7 Factors That Build Trust, Part 4

Trust Factor #4: Vault.

Vault means you don’t share information that is not yours to share. To build, create and maintain trust we need to know that what we share with people in confidence will be kept in confidence. The interesting part about gossiping or sharing things we shouldn’t is that often times it is done in an attempt to “hot wire “ connection. It works temporarily to create a bond but studies have shown that this bond does not last. In fact it often has the opposite effect, decreasing our trust in the relationship. There is also a concept called “common enemy intimacy,” meaning creating a bond over a shared enemy. This bond is typically quite hollow and ends if the enemy no longer is available or relevant. This is happening all the time with political figures.

There have been a few people in my life who have regularly talked poorly about those around them. I remember someone who would tell me how out of control her friend’s kids were, how they were so annoying she didn’t even want to be around her friend and that said she thought one of the children was autistic. Needless to say anytime I see this person I feel very self-conscious and wonder what judgments might be made about me, especially around parenting.

I am not perfect by any means in this arena. There have been times I shared something that was not mine to share with someone I shouldn’t have. These memories still bother me and if I could take them back I would. These are times where guilt can be productive and can motivate us to do things differently in the future.

One suggestion made by Brené Brown around this is to get in touch with your intention behind sharing something. If I share that my friend broke her ankle and I’m worried about her that feels okay. Another way to check yourself is to ask “Would I say this in front of this person?” If the answer is no you probably shouldn’t say anything.

The goal here is not to be perfect but to become more intentional about our interactions with others and mindful of how our words can impact those around us. So next time you meet up with a friend or come home from work try your best to implement being a “vault.” I promise there is a high reward in both keeping in line with your values and seeing your relationships deepen.

If you haven’t read the other factors in creating and maintaining trust, check them out on my website; www.newawarenesscounseling.com under BLOG.


Ashley Mauldin

Acknowledgment: Brené Brown is a researcher and storyteller who found reliability to be one of 7 factors that creates and maintains trust.