The first few years of a child’s life are important. All needs must be met for the child to thrive. If a child experiences trauma during this time, typically they begin to mistrust others.
How trusting do you feel yourself to be?
I personally feel very trusting. Often my friends and coworkers tell me I’m too trusting. However, I know people are going through a lot if life, much like I am, so I would rather give them the benefit of the doubt.
During these formative years, the child will begin to explore the world and differentiate some from the parents. Typically this first bit of exploration will be saying “no.” This typically means that the child is viewing the world from a different perspective and is rejecting that of the parents. There is nothing inherently wrong with this differentiation. It’s simply something that each child will go through at some point. The parents should try to encourage the differentiation where possible, but also set boundaries to keep the child safe.
How comfortable are you with saying no?
I personally am only somewhat comfortable saying no. I have some boundaries that I am quite ok with saying no to if people don’t respect them. Others are more difficult. I tend to be extremely nice to people (trusting) and I want to help people a lot. So I usually do what is asked of me, as long as it isn’t illegal.
There was a situation a while back where a gentleman I know and I had a goodbye hug. He held me longer than felt normal and said “mmm, this feels good.” It gave me a skeevy vibe, and I worked with my therapist to build a boundary there. I wouldn’t say that the boundary is very strong, but it’s a start.