Virtual and in-person appointments available. Please contact me at 240-485-6053 for more information.

6917 Arlington Road Suite 216
Bethesda, MD 20814
Day, Evening and Weekend Appointments Available

How to Build Trust in Your Relationships

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on email

One of the things I’m most frequently asked about is how to build or rebuild trust. It’s fundamental to any relationship. Without it, you can never really feel fully intimate or connected. Brene Brown has recently released an amazing video, “The Anatomy of Trust” ( ) which provides a simple step by step formula for building trust in any relationship from friend to co-worker to romantic partner.
The BIG take aways:
1. Trust is built in very small moments:  Trust is not an event or something that just sort of happens. Trust instead is built bit by bit in small moments. Remembering someone’s name, voluntarily introducing yourself to your friends parents, attending a colleagues family funeral, remembering others significant moments. Moments like these, Brown notes, are what research has shown to be the building blocks of trust.
2. Trust and Betrayal are Found in Our Willingness to Connect: Brown mentions the work of esteemed psychology professor, John Gottman – who recognized that the potential for trust and betrayal could be found in our willingness to connect with others. Gottman calls these opportunities “sliding door moments”.  Gottman uses an example of when he was about to head to bed and passed his wife, who was in the bathroom combing her hair – seemingly upset. His first reaction was to pick up the speed and get back to the bed but instead he took the brush from his wife’s hand, continued brushing her hair, and asked what was wrong. In that moment he chose connection, chose to listen compassionately, and let his wife know he’s there. He could have kept going but instead chose to connect and not leave his wife isolated. Connection is the vehicle of trust.
3. Common Enemy Intimacy: Brown notes that many of us often take the quickest route to connection, bonding with another over a mutual dislike for someone or something else. This is false intimacy with no potential for trust – after all, there’s only so many topics of conversation for this style of connection before the focus finds it’s way to you.
The BIGGEST Take Away
BRAVING: The biggest take away, and a large focus of the tak, surrounds the elements Brown uses to build our understanding of trust. She details seven concepts (“BRAVING”) that expand and give language to the aspect of trust.

1.     Boundaries: I promise to hold my own boundaries and respect yours both personally and professionally.
2.     Reliability: I promise to do what I say I’m going to do. Not once but over and over and over again.
3.     Accountability: I promise to own, apologize, and make amends for what I do that hurts you.
4.     Vault: I promise that what I share with you I will hold in confidence and I expect the same. I acknowledge that telling even my closest friends a confidence told me shows I am untrustworthy.
5.     Integrity: I promise to always act from a place of integrity.
6.     Non-Judgment: I promise that you and I can fall apart and that you can ask me for help without judgment.
7.     Generosity: I promise you can always assume generously about my actions and I will do the same for you, i.e. assume the best in the other’s actions and act with the best of intentions yourself.
Using this acronym can help you to decipher where specifically where the problem might be in building relationships with those closest to us.
The video is about 25 minutes long but may be the best time investment you make this year. I very strongly encourage you to watch it!! Again, that link is

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

More To Explore

Tips for Surviving Sheltering in Place

None of us have ever experienced anything even remotely resembling these past several weeks. Never before has there been an event in our lives with

Take a survay of your releationship

Request An Appointment

Have a Question? Ask Now!

Disclaimer: This form should not be used to communicate any confidential personal or medical information (PHI), but should only be used for general questions.