What is Mistrust/Abuse Schema?


What is Mistrust & Abuse Schema?

A mistrust schema is a negative pattern of thoughts and emotions that occurs in response to interpersonal relationships. These schemas are often formed as a result of past abuse, neglect, or trauma. The most common types of mistrust schema include: abandonment, entrapment/engulfment, deprivation/exploitation, and betrayal/abuse.

What is Mistrust Schema?

The mistrust & abuse scheme is the tendency that causes you to expect someone to harm, harass, embarrass, steal, mislead, exploit, or take advantage of you. When you have this scheme where you constantly tend to be on watch, you can doubt other motivations or assume that they will harm you in some way, even though they seem good.

People who have mistrust & abuse scheme appear to have encounters where parents have not been completely trusted in their lives. They may have witnessed traumatic violence as well.

If you have mistrust & abuse schema, you expect people to hurt you, cheat on you, or scam you. You do not doubt that potentially everyone intentionally wants to hurt you.

Even if you have very little evidence, you think that other people are using you and somehow taking advantage of you. You often feel more desperate than other people. You may find it difficult to enjoy sexuality. This sounds like a necessity to you, or you can’t be satisfied.

You can easily submit to other people because of fear.

  • You can allow other people to use you; because you think it’s better than being alone.
  • You are reluctant to give out your personal information because you think people will use it against you.
  • Even if you don’t show it, you may have a sadistic and cruel tendencies.
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Source Photo: @thangbalay

What causes Mistrust Schema ?

You may have developed this schema if you have encountered harassment from your parents at an early age. You may also take your paranoid parents as a role model. Clinical observations suggest that mother/father attitude may also be effective in developing a mistrust schema. If you have Mistrust Schema, you may have similar experiences:

  • You were subjected to physical violence in your family as a child or someone in your family might have sexually harassed you.
  • Someone in your family insulted you.
  • Your family shook your confidence, used your weaknesses for their own benefit, didn’t keep their promises, or lied to you.
  • Someone in your family enjoyed seeing you suffer.
  • As a child, you were forced to do things with the threat of severe punishment.
  • One of your parents warned you not to trust anyone outside the family.
  • One of your parents contacted you in inappropriate and uncomfortable ways for physical comfort.
  • People put disturbing names on you, you’ve been bullied constantly.

Schema Chemistry

The concept of Schema Chemistry refers to the reflection of the sustaining properties of schemas (basic spiritual structures) on our relationships. Accordingly, even if they affect our lives, people who are suitable for our schema may be more attractive.

If you have this schema, people who may be in constant suspicion may be more attractive to you (schema chemistry). Similarly, you can stay with people who use you; you’re convinced that this is a situation you deserve because of deep down.

If you have a Mistrust Schema, your partner is likely to have the following characteristics:

  • He/she humiliates you in front of your friends and families.
  • Constantly insults you, makes you feel worthless. Doesn’t respect your needs.
  • He/she does everything he can, including lying and cheating to get what he/she wants. Sadistic and ruthless – he/she likes to see you or other people suffer.
  • He/she assaults or threatens you when you don’t do what he wants. He/she forces you to have sex even when you don’t want to.
  • Using your weaknesses to advantage.
  • He/She’s cheating on you.
  • Inconsistent, taking advantage of your generosity.
  • The most important point here is that despite all these negative attitudes, it is very difficult for you to break up with it.

Reflection of the Mistrust Schema to Your Relationship

Since the essence of the mistrust schema is that people and especially close people can behave maliciously at any time, the effect of this schema on relationships is evident. The most important problem is that you lack trust, which is the basic sense of a healthy relationship. If you have this schema, you feel that your partner is using you. You always think about what your partner is up to. In this case, your partner may accuse you of being paranoid. You can try to prevent yourself from being deceived by giving extreme jealous reactions. This can tire your partner over time and pushes them away from you, your relationship. You cannot be comfortable with your partner; because you can always try to avoid trumps. Therefore, you and your partner cannot have the most basic feelings expected of a relationship.

Treatment of Mistrust/Abuse Schema

The therapy’s main goal is to help you accept that you can trust people and avoid abusive people. Once your scheme is improved, you can manage to tell the difference between trustworthy people and untrustworthy. You have the courage to open yourself and take risks. This way, you can develop some more high-end and reliable relationships.

Last Updated on October 22, 2021 by Patric Johnson

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Currently studying psychology and researching cognitive behavioral therapy. Also have studied comprative literature,interested in gender studies,.

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