Pistantrophobia: characteristics of the fear of trusting others

The fear of trusting others is called pistantrophobia.

In general, people with pistantrophobia may have had a painful episode in their life that makes them think that trusting others can be dangerous, disappointing, or risky.

    Characteristics of pistantrophobia

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

    This does not mean that the person does not want contact or connection, sometimes quite the contrary. However, distorted or amplified fears and thoughts make him recoil and cannot trust or open up to others, Generate a situation that is complicated to manage which creates difficulties and discomfort. In general, some of the following indications can make us think of pistantrophobia:

    • Fear of close or intense relationships, anticipating that this will lead to betrayal or disappointment.
    • Maintain superficial relationships to avoid getting emotionally involved.
    • Avoid situations where the relationship level may be high or compromised.
    • Relationship styles avoid, stand closed or aloof.
    • Make sure that others do not fully understand your personality and protect yourself.

    Feeling fear or reluctance is an evolving and desirable mechanism, as it allows us to anticipate dangers, discern compromised situations and seek help. However, when this fear is not real or is not proportional to the real situation, we may start to develop a problem which, if left untreated, can lead to a severe phobia, Avoidance of people and / or situations and significant discomfort. At the same time, finding support and a sense of belonging are basic needs in people and that is why sometimes these situations of isolation and distancing can cause problems in daily life.

    Defensive pessimism

    Another element sometimes linked to the subject dealt with is defensive pessimism. This type of defensive mechanism involves thinking that things, especially those related to performance, will turn out negative or below expectations.

    While the person may have evidence against this thinking, have optimistic data about the outcome to be achieved, this position somehow protects him if the outcome does not meet expectations and he would be surprised or happy if it was satisfactory. This way, people who have trouble trusting others may think that this person will disappoint, betray, keep intentions hidden, etc. From this point of view, if this happened, there would be no disappointment in “realizing what you knew” and, in the case of a satisfying relationship, surprise and pleasant feelings will arise.

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

    What to do?

    Pistantrophobia is a psychological disorder that can be treated through a process of psychotherapy, as is the case with anxiety disorders in general.

    Between Flowering we can help you accept and work on any past relationships that may be contributing to symptoms, reduce emotional burden, and work on thoughts and patterns of functioning that may have been developed and established. Working with confidence, both in yourself and in others, will help reduce stressful and anxious situations when interacting with other people and allow your fears to subside.

    Bibliographical references:

    • González, M. (2020). Are you afraid to trust others? You could be suffering from pistantrophobia. Madrid: Revista Benestar
    • Flors-López, M .; Serrano-Ibáñez, ER; Maestre, CR; Lopez-Martinez, AE; Ruiz-Párraga, GT; Esteve, R. (2019). Defensive pessimism, optimism and adaptation to chronic pain. Behavioral Psychology, 27 (2), 325-340.
    • Ortiz, I. (2017). Pistantrophobia. Excessive fear of trusting people. Online psychologists

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