Safe means that we FEEL protected from danger, that we FEEL cared for and not likely to be harmed. People who are “safe” for us show us that they aren’t out to hurt us physically or emotionally, and they don't portray abusive tendencies towards themselves either.
Signs that someone is not safe for a relationship
Attraction and romantic feelings can be your downfall if they are prioritised over behaviour and feedback from the person you're involved with. Recognise the signs that someone is not safe to trust with emotional intimacy and decide whether to proceed or not. Read on for the warning signs that someone is not safe for a relationship.
These types of people are the ones you want in your life, especially if you have experienced unsafe people.
In the book Safe People, authors and therapists Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend describe safe people as "individuals who truly make us better people by their presence in our lives."
"Quite often, unsafe people appear winsome and promising, and their character problems are often subtle," write the authors.
According to the authors, if we look more closely at a person’s character first, rather than base our interest on their attractiveness, we may save ourselves some time and trouble.
In Safe People, the authors identify three types of commonly recognized “unsafe people.” Although these types of people are not necessarily abusers, recognizing them as unsafe is still a good first step toward a healthy relationship.
These are people who start a relationship but can’t stick with it. They often leave when you need them the most. They are afraid of getting too close, so they prefer shallow relationships. Others are simply perfectionists and leave people in whom they find "faults."
These individuals are judgmental without being caring. They have no room for grace or forgiveness, say the authors, adding that they often jump on doctrinal and ethical bandwagons and are more focused on pointing out others’ errors than they are on making real connections with people. They can leave you feeling guilt-ridden and full of anxiety.
These people are those who don’t take care of their own lives very well. They don’t think about the consequences of their actions, don’t follow through on commitments and are just generally flaky. You come to resent them after giving them an endless number of chances and you’ll find yourself often making excuses for them.
Recognise the signs that someone is unsafe for you
You can recognize a type of unsafe person or a character trait that raises a red flag. Below are a handful of the traits that should raise a sceptical eyebrow when you come across them in a new acquaintance or date.
Unsafe people can be:
- Defensive instead of open to feedback.
- Self-righteous or falsely humble instead of humble
- Apologetic without changing their harmful behaviours.
- The type to avoid working on any problems they have instead of dealing with them.
- Quick to blame others instead of taking responsibility for their decisions.
However, you should look at these traits in terms of degree. Everyone lies or is defensive sometimes but pathological tendencies in these traits and behaviour warrant the label "Unsafe".
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