Brene Brown’s marble jar story

I have attached a video of one of my favorite lessons from Brene Brown. I heard it first when I read her book Dare to Lead. It’s told better there, so I encourage you to check it out. The lesson is about who to trust.

Here is the gist of the video:

Her daughter had a bad day at school. She told some “friends” some very personal things and everyone laughed at her in class. She was so upset she said, “I will never trust anyone again.” But Brene cautions her against this and tells her trust is like a jar of marbles. When someone does something good to you, they get a marble; when someone does something bad, they lose marbles. Eventually, some people fill up your jar and these are the people you confide in when you are your most vulnerable.

I’ve applied this to my daily life. I tell people in my life this story and when they do things I don’t like I let them know. I say, “You know, when you do this it makes you lose marbles with me. For example, when you say things that aren’t nice about others to me it makes me wonder what you say when I’m not around.” And when they are nice I let them know they get a marble.

It’s cheesy, sure, but I’m convinced sincerity is life’s most savory sweetener.