Friday, March 20, 2009

safe people

Surrounding yourself with safe people is one of the big things my counselor talks about. People aren't really born with the ability to screen who is safe (i.e., not emotionally harmful) and this book has been helping me. It's written from a Christian perspective but I think these apply to people of any religious or non persuasion. Some of the gist is in this article by Henry Cloud:

"Have you ever wondered why some relationships seem to lead to growth and happiness and others to pain and injury? Have you ever had the experience of meeting someone, finding them attractive and charming, trusting them in some way, and then later were hurt very badly by them? Or, worse than that, have you done that more than once with the same kind of person?

It would be nice if we could all answer "no" to the above questions, for that would mean that we would have avoided a lot of pain in our lives. And it would also be nice if those realities did not even exist so that we did not have to think about them. But the truth is that relationships can have the power to save our lives, or the power to ruin them. . . .

Learn what traits are helpful and hurtful in people . . . The important thing is that you learn to recognize things like:

• perfectionism

• inability to connect

• control issues

• judgmentalism

• domineering traits

• defensiveness

• denial

• dishonesty

We all need to know what it is that we are looking to confront and to avoid. If you are going to give your heart to people and trust them, you have to know what you are looking for. Search the Scriptures and other materials that teach about relational patterns."


Elizabeth said...

I read that book "years ago" it really helped...Hope you are okay. Miss you, I really do. Love you...E

Hugh said...

Great post. I suspect there are times when we have to go out there and face the giants that are the harmful people but we can only do that if we have the support of the safe people around us.

Simone said...

That book sounds good. As long as it doesn't give "trusting in God" as a solution, it could work for me!

Oh, and thanks for being one of my precious safe people.

Love you!

melanie said...

i did read that book (based on a previous post from here, where you'd mentioned it, i think) ha! (& thanks for the rec!) :)

in a similar vein i would also recommend the book "the Gaslight Effect" by Robin Stern. i found it helpful, (both of the books), really just as a reminder to trust yourself & not second-guess your feelings. (yes that seems like "duh?" but it's amazing how easily this ability can break down over time, when you are dealing w an "unsafe" person...)