7 Dimensions of Trust

“You either trust me or you don’t, Erin.

It’s that simple.”


I’ve recently learned that Trust is actually not that simple.

Three years ago, I worked up to the courage to share with a close friend that I no longer trusted him.

(He was rarely in integrity. Promise after promise went unfulfilled. I could no longer believe him when he said he would do something, be somewhere, or provide something.)

My conversation with him didn’t go over so well.

He was infuriated. He couldn’t believe what I was saying.

At the time, I didn’t understand the different layers and dimensions of trust.

I just knew something had shifted and I didn’t feel the same way about him that I previously had.

I struggled to put words to it.

Since then, from Brene Brown’s work, I’ve learned that there are actually 7 separate dimensions that, when combined, create trust:

  1. RELIABILITY (Does someone do what they say they’ll do?)
  2. BOUNDARIES (Does someone respect your boundaries?)
  3. ACCOUNTABILITY (Does someone apologize or take accountability for their mistakes?)
  4. VAULT (Does someone keep confidential what you ask them to?)
  5. NON-JUDGEMENT (Are they a judgement-free space for you?)
  6. GENEROSITY (Does someone give your intentions the most generous assumption?)
  7. INTEGRITY (Does someone choose what’s right for your relationship over what’s easy?)

I spent some time last week sitting with a friend and walking through the different relationships in my life and thinking about these different dimensions. It felt great to know I have relationships where I truly feel 100% solid — in complete and total trust — across all 7 dimensions.

Think of the closest relationships in your life.

How do the 7 dimensions of trust feel as they relate to each of them for you?

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