Trust Factor #5: Integrity
This factor seems like common sense to me and fits in with a lot of the other trust factors. Integrity requires that we do what is right over what is fun, fast or easy. This plays into our boundaries, ability to be reliable, take accountability and keep the confidences of others. Practicing these factors is acting with integrity.
As a counselor I strive to practice these with my clients. I want them to feel like they know what to expect from me, that I will be there when I say I will be there, admit if I don’t know something and above all keep our sessions confidential. Honestly it is easier to act with integrity professionally than in my personal life.
It gets messier with more intimate relationships.
One way I try to act with integrity outside of work is by making sure I speak well of my husband when I am out with friends. Occasionally complaints or negativity surface about significant others and I do my best to just listen rather than bring up something negative myself. There is a time and a place for some venting, but make sure you reference trust factor #4 (vault) when doing this.
I challenge each of you to ask yourself if you are living up to your own sense of integrity. Ask yourself:
Are you showing up in a positive way in your relationships?
Are you being intentional about your words and actions, even when it’s difficult?
In what areas could you improve and what specific things will you need to do to start making changes?
If you are struggling in these areas, this is where a counselor can help. Many people feel blocked when it comes to the “how to change.” Or perhaps they are holding onto negative patterns from a past relationship and can’t seem to break free from them. Please reach out, it is so much easier to figure out a solution with someone else than by yourself.
This post is inspired by the work of Brené Brown who has dedicated a portion of her research to finding out what creates and maintains deep levels of trust.