Trusting Others

When you are an emotionally sensitive person, it’s important who you have in your life. When you have intense feelings and are easily hurt, harsh people can be difficult for you to be around. When you’ve had difficult experiences with others you may struggle to trust your judgment and decide to not get close to others. While understandable, that decision can lead to loneliness and depression.

As an emotionally sensitive person, you may struggle with knowing who you can be emotionally open with and  trust. Brene Brown offers some guidelines by using the acronym BRAVING. Here’s Dr. Brown’s guidelines for determining if you can trust someone.

Boundaries:  The person respects your boundaries and they ask if it’s unclear.

Reliability:  The person does what s/he says s/he will. This means that s/he doesn’t overpromise, balances priorities and is able to deliver on commitments.

Accountability:  S/he owns his or her mistakes, apologizes and makes amends.

Vault:  The other person doesn’t share information or experiences that you share in confidence.

Integrity: The other person chooses courage over comfort.  S/he chooses what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy.  S/he chooses to practice values rather than simply professing them.

Nonjudgment:  You can ask for what you need and the other person can also. You talk about how you really feel without judgment.

Generosity:  The other person extends the most generous interpretation possible to your intentions, words, and actions and to those of others as well.

Using wisdom in who you choose to be close with is one of the ways that you can find more peace in your life.  How do you determine who you can be vulnerable with?

Trusting Others

Karyn Hall, PhD

Karyn Hall, Ph.D. is the owner/director of the Dialectical Behavior Therapy Center in Houston, a DBT-Linehan Board of Certification, Certified Clinician, a RO DBT Approved Supervisor and Trainer and owner of, an online educational program. She is a trainer/consultant as well as a therapist and certified coach, author of The Emotionally Sensitive Person, SAVVY, Mindfulness Exercises for DBT Therapists, and co-author of The Power of Validation. Her podcast, The Emotionally Sensitive Person, is available on iTunes.

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APA Reference
Hall, K. (2018). Trusting Others. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 1, 2020, from


Last updated: 18 Feb 2018
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