Trust and Generosity

This week, in the last of our seven week exploration of the elements of Trust based on Brené Brown’s model, we came to the”G” in the “BRAVING” acronym, “Generosity”.  This is a great time of year to bring that word, Generosity, to the forefront of our minds, as we prepare to offer gifts and share time with family and friends. But, this Generosity really refers to being generous with our assessment of others motives and actions.

Last week we dove into the idea of Non-Judgement, and this weeks exploration is very similar. When we judge, we often judge harshly or negatively. The word “judgemental” implies a negative assessment. But, if we are generous with our assessments, and assume best intent, we build trust.

If you’ve ever felt like you are “walking on eggshells” when you are around someone, you probably are feeling that your words or actions are perceived in the worst possible way. If there is a misunderstanding, you are not given the benefit of the doubt. You begin to edit yourself severely, and maybe avoid interactions. This is not a way to build trust.

However, if we want others to assume best intent with us, we must offer the same, and maybe be the first to do so. When someones actions triggers a judgmental response, pause. Is there another way this can be interpreted? If making an assumption, start with one that is generous, assuming best intent. But ask questions. Get information. Maybe the other person is not being truthful, or kind, or fair. Maybe we will need to set boundaries. But, if building a relationship of trust is important, we need to start with at least a neutral opinion as we create clarity.

As yogis, we know that we cannot change others. We need to practice these things for ourselves. As we studied each of the seven elements of trust: Boundaries, Reliability, Accountability, Vault (or discretion), Integrity, Non-Judgement, and Generosity, we have resisted the urge to apply these standards to others. Instead, we do the uncomfortable work of holding the magnifying glass to ourselves. While it can be difficult to honestly assess where were are falling short, there is no growth without change, and no change without identifying a need. That’s tougher work than any asana!!

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