Trusting people is an obstacle, it’s something I have struggled with for as long as I can remember. It comes with small things, such as a friend watching your stuff while you fill up your water bottle. Then there are major things, like sharing a room with someone you have never met before and are expected to share everything.
This isn’t to bash against friends or roommates, it’s simply a realization I have come to. I’m not entirely sure how I started thinking like this. I’m sure if I went to therapy I would know, but that is a whole different post we are not going to get into today.
Giving people the benefit of the doubt has been an absolute nightmare my entire life. I used to think in extremes: if they did something once, they must do it again, right? Living my life as a slippery-slope fallacy is a black hole I continuously fall into in new situations.
I had a teacher in middle school who said every time I walked into the room it was like I was on a mission. I don’t recall what changed from this moment to senior year of high school, but something did, and now it doesn’t appear like I’m on a mission anymore.
I can honestly say nothing severely traumatic has happened in my life, which is exposing a level of privilege that I know some people can only dream of having. I empathize with those people, but I have been surrounded by so many people to whom traumatic things have sadly occurred, and in turn it made me paranoid of everyone and everything.
I wouldn’t say I live life in fear every moment, but it’s a good 60% of the time. I have seen so many bad things happen around me and in the outside world, I expect it to happen. My mindset is never “what if?”; it’s always “when?”
Those are definitely more of the large-scale scenarios. A lot of my anxiety comes from worrying I will disappoint people, or that they will disappoint me. There’s never a set one it is, it always depends on what is happening.
This happens in every aspect of anything I do. One day I did something good for a friend, but the next day another one of our friends did something even better, so my mind automatically thinks that makes her 100% better than I am.
There’s a balance between being hard on yourself and not recognizing self-worth. This is a fine line that can cross over into some dark areas in your mind that don’t need to be crossed.
For example, as photo editor for The Kent Stater, I completely trust my photo staff, but every time I give out an assignment I expect something to go wrong, whether it’s their fault or not. As photo editor, if something on their end goes wrong, I automatically try to fix it because my utter need to please people is one of my greatest downfalls. Trusting people is good, bad, chaotic and everything in between, but living life in fear of disappointing people, or yourself, is only going to hurt you in the end.
It’s been hard, but one of the things I’m still learning to do is trust people. You can never make everyone happy and as long as you are giving your all, you never have anything to worry about.
Kaitlyn Finchler is a sophomore journalism major with a minor in public relations from Delaware, Ohio. She is the social media assistant this semester but in the past has been a writer, blogger and photographer. Aside from The Burr, she is the photo editor and a reporter for KentWired, as well as a social media assistant for A Magazine. She is a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority and serves as the public relations chairhead. Kaitlyn can be reached on Instagram and Twitter @kaitlynfinchler and by email at email@example.com.