Trusting Others

As Christians, if we are going to be vulnerable (see yesterday’s blog) with someone or a group of people then we need to trust them. It may begin with trusting just one person, sharing some personal thoughts or feelings, and then seeing their reaction or response. In other words, starting small and working up to deeper personal things – increasing the amount and level of sharing as you become more comfortable being that vulnerable and real.

Trust can be defined as “choosing to risk making something you value vulnerable to another person’s actions.” 

Distrust can be defined as “deciding that what is important to me is not safe with this person in this situation (or any situation).

Brene Brown, in her research, has found seven elements that make up trust (Book: “Braving the Wilderness” and first published in her book “Rising Strong”)

She writes: Because getting our head and heart around a concept as big as trust is difficult, and because general conversations on the theme of ‘I don’t trust you’ are rarely productive, I dug into the concept to better understand what we’re really talking about when we say trust.

Seven elements of trust emerged from the data as useful in both trusting others and trusting ourselves. I use the acronym BRAVING for the elements.

My comment … Remember: trusting myself or other people is a vulnerable and courageous process as we work to belong and become full known by someone else.

Her list of seven elements:

Boundaries – You respect my boundaries, and when you’re not clear about what’s okay and not okay, you ask. You’re willing to say no.

Reliability – You do what you say you’ll do. This means staying aware of your competencies and limitations so you don’t overpromise and are able to deliver on commitments and balance competing priorities

Accountability – You own your mistakes, apologize, and make amends

Vault – You don’t share information or experiences that are not yours to share. I need to know that my confidences are kept, and that you’re not sharing with me any information about other people that should be confidential

Integrity – You choose courage over comfort. You choose what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy. And you choose to practice your values rather than simply professing them

Nonjudgment – I can ask for what I need, and you can ask for what you need. We can talk about how we feel without judgment.

Generosity – You extend the most generous interpretation possible to the intentions, words, and actions of others

In life and in relationships it is most important that we trust ourselves. Self-trust needs to be assessed every once in a while to see where your level of self-trust is.

The same checklist with different pronouns…

B – Did I respect my own boundaries? Was I clear about what’s okay and what’s not okay?

R – Was I reliable? Did I do what I said I was going to do?

A – Did I hold myself accountable?

V – Did I respect the vault and share appropriately?

I – Did I act from my integrity?

N – Did I ask for what I needed? Was I nonjudgmental about needing help?

G – Was I generous towards myself?

Trust is a needed ingredient in coming to fully know oneself and be fully known by at least one other person. Use the BRAVING test on occasion to see how you are doing.