Who Do You Trust?

Following up to my post about Trust I came across some interesting reading in Brene Brown’s book Daring Greatly that I thought I would share.

Learning how to trust is a loaded subject in general. If trust has been broken and in most cases not modelled, how do you know who to trust, how to trust and what it really looks like?

Most of us have tried to trust in many ways – giving it in advance, hoping it won’t be misplaced and end up hurting us.  At other times, we have not given it and tested the person beyond natural capacity and limits.  Either way, it just didn’t work, seem right or solve the problem.

Perhaps the reason is that we didn’t qualify the characteristics that we needed to feel trust and instead used an outdated or incorrect set of beliefs as our starting place. Perhaps we looked outward at their behaviour and then tried to interpret how it fit into our guidelines. Not if it fit at all, but how or where it fit. The key here is that it was about them, not about us and what we needed.  The other piece that we most likely get stuck on is knowing who has the ability to be a trusted friend vs. competitor, enemy etc.,  If you have been exposed to trust, safety and fear issues these pieces can be extremely complicated and hard to understand, much less work your way through on a current basis.

The first place to start is to know, down to your toes that people need to “earn the right to hear your story.”  That means that people need to show you that they can be trusted, that they can and will care for you, hold your tender parts and will value you enough to keep some things to themselves.

Brene talks about what she calls “Marble Jar Friends”.  She tells a story of her daughters teacher who kept a jar in the classroom and each time the class did something positive a marble went into the jar. If they behaved negatively, the marbles were taken out. This concept can be altered to help who to trust and to define your limits.

So, lets start with some examples of  how the marbles go into the jar:

  1. If a friend treats you with respect – keeps their commitments & their word
  2. If a friend treats you with care – genuine care & curiosity for you and your family, with no agenda
  3. If a friend shares with me – the good, bad and ugly, showing me they are vulnerable
  4. If a friend wants to spend time with me – doing anything and nothing

Now, lets continue with some examples of how the marbles come out of the jar:

  1. If a friend gossips, lies, plays games and doesn’t follow through
  2. If a friend disrespects you and doesn’t keep their commitments or their word
  3. If a friend is solely focused on themselves, during every visit with no time or focus on you at all.
  4. If a friend asks for something all the time, has their own agenda for calls, visits etc.,

It may seem odd to do this, but it really is just a physical illustration that will help you most of all, learn to trust yourself, so that you can believe in yourself. The hard part in this may be wanting to “help” the other person, feeling bad for them and reducing your own “standards”. That truly isn’t helpful to either one of you.

There is always an energy exchange of give and take. If you focus your energies on the first four, when those who are the last four show up, you will trust yourself enough to know and see the difference. Once you are used to this, it will also be much easier to not focus on their needs and to instead look at your own.  With your boundaries and instinct in tact and your self trust at maximum, it will carry over into every other area of your life.

I hope these points help as a starting place to make up your own list of what is important to you.








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