How To Connect With Others & Build Trust Over Time
Finding and creating new relationships can be challenging. In addition, if you're in the beginning of a new relationship, it can be hard to know how to develop the relationship further. As part of our Daring Way program at MindWellNYC, we’re diving deeper into vulnerability. Part of our task in showing up and being seen is being fully present when we are with others. Especially those that we care about and those that we would like to get to know better.
It is important to think about strategies we can use to help with relationship building. As we consider connecting in relationships with others, it is also important to consider self-trust. This is something that can have a major impact on our relationships as well.
So, first let's ask ourselves…
Why Is Connecting With Others So Difficult?
We are only able to attend to a certain number of things at a time. We live busy and hectic lives. We are juggling work, tasks at home, appointments, and errands. So finding a new relationship or deepening an already existing one might not be number one on your to-do list. We are quick to turn our attention to other things that can be easily crossed off of that list. Building relationships takes time and meaningful effort. Connecting with others can also be difficult if we don’t know where to start- if we can’t identify strategies to use to help us feel closer to others. When things get frustrating and we don’t have the skills to help us manage tough situations, we often move away from the situation instead of towards it. This avoidance is what can make it challenging to connect with others.
What Are Some Things You Can Do To Better Connect With Others?
According to Dr. Brene Brown, trust-building is an essential component in building relationships. Based on the work of Charles Feltman, Dr. Brown describes trust as “choosing to risk making something you value vulnerable to another person’s actions.”
BRAVING is an acronym developed by Dr. Brown based on elements of trust that she discovered as part of her research data. It is used to describe the parts of trust -- the things that make it what it is. Once we have a better understanding of what it means to be BRAVING in relationships, we will be able to work towards connecting, communicating, and setting limits with others. This will allow us to deepen and improve our relationships as well as start new ones and end ones that are no longer working for us.
Here is what BRAVING is all about.
Boundaries: You respect the boundaries of others, and when you’re not clear about what’s okay and not okay, you ask. You’re willing to say no.
Reliability: You do what you say you’ll do. This means being aware of your competencies and limitations so you don’t over-promise. This is so you 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. People need to know that their confidences are kept, and that you’re not sharing information about them 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.
Nonjudgment: Others can ask you for what they need and you can ask for what you need. You can talk about how you feel without judgment.
Generosity: You extend the most generous interpretation possible to the intentions, words, and actions of others.
How Can I Build Trust With Myself?
In addition to using BRAVING as a way to connect with others and build trust over time, we can also use BRAVING as a means to increase self-trust. In order to build and maintain successful relationships, we must first trust ourselves. This includes trusting our ability to set limits as well as our own experiences of vulnerability.
Keep these points in mind as you move forward both in your relationship with yourself and in your relationships with others.
B - Did I respect my own boundaries? Was I clear about what’s okay and what’s not okay?
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 appropriately?
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 toward myself?
BRAVING can also be used as a way to assess how you feel. Am I being kind towards myself and setting limits that feel appropriate to me? Am I behaving in a way that is in line with my authenticity and integrity? Am I holding myself accountable for professional responsibilities that matter to me?
Practicing the skills of BRAVING can be a useful guide if you are searching for ways to incorporate trust-building into your routine. Feel free to choose pieces of this skill set to practice. Over time, you can begin to weave them together as you develop stronger and more connected ways of relating to yourself and others.
Interested in learning more about trust, vulnerability, and relationship building? Check out our program, The Daring Way, and consider joining one of our groups or participating in individual therapy. Contact us today to learn more about our programs with Dr. Jessica Renz, Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator-Candidate (CDWF-Candidate).
Further information is available at www.thedaringway.com.
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