Living with pistanthrophobia can be a challenge. It can ruin relationships before they’ve even begun. When you’re in a relationship it can cause you to become paranoid or insecure. And, to make things worse it can be hard to always explain why you feel the way that you feel. In this blog post we explain what pistanthrophobia is, the key signs, and how to treat it.
What is Pisanthrophobia?
Pisanthrophobia is defined as a fear of trusting others, and forming relationships due to past experiences. Pisanthrophobia can have a negative impact on both romantic relationships, and platonic relationships.
What are the signs of Pisanthrophobia?
Assuming that every person you meet will hurt you
As pistanthrophobia develops as a result of past experience, many people with this phobia tend to automatically expect the worse. They tend to assume that every person they meet will hurt them unintentionally, or intentionally. As a result you will build up walls and push people away if they get too close.
Finding it difficult to imagine yourself in a long term relationship
If you find it difficult to picture yourself in a happy long term relationship it means that you could have pistanthrophobia. After a new breakup, or when you’re casually dating, it’s normal to have doubts about whether you will ever settle down. However, if you have pistanthrophobia, you will strongly believe that you will never find anybody to love who will love you back.
Getting jealous when you’re in a relationship
Pistanthrophobia can often develop, or intensify in romantic relationships. If you find yourself getting jealous of your partner having fun without you, or feel envious about the time they spend with others, you might have pistanthrophobia. Here, your insecurity about the relationship is manifesting itself as jealousy.
Due to negative experiences in the past you may constantly overthink everything that you do. You might feel responsible for what has happened previously, and think that somehow, something you did was to blame for the outcome. In addition to overthinking your own actions, you may overthink your partner’s actions too. If your partner says that they are “working late” you might assume that they are having an affair.
You need constant reassurance
Despite what your friends, family, or partner might tell you, you won’t believe them. You will doubt what they say and assume that they’re telling you what they think you want to hear. This means that you may seek reassurance from various sources constantly. This reassurance could be verbal i.e. “I love you”, or physical.
Feeling that you’re not good enough for anybody
On top of everything else, you will feel that you’re entirely undeserving of love. Low-self esteem due to past experiences will make you think that you’re not good enough for anybody else. This means that you could try harder and harder to keep a partner when you have one, or become quickly attached to anybody who expresses any interest in you.
How can I treat pistanthrophobia?
Accept that a phobia is type of anxiety disorder
A ‘phobia’ is, clinically speaking, a type of anxiety disorder. This means that there is no cure for pistanthrophobia. You won’t learn to trust others again overnight. The first step to treating your pistanthrophobia is accepting that you have it, and identifying the ways that it affects your daily life.
Identify the triggers that make you feel worse
Triggers can make your phobia far worse in a matter of minutes. To help you start treating pistanthrophobia, you need to be able to identify what it is that triggers you. Does seeing an ex partner happy cause you to feel insecure? When you’re approached in public, do you automatically assume the worst? Are you fine with casual dates, but seriously concerned about the possibility of it developing further? These are just some of the many examples which could trigger a negative response that makes you feel bad.
Change your patterning
If you tend to think of the worst case scenario, like, “My boyfriend didn’t text me back because he thinks I’m boring,” change the reason for something more positive, like, “My boyfriend didn’t text back because he’s driving, and I would rather him stay safe.” Small subtle changes like this one can improve your outlook over time. Reprogramming your mindset is hard, but it’s worth it. It can make your outlook more positive and massively improve your chance of relationship bliss.
Give yourself time
Monitor your progress over several weeks. If you feel happier or ‘lighter’, then clearly the steps you take are having the desired effect. However, if you don’t then you should consider alternative options.
To many people ‘therapy’ is a big scary word. But actually, therapy can help you get to the root of the issue and provide you with tools to help you overcome pistanthrophobia. Finding a good therapist will be the key. You need to find one that you connect with and enjoy speaking to. Many people prefer to go to a therapist in their local area. However, if you would rather speak to somebody online, then we recommend choosing a qualified therapist on Online-Therapy.com.
If you think you have pistanthrophobia remember to take it seriously. Don’t allow it ruin your relationships. Work through any issues as best as you can, or seek external help if necessary. You can treat this phobia, all you need to do is try.