B.R.A.V.I.N.G. the seven elements of trust

Chaplain’s CornerPadre Rosinski

Padre Marcin Rosinski

First of all, what is trust? It’s a word we all know and use but what does it mean in tangible terms?

Dr. Brené Brown quotes Charles Feltman, author of The Thin Book of Trust, who describes trust as “choosing to risk making something you value vulnerable to another person’s actions.”

Meanwhile, distrust is deciding that “what is important to me is not safe with this person in this situation (or any situation).”

How can we, especially in a relationship, build trust? How do we do it exactly? Dr. Brené Brown’s research and the result of people whom she interviewed showed the seven “ingredients” of trust.

Caring for them does not require daily work and is a process that takes place throughout the relationship. To help you remember these seven factors, Dr. Brené Brown created the acronym BRAVING.

So what characterizes a person we can trust?

Boundaries – You respect my boundaries, and when you’re not clear about what’s OK and not OK, you ask. You’re willing to say no. Boundaries are HUGE. In a nutshell, they help us let the good stuff in and keep the bad stuff out — “stuff” being people, experiences, information, emotional states, and more.

Reliability – You do what you say you’ll do. At work, this means staying aware of your competencies and limitations so you don’t over promise 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.

Non-judgment – 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.

How to cultivate self-trust using B.R.A.V.I.N.G

As Dr. Brown explains, we can also apply these ingredients to ourselves to get a measure of our self-trust.

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

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 accordingly?

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?”