People who refuse to trust anyone may be dismissed as bitter cynics, but according to a study by PsychTests.com, behind the jadedness is fear and insecurity.
MONTREAL, Sept. 15, 2022 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- In Alexandre Dumas' story, The Count of Monte Cristo - which is based on real events - Edmond Dantès is betrayed by people he thought he could trust and is sent to prison for 14 years. When he escapes, he is a changed man - wiser and more cautious for certain, but also profoundly bitter and distrustful of almost everyone, even people with good intentions. Subsequently, he finds a treasure, gets rich, and mercilessly executes revenge on those who betrayed him, causing significant collateral damage. In the process, he learns a thing or two about guilt, the bitter aftertaste of both betrayal and retribution, forgiveness, and in the end, hope. As research from PsychTests.com indicates, although people with trust issues could cross moral boundaries themselves, at the root of their actions is the fear of being taken advantage of, oftentimes based on painful experiences, betrayal, or trauma. The "shield" around their heart was built for self-protection and self-preservation way before their mistrust started to wreak havoc on their relationships and sense of self.
Analyzing data collected from 12,259 people who took the Emotional Intelligence Test, PsychTests' researchers compared the personality profile of two distinct groups: people who distrust everyone ("Cynics") and those who don't ("Non-Cynics").
Here's what the results revealed:
CYNICS ARE MORE LIKELY TO HAVE A PESSIMISTIC VIEW OF MORALITY AND MAY COMMIT DISHONEST ACTS THEMSELVES
- 59% of the Cynics believe that the end justifies the means (vs. 2% of Non-Cynics).
- 37% believe that they should only help someone if they themselves benefits from it in some way (vs. 6% of Non-Cynics).
- 75% feel that it is better to never show weakness (vs. 19% of Non-Cynics).
- 38% believe that cheating and lying are only wrong if a person is caught (vs. 3% of Non-Cynics).
- 59% think that using insincere flattery is justifiable (vs. 12% of Non-Cynics).
- 54% feel that if an ignorant or naïve person is taken advantage of, it's their own fault (vs. 7% of Non-Cynics).
- 80% believe that most people would backstab someone in order to get what they want (vs. 10% of Non-Cynics).
CYNICS ARE MORE LIKELY TO FEEL INSECURE, AND TO HAVE SELF-ESTEEM AND SELF-CONFIDENCE ISSUES
- 51% feel they have no control over what happens in their lives (vs. 6% of Non-Cynics).
- 62% experience frequent self-doubt (vs. 12% of Non-Cynics).
- 55% struggle to bounce back from failure, rejection, or disappointment (vs. 12% of Non-Cynics).
- 62% find it difficult to accept compliments (vs. 22% of Non-Cynics).
- 72% are wary of people who seem too nice (vs. 6% of Non-Cynics).
- 58% said that they tend to assume the worst of people (vs. 3% of Non-Cynics).
- 67% often overanalyze situations and create problems that don't actually exist (vs. 28% of Non-Cynics).
- 68% are not comfortable sharing their feelings (vs. 21% of Non-Cynics).
- 66% refuse to get their hopes up so that they don't end up disappointed (vs. 13% of Non-Cynics).
"The basis of a profound mistrust of others is nearly always betrayal. These are likely to be people who placed their trust in someone who was supposed to care about them, and that person let them down…and that type of treachery leaves a deep wound that can take a very long time to heal, if it does at all," explains Dr. Ilona Jerabek, president of PsychTests. "This may be the reason why people who don't trust others often become untrustworthy themselves. It's a form of self-preservation: 'I am going to hurt/betray you before you have a chance to hurt/betray me.'"
"The caveat that it's better to distrust everyone seems sensible at first glance. If you don't allow yourself to trust someone then they won't be able to disappoint you. But that's a lonely life. Without trust you can't build a bond or relationship with anyone, and even if you do, you won't be happy because you'll always be waiting for what seems like inevitable betrayal. Trust is always a risk, but there is no way around it. That's why it's always best to take your time to get to know someone, and most importantly, to listen to your gut. The brain can be easily fooled and the heart can be blinded, but your gut instinct will never steer you wrong. If someone can be trusted, you'll know it deep down. Follow your gut."
Professional users, such as HR managers, coaches, and therapists, can request a free demo for this or other assessments from ARCH Profile's extensive battery: http://hrtests.archprofile.com/testdrive_gen_1
To learn more about psychological testing, download this free eBook: http://hrtests.archprofile.com/personality-tests-in-hr
About PsychTests AIM Inc.
PsychTests AIM Inc. originally appeared on the internet scene in 1996. Since its inception, it has become a pre-eminent provider of psychological assessment products and services to human resource personnel, therapists and coaches, academics, researchers and a host of other professionals around the world. PsychTests AIM Inc. staff is comprised of a dedicated team of psychologists, test developers, researchers, statisticians, writers, and artificial intelligence experts (see ARCHProfile.com).
Ilona Jerabek, Ph.D, PsychTests AIM Inc., 5147453189, [email protected]
SOURCE PsychTests AIM Inc.