Trustworthiness Skill #4: Vault

Vault represents our ability to keep secrets a secret.

Do we gossip or tell others what we are told in private? Are we talking about others and their struggles? Do we bond with people over making fun of or disliking people? If you do any of the above, you may struggle with the “vault” part of being trustworthy. Similarly, if you meet someone and they talk a lot about other people, dish dirt, or try to pry other’s private information out of you, I would see this as a big red flag. Usually people do this as a means of trying to cultivate what we call “false intimacy”. People feel a false sense of being bonded when they “bond” over disliking someone. While the notion of trying to connect is a great one, the way they go about doing it is not the healthiest. On the other hand, a trustworthy person will encourage you to talk directly to a person if you have questions about them or want to know information about their life (especially the more vulnerable and messy parts of their life). If someone asks you, “Is Shauna getting a divorce?”, a healthy response would be, “Maybe you should ask her that question instead of me.” 

You don’t have to be mean about it, just keep it simple and sometimes making it lighthearted or offering to call that person together can be a good way of maintaining healthy boundaries around telling people’s information. Another thing you might do is politely change the subject if your group of friends start going down a rabbit hole of down talking or sharing information about a person that isn’t kind… any person or friend group may struggle with this from time-to-time, but the more you surround yourself with people who talk about their own stuff, uplift others, and discuss other world news/topics — the more you can trust that people have good boundaries around keeping people’s secrets… well, a secret. I do not trust (or share intimate details about my life with) a person who shares other’s secrets or try to bond with me over hating something or someone. I’d encourage you to do the same and make sure you are not engaging in those behaviors either.”

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