sitting in a corner, shaking yourself to bed, I’m afraid to say that you may want to think otherwise. So, how do you know if you have pistanthrophobia? And if you do have it, how do you overcome this fear? Well, fear not, we’re here to help. Here’s all you need to know to get you living pistanthrophobia-free.
How do you know you have pistanthrophobia?
You may not think that your paranoia is anything to pay attention to—but it is. So, how do you know if you have a fear of trusting someone? Let’s take a look at some of the telltale signs.
#1 You’re obsessed with their phone. Have you already figured out the password on their phone? Okay, I mean, we all have a tendency to creep on someone we like when they’re texting or checking Facebook. However, going through their phone is completely different.
Wait, let’s get this one out of the way, do they know you’re sniffing around in their phone? If not, then this is a pretty clear sign you have some trust issues. Sure, if they’re not doing anything wrong, they wouldn’t have a reason to not let you look through their phone.
However, there’s something called privacy, and everyone is entitled to it. So before anxiously typing in their password and scanning their texts, think twice. [Read: What to do about that nagging cheating suspicion?]
#2 You’re their biggest fan on social media. And it’s not because you’re in every picture. You check up on what they’re doing, who they’re with, and who’s commenting. Of course, if a hot girl/guy is commenting on your boy/girlfriend’s photo, you get a little curious, maybe even jealous.
But your need to constantly know what they’re doing both in real and virtual life is a clear sign you don’t trust your partner. You have to understand that you are not in control of their actions and have to be able to trust that they will make the right choices.
#3 You always think the worst case scenario. Are you already assuming they’ve cheated on you and it’s only the first date? They had to stay late at the office and you assume they’re having an affair? Calm down. Unless the signs are clear that they’re doing something unfaithful, you cannot jump to conclusions and assume the worst case scenario. When you enter a relationship with a negative mindset, that’s a clear indicator you have trust issues. [Read: 20 ways your overanalyzing is sabotaging your relationship]
#4 You’re a stage five clinger. Is your partner not allowed out on the weekends without you? Do you need to know who, what, when, and where? You have to let them breathe. They can like a Facebook status of the opposite gender. It doesn’t mean they’re having sex behind your back.
When you have trust issues, you usually keep a tight leash on what they do and who they’re with. This isn’t because of them. It’s because of you. You feel threatened and insecure. By restricting your partner, you’re ultimately destroying the relationship because you’ve already toxified it with your assumptions. We’ve all seen the jealous girl/boyfriend at the bar or house party. It’s not a pretty sight. [Read: 13 needy signs you’re too available for your partner]
#5 You put them through tests. All those fairy tales and chick flicks are to blame for this. We’re shown we constantly have to test our partner to make sure that they really care about us. They have to chase after us in the pouring rain or make them choose their friends or us. You know what will happen right? Eventually, they’ll reach their limits of being tested.
Listen, when you go into a relationship, you have to trust that they like you. And then after that, you let it take its course.
#6 You’ve cheated in the past. If you’ve cheated in the past, and you’re paranoid that they’re cheating on you, it’s obvious why you’re having issues trusting people. I’ll be honest, I’ve cheated in the past. I’m very good at noticing the signs now, but trust me, I do get paranoid and sometimes think they’re cheating on me. This is simply because of me and my psyche, though. If you don’t control and overcome this, it only gets worse. [Read: 18 ingenious ways to catch a cheating partner effortlessly]
How to get over pistanthrophobia
Okay, so you’re living with pistanthrophobia, but you don’t have to. Here is how can you help yourself in overcoming your fear of trusting someone.
#1 Tell them. Your partner needs to know. Okay, if you’re on your first date, maybe save it for later. But, eventually, if the relationship develops, they should know about your fear of trusting people. Nothing is more shocking than seeing someone creep your Facebook obsessively or having an anxiety attack in front of them when they’re talking to someone else.
If this person really does care about you, then they’ll be patient and accepting. You guys are a team after all. [Read: 10 awkward conversations you need to have with your partner]
#2 Seek therapy. If you suffer from pistanthrophobia, consider seeking a counselor. People have this stigma against going to see a therapist, they think that they’re weak and unable to handle their own issues. That’s not the case.
It’s always easier getting an opinion from a third party who knows nothing about you. Plus, you get to talk to someone who’s unbiased and nonjudgemental. They’ll be able to delve deeper into your issue and discover the root cause and how you can overcome it. I mean, even therapists go to therapists.
#3 Change your mindset. This is a hard one to do, but it’ll be worth it. What happens, happens. You have to let things take their course. If someone is going to cheat on you, they’re going to cheat on you. You cannot control other people’s actions. You can control yours.
The way I handle my fear of trusting someone is to give them complete freedom to do whatever. The last guy I dated did cheat on me, but I figured, he’s going to do what he’s going to do. The only thing I can do is leave. [Read: Relationship anxiety: 20 mistakes you need to stop making]
#4 Remove your partner from social media. You can spend all day on Facebook and Instagram, but the point is to not. So, if you’re finding it hard to not creep their profiles every day—delete them. I didn’t think this would be hard, but trust me it is. You feel you’re not included in their lives; however, this is simply your insecurities and need for control.
Delete them off of everything or unfollow them. It’ll take a couple days, but you’ll see how much better you’ll feel without obsessing over them—virtually.
Don’t waste your precious time glued to your phone, creeping your partner’s Instagram. Life is to be lived! Though pistanthrophobia adds a lot of pressure and strain on a relationship, you can overcome it. And you will! Repeat after me: I want to be pistanthrophobia-free!