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Pistanthrophobia: characteristics of the fear of trusting others

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The fear of trusting others is called pistanthrophobia.

In general, people with pistanthrophobia have suffered a painful episode in their life that leads them to think that trusting others can be dangerous, disappointing or risky.

  • Related article: "Types of Phobias: Exploring Fear Disorders"

Characteristics of pistanthrophobia

One of the situations after which it can appear more frequently is a romantic break. However, situations where trust has been betrayed in the work environment, with friends or at the family level, can also influence.

This does not mean that the person does not want the contact or the link, sometimes, quite the opposite. However, distorted or magnified fears and thoughts cause you to withdraw and not be able to trust or open up with others, generating a complicated situation to manage that creates difficulties and discomfort. In general, some of the following signs may make us think of pistanthrophobia:

  • Fear of close or intense relationships, anticipating that it will result in betrayal or disappointment.
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  • Maintain superficial relationships to avoid getting emotionally involved.
  • Avoid situations in which the relationship level may be high or compromise.
  • Relationship styles from avoidance, staying closed or distant.
  • Take care that others do not fully know your personality, as how to protect yourself.

Feeling fear or reluctance is an evolutionary and desirable mechanism, since it allows us to anticipate dangers, discern compromising situations and seek help. However, When that fear is not real or is not proportional to the real situation, we can begin to develop a problem that, if not treated, can lead to a severe phobia, avoidance of people and / or situations and significant discomfort. At the same time, the search for support and the feeling of belonging are basic needs in people and it is For this reason, sometimes these situations of isolation and distancing can generate problems in life. daily.

Defensive pessimism

Another element sometimes related to the topic at hand is defensive pessimism. This type of defensive mechanism consists of thinking that things, especially linked to performance, will have a negative result or below expectations.

Despite the fact that the person may have evidence against this thought, having optimistic data towards the result to be obtained, this position in some way protects you if the result does not meet your expectations and you would be surprised or pleased if it were satisfactory. Thus, People who have difficulty trusting others may think that this person will disappoint, betray, have hidden intentions, etc. From that perspective, if that happened, there would be no disappointment when “what knew ”and, in the case of a satisfactory relationship, surprise and feelings would appear nice.

Although in the short term it can be positive, the long term consequences can be mental exhaustion, anxiety and rumination.

To do?

Pistanthrophobia is a psychological disorder that can be treated through a psychotherapy process, as occurs with anxiety disorders in general.

In the middle Loratu we can help you accept and work on a past relationship that may be contributing to the symptoms, reducing the emotional charge and working the thoughts and ways of functioning that may have been developed and set up. Building confidence, both in oneself and in others, will help reduce stressful situations and anxiety when interacting with other people and will allow fears to go decreasing.

Bibliographic references:

  • González, M. (2020). Are you afraid to trust others? You could suffer from pistanthrophobia. Madrid: Wellness Magazine
  • Flores-López, M.; Serrano-Ibáñez, E.R.; Maestre, C.R.; López-Martínez, A.E.; Ruiz-Párraga, G. T.; Esteve, R. (2019). Defensive pessimism, optimism and adaptation to chronic pain. Behavioral Psychology, 27 (2), 325-340.
  • Ortiz, I. (2017). Pistatrophobia. Excessive fear of trusting people. PsychologistsOnline
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