To Be Trustworthy

The highest compliment that a person can give you is to have a colleague or a friend say to you, “I can count on you.” Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who are not accountable. I hope the people in my circle of relationships consider me to be trustworthy. It takes time and experience to be trusted. Brene Brown says that to be trusted you have to also be vulnerable. Brown says, “We need to trust to be vulnerable and we need to be vulnerable in order to build trust. The research participants described trust as a slow-building, iterative, and layered process that happens over time. Both trust-building and rumbling with vulnerability involve risk. That’s what makes courage hard and rare. In our work we use the metaphor of the marble jar…” Brown’s daughter came home one day telling her about the marble jar that her teacher used for either being a bucket filler or being a bucket emptier. When her daughter had told a supposed friend something embarrassing about herself, the friend had told others and the whole class had heard of it. She had trusted the friend but the friend did not deserve the trust. When the teacher discovered what had happened, the teacher removed half the marbles. Brown, of course, was devastated for her daughter, but through discussions of how one builds trust, both her daughter and Brown discovered, “We trust the people who have earned marbles over time in our life. Whenever someone supports you, or is kind to you, or sticks up for you, or honours what you share with them as private, you put marbles in the jar. When people are mean, or disrespectful, or share your secrets, you take the marbles out.” This example is a great way to describe what it means to be “Trustworthy.”

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