Pistanthrophobia: The Fear of Trust That Destroys Relationships

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Pistanthrophobia: The Fear of Trust That Destroys Relationships

Pistanthrophobia is the fear of putting trust into others due to past traumatic experiences in previous relationships / Photo by Ben Schonewille via 123rf.com


Pistanthrophobia is an irrational fear of creating personal and intimate relationships as defined by ExploringYourMind. Essentially, it is the fear of putting your trust in others. This may be a product of traumatic experiences, mostly by being hurt and betrayed in previous relationships.

An individual who suffers from this condition may be constantly suspicious of others, making hard for them to trust other people because they feel that at some point, they may betray them or disappoint them. They fear that the painful past will repeat itself and they may prevent themselves from getting into a cycle of being hurt all over again.


Pistanthrophobics may desire to love and trust others but are unable to. Due to their inability to trust others, they may also feel frustrated, lonely, ashamed, guilty and disappointed. This tendency to avoid being in intimate relationships may push them to be isolationists and antisocial people. In the process, they may also lose their confidence.

They may also become cold and heartless as a way to protect themselves from being hurt, psych2go.net says. James Kroeger, a philosopher, states that when humans feel inferior, they are inclined to treat others coldly as a coping mechanism. He explains further that this is a common occurrence in bullies, who, because of their fear of rejection from peers, try to trigger fear in them and cause others harm to cover up their worry of being rejected.


Pistanthrophobia can manifest in through behaviors that ultimately lead a person to isolate themselves and limiting their potential to form any interpersonal connections. They may stay away from activities that require them to have close interpersonal contact. They also tend to avoid being part of events or meetings where they will have to be acquainted with people they are unfamiliar with and are uncertain that they will develop an affinity for them.

Since they are intensely afraid of betrayal, criticism, and rejection, they tend to be aloof to people. They may be overprotective of their emotions, shielding themselves from the perceived future emotional harm that may befall them if they choose to approach other people and try to get close to them. Opening up to others may make them extremely apprehensive, which makes them appear reserved and solitary. Pisanthrophobics are often described as living similar to a hermit.

Additionally, they may refrain from being involved in intimate relationships altogether. This stems from their fear of someone not meeting their expectations again, such not being loyal. They may not be so keen on getting a new partner because the thought that their trust will be broken again causes them to panic.

Other signs that an individual has Pistanthrophobia includes spying on their partner’s social media, wanting to always check their partner’s phone and always expecting the worst in their relationship to happen, says LovePanky.

Steps to Overcome Pistanthrophobia

According to What’s Up Cairo, here are ways which a person suffering from this condition can overcome it:

Let the partner know about their fear of trusting

The person has to tell their partner that they are extremely afraid of being in an intimate relationship and trusting them. Good communication will help in strengthening their relationship. If they discuss it with a concerned partner, they may try to reassure them and even be patient and understanding towards them.

Alter their way of thinking

People who are affected by Pistanthrophobia are advised to let go of their need to be in control of everything such as events linked to their relationships and their partner’s behavior. They should try to focus more on being in control of their actions. They should let things pass naturally. If their partner has a tendency to be unfaithful, it is not their fault.  

Block or remove their partner from their social media

If stopping themselves from stalking their partner’s social media becomes a struggle, it is suggested block them or delete them. Not being able to see their partner’s online activities will prevent them from being too obsessed about them and from increasing their own insecurities. This will also reduce their clinginess.

Get help from a mental health professional

Seeking the assistance of a psychologist, counselor or therapist may help them identify the main cause of their problem, which is their fear of trust, and finding efficient solutions and ways to cope with it.



Recovering From Pistanthrophobia

To be able to regain their trust in others, they must be able to learn to face the pain and not avoid the negative emotions. They must also learn to confront their problems and not try to ignore or minimize them.

Another recommendation is for them to gradually stabilize their emotions. Attempting to quickly enter into a new relationship may cause them to remember their past traumas.

It is also suggested that they find everyday circumstances wherein they need to build trust. They may ask their partner to do so some tasks to help develop their trust. Doing activities together with their partner may help lessen their phobia.

In relationships, it is incredibly important for trust to be established. It may be difficult to conquer the fear of trusting others and having an intimate connection to them, but in eventually doing so, they will be more happy and confident. This helps them deal with problems in a healthier way and also reduces their stress.  


Doing activities together with the partner may help lessen their phobia / Photo by Mikeosphoto via 123rf.com




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