Do you find it hard to trust people?
Starting all your social connections from mistrust can make your life very challenging. You could be limiting your life and happiness because you are afraid most of the time. You might even go into an overprotective mode in which you isolate yourself from other people because you don’t want to get hurt.
There is a hormone in our body called oxytocin. This hormone is very important because it’s triggered in our body when we feel safe. When you feel stressed and afraid you trigger cortisol. The more cortisol you trigger the more you inhibit oxytocin. Building more trust starts with reducing cortisol and doing more things that trigger more oxytocin in your body.
You could start with one simple strategy, build more social connections This could as simple as building more trust when you have a casual conversation with people. Follow these simple steps to build more oxytocin when meeting another person.
Pick a person
Before you put the steps into practice find a person that you are going to start practicing with. This could be an acquaintance that you don’t very well but you don’t find yourself uncomfortable with that person. Don’t start with a difficult person. You want to gradually start with someone you have a better chance to have a good response so you don’t get too stressed and trigger cortisol.
Stand up straight, relax your shoulders, hands are open and relaxed. No hand gripping or fists. You standing and facing the person. You look at their face. If you can, please look at them in the eyes. If this is too uncomfortable for you, look at them in between their eyes and focus you gazed there. Work yourself gradually to always make eye contact.
Think about a simple topic that you can easily start a conversation with. Things like the weather or the temperature in the room. Simply engage in a dialogue about something that feels easy for you and the other person to talk about.
While you are talking to the person. Acknowledge what the other person is saying by nodding your head, keep eye contact and smile. It will help you relax and send a message to your brain that you are safe.
Keep doing these simple steps consistently. Look for opportunities to start conversations with strangers at the grocery store, an office or where ever you go. The more you keep repeating the steps the more trust you build and the more you will start to trigger oxytocin.
“Oxytocin promotes warmth, social bonding, and trust.”
-Robert M. Sapolsky
How difficult is it for you to trust others?