trust or not to trust
I've been listening to Brené Brown's "The Anatomy of Trust" talk pretty much on repeat for the last month. Her stories and current research resonates with me because recently I've been thinking about how I struggle with trusting others, and it is something that I'd like to improve.
A few months ago, I was talking to a friend about this, and he seemed genuinely surprised when I told him I had difficulties trusting people. I found that he interpreted my "openness" as being trusting or trustworthy - or I guess it made him feel more comfortable trusting me. What I ended up not sharing was that to me being open has nothing to do with trust. Being open or the willingness to be open is my attempt to instigate the development of trust, but trust is not required for me to be open. Often I'm being open to try to make the other person feel more comfortable with me or with the situation.
But back to trust, Brené Brown breaks it down so perfectly that it would be shame to paraphrase it.
Boundaries – I trust you if you are clear about your boundaries and you hold them and you're clear about my boundaries and you respect them.
Reliability — I can only trust you if you do what you say you're going to do, and not once... you do what you say you're going to do, over and over again.
Accountability — I can only trust you if when you make a mistake you're willing to own it, apologize for it, and make amends. I can only trust you if when I make a mistake, I am allowed to own it, apologize for it, and make amends
Vault— What I share with you, you will hold in confidence. What you share with me, I will hold in confidence. In our relationship, I see that you acknowledge confidentiality. You respect my story, but you respect other people's story.
Integrity — I cannot trust you and be in a trusting relationship with you if you do not act from a place of integrity, and encourage me to do the same.
Choosing courage over comfort.
Choosing whats right over whats fun, fast or easy.
Practicing your values, not just professing your values.
Non-judgement — Real trust doesn't exist unless help is reciprocal and non-judgement.
Generosity — You can assume the most generous thing about my words, intentions, and behaviors, and then check-in with me.
She goes on to talk about how when something hard happens in our lives, we often lose trust in ourselves. We lose self-trust.
I'd be lying to myself if I said that I didn't start doubting my judgement when it came to relationships when someone really close to me cut me out of his life. I had 100% failed. Was I too trusting when it wasn't deserved? Was I blindly trusting when there really wasn't substance behind it? Was I too open - did I share too much? Did I share too much of myself?
Through being able to trust someone whole heartedly I experienced pure freedom. Through the gradual degradation of that trust I feel distrust of myself and others. I lost a lot of confidence in myself and my decisions. I often found myself saying that I felt broken.
For various reasons (or maybe that was the only reason), I've been prioritizing focusing on myself. Investing in myself. Through time, through physical and mental exercise, through opening my mind. By celebrating the small wins, and seeing I'm OK after pushing myself out of my comfort zone, I'm building that confidence and self-trust back.