I’ve found it’s not so easy to know whether or not you can trust someone. Or more accurately, to what extent can you trust a person? For example, can you trust someone with some things but not others?
But first, how do we define trust, really? According to research professor and bestselling author, Brené Brown, trust is “choosing to make something important to you vulnerable to the actions of someone else.”
I admit I’ve suffered from a condition I call “trust aversion.” While not necessarily uncommon in lawyers, it can certainly make for feeling lonely and isolated at times. So, I found I needed to come up with a way to allow people into my life who I trusted. Yet still be realistically cautious with those who were not so worthy of trust.
That’s why I was thrilled when I discovered Brené Brown’s list of elements that make up trust in her bestselling book, Rising Strong. I found I could readily use and apply these trust elements as standards by which to measure whether or not to trust someone. Dr. Brown uses the acronym B.R.A.V.I.N.G to break down her definition of trust into actionable components, which can be accessed here.
As Dr. Brown emphasizes, B.R.A.V.I.N.G also works with self-trust, which is where she says we have to start. So, for example, when going through a rough patch, you should ask yourself “Did I respect my own BOUNDARIES by being clear about what’s okay and what’s not okay? Was I RELIABLE by doing what I said I was going to do? Did I hold myself ACCOUNTABLE? Did I respect the VAULT and share accordingly? Did I act from my INTEGRITY? Did I ask for what I needed with NO JUDGMENT? Was I GENEROUS towards myself?
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