Trust is an important thing for every relationship – family, friendships, romantic relationships. And it’s amazing how easily it can be damaged and how much time it can take to rebuild. Trust is built, over time, with small gestures.
Think of building trust as being like a Marble Jar. Each small gesture puts a marble in the Marble Jar. Over time the jar becomes full. When you have Marble Jar relationships, you can make mistakes with each other because tipping out a few marbles doesn’t leave the jar empty.
If you have more withdrawals of marbles than deposits you’ll be having a very unhappy relationship before you know it. You may have had the experience of say a friendship that makes you question if it’s worth it, even though you can’t put your finger on the reason why. This person has probably put few marbles in your jar. They don’t remember your birthday. They brush you off when it’s your turn to have a few dramas. They don’t come to important things you invite them to. All opportunities to build trust.
Even if you have lots of marbles in the jar, big betrayals (like affairs) can completely empty it. After a big betrayal, some people will allow the jar to be slowly refilled. Others will put a lid on the jar so not one marble can slip through.
So… there’s a bit of a background on the idea of the Marble Jar.I still recommend watching the Anatomy of Trust through Courageworks.
But let’s have a look at how you can use this to make your life better.
1. My partner and I have Marble Jars at home. We bought some coloured rocks from the hardware and try to think of novel ways of making the choice trust building activities at home. The visual is great. It reminds us to make the time for each other and take care of each other the way we want to. It’s easy to let that stuff go when you’re really busy.
2. Sometimes it’s easy to be there for other people but not so easy to be there for yourself. Do your own Marble Jar. Build trust with yourself by doing things to be self-nurturing, set your boundaries, be honest, whatever it is that’s important to you. Then every time you do put a marble in the jar so you’re reminded of how you’re making progress in being in a good relationship with yourself.
Let me know if you come up with any other ways to use the Marble Jar.