The fifth impediment on the way to happiness is the feeling of distrust. Lack of trust in any relationship can lead to estrangement and loss of vigor and hence, unhappiness. Hence, distrust constitutes to be the fifth impediment to happiness.
Distrusting others is a big problem. A lot of people in the world distrust a lot of people until the people prove themselves trustworthy. At times, it is necessary to distrust others to protect one from being cheated. However, there must be a limit to the amount of distrust we have for others. We need to maximize our benefits from trusting others and at the same time we need to protect ourselves from being hurt.
John Helliwell from Vancouver School of Economics from University of British Columbia found along with his co-authors that the biggest determinant of happiness in countries is the answer that the people give to the question “Do you think people can be trusted?” The more the people agree that others can be trusted, the happier the nation is. His study found that Denmark and Norway have the highest number of people who gave ‘Yes’ as the answer to this question and are also the highest ranked countries on Happiness Index. Greece and Russia fared low in the Happiness Index and they also had lower number of people who said ‘Yes’ to the question.
The correlation between trust levels and happiness is strong. The more the confidence amongst the people, the better is the functioning of the economy. If you cannot trust your friend, then it will lead to distrust between your friends and you can lose your friends as well due to misunderstandings. This leads to damage in relationships, which leads to unhappiness.
Trust is also so much important for us because it played a crucial role in our survival and evolution. During cave period, humans had to trust each other for food and protection. If humans were not trustworthy with each other, then they could have to sacrifice their life.
A large majority of divorces happen around the world because of lack of trust. The severing of relationships with spouse leads to a mental turmoil inside our heads and this leads to frustration and depression. As a result, we grow more and more unhappy.
However, trust also comes when people find you trustworthy. If you betray any of your friends, it is quite natural that the trust factor will be lost forever and the resulting trust deficit will lead to damaged relationships with your close ones and hence, will also lead to unhappiness. Hence, it is important to trust others, stand up to other people’s trust and not take undue advantage of anyone close to us.