Celebrating Your Safe People

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Writers: Abby Alvarado, Addy Alvarado
Researcher: Abby Alvarado, Addy Alvarado
Editor: Rafael Reyes
Graphics: Jia Moral 
Tweetchat Moderators: Christine Joy Salvacruz, Marianne Apostol, Aiah Osano 

As humans, it is undebatable that in our own ways, we are flawed. It has become our lifelong mission to find people who will acknowledge our scars, see through them, accept them, and love them. Most of us are lucky to cross paths with someone who treats us with not a single hint of judgment. These people are our safe people

Our safe people are those who embrace us during times of hardships. They’re aware that we are okay with them and they are aware of our shortcomings, worries, and weaknesses. Our safe people tell us the truth. Our safe people give us the tough talk we need to hear [1].

However, some of our safe people are one in a million. Although precious connections like this can be hard to break, it doesn’t make maintaining it unimportant. Every friendship, especially our safe friendships, must be taken care of dearly.

Finding Your Safe People

As we try to find unique connections in the people around us, it becomes easier for us to be mistaken and mistrust people. In addition, your safe people are not limited to just friendships. They can be an acquaintance, a family member, or a significant other. According to Margaret Pan, there are five signs that you’ve found your safe person [2].

They encourage you to express your feelings—and accept them. People that are emotionally safe will constantly be curious about your real, inner thoughts and feelings and will prod you to express them. They want to know the whole narrative, including how, why, and what caused you to feel that way. They never judge you or discard your feelings after hearing what you have to say; rather, they respect and embrace them, even if they don’t agree with you.

They’re direct in communicating their needs and feelings. A person who is emotionally safe expresses their feelings, wants, and views in a straightforward and honest manner. They make sure their communication is clear and consistent and don’t leave you wondering what is going on in their thoughts.

They view you as an equal, not a competitor. Emotionally safe people value equality beyond all else. As opposed to merely one person commanding or controlling some aspects of the partnership, equality in a relationship now implies that each individual’s demands and interests are recognized and satisfied to a reasonable extent.

They respect your need for privacy and space. When someone respects your boundaries and doesn’t make you feel like you need to defend or explain them, you know you can feel safe in their presence. They will also freely give you both time and space without being invasive, threatening, or beginning to doubt your feelings because they are aware that occasionally you might need them.

They strive to grow and become better. People who are emotionally safe aim to improve themselves as people and as partners. They will never say something along the lines of “I am who I am, take it or leave it”. Instead, they recognize and fix their mistakes, take responsibility for their actions, accept your feedback, act by taking your feelings into consideration, and avoid getting stuck in a destructive pattern.

Should you encounter people who do the exact opposite, cutting them off or setting boundaries are important to maintaining well-being [3]. Iti is also to understand that when you don’t click with someone, it is not necessarily personal. Some individuals just don’t mesh well. Not everybody you meet will be as friendly or share the same interests and values as you, and that’s fine [4].

Keeping Your Safe People

Too many of us have invested in relationships that have gone wrong. Maybe you’ve been judged, manipulated, or controlled in the past, or maybe you’ve trusted the wrong people before. It’s easy to make the same mistakes of settling for less, but it doesn’t have to stay that way [5]. Making meaningful connections can be enjoyable and improve one’s quality of life, but maintaining them might take some work [6].

Lift each other up. Someone can be helped and lifted by having their feelings acknowledged, reminding them of their achievements and positive traits, and being made to laugh and have fun when they need a break.

Fuel the connection. They will feel ready to discuss and keep in touch with you if you follow up with them and demonstrate that you want to stay updated with their lives.

Express gratitude. Try to convey your appreciation for a friend’s generosity and consideration when they go above and beyond. This reassures them that you are aware of how they enhance your bond with them. It may also improve how they feel about the relationship.

Be honest but compassionate. Pay attention to how you respond to other people. Even if you might not agree with everything they do or say, it’s still necessary to make an effort to be empathetic and nonjudgmental. Judging them could deteriorate the connection.

Resolve conflicts and repair imbalances. You can demonstrate that you value and want to repair the connection by taking the initiative, stating your desire to address the disagreement, and proposing viable solutions. Maintaining friendships is a loving deed that occasionally requires stepping outside one’s comfort zone.

Embrace the difference. Perhaps you and a friend have always had differences, or perhaps one of you is going through a change in circumstances.

When the distance is apparent it would be a good idea to reiterate the reasons you initially became friends. Where might you still meet up? Try to concentrate on the things that will help you become closer and still be able to share.

Feeling liked, encouraged, and being a member of a community are all advantages of companionship. But as you get older, maintaining deep and lasting relationships could be more challenging.

Think about taking an active role in your connections by expressing your gratitude, being open emotionally, and reaching out. Although this may involve some time and effort, the benefits are worthwhile. [6]

Celebrating Your Safe People

The secret to maintaining a strong bond with those you love is to express your gratitude. Giving compliments to people in your life makes them feel good about what they do, improves their self-esteem, and serves as a constant reminder that you care about them. But not everyone does it because they don’t know how, and occasionally they could be too worried or bashful to do it. [7]

Spending quality time. While it’s nice to go on extravagant holidays, it’s those tiny moments in everyday life that often have the greatest impact. Spending time with loved ones on a daily basis will show them that you love and appreciate them. Take a seat and share a meal together. Turn off the TV and put your cell phones away. Having dinner without any distractions will make the moment more intimate and keep the conversations flowing. Making time for small interactions can be challenging, especially when many things demand our attention, but it’s important for nourishing our relationships.

Doing something special. Do something special for your loved ones whenever you have time in your schedule. Don’t hold off till a particular occasion. Make opportunities for starting your own household customs on your own. Make pancakes for everyone on a Sunday morning without any particular purpose. Sunday pancake day, please! To let them know how wonderful they are and how much you adore them, send flowers or write them a card. Someone’s day can be made brighter and feel more valued by a small gesture.

Use words of kindness. You’ll undoubtedly agree that everyone has to show their loved ones their appreciation and love more frequently. It’s easy to be on autopilot, going about your everyday business, and losing sight of the people who matter. One of the simplest ways to express your love and gratitude to your loved ones is through words of kindness and affirmation. You may include it into your daily routine without having to spend a lot of time on it. Make it a habit to thank your loved ones everyday as sincere words can go a long way.

Learn their interests. You adore those around you without a doubt, yet it could be more difficult to share their interests. Finding out about their interests is one of the most heartfelt ways to show them your love and gratitude. The key is communication. Spend some time with them and inquire about their successes, interests, and professional aspirations. Take the evening off and watch a soccer game with them if they enjoy sports. Even if you don’t understand what’s happening, it’s the effort that counts. Showing that you want to learn the interests of your loved ones demonstrates how much you value them.

One of the strongest forces in the world is the love shared between family and friends. Even though we are separated from one another for extended periods of time, the bonds we share cannot be severed. But because life is unpredictable and we never know what the future holds, it’s crucial to cherish every second spent with your loved ones. Use every opportunity to spend time with the people you care about and don’t pass up the chance to let them know how much they mean to you. [8]

If you or someone you know needs mental health consultation, kindly refer to our directory for mental health facilities, services, and organizations around the Philippines: https://mentalhealthph.org/directory/

Guide Questions:

  • How do you define safe people? or what are safe people for you?
  • How can we become safe people to others?
  • How do you show appreciation to your safe people?

 

References:

  1. Townsend, J. (2018, September 27). Who Are “Safe People?” – Dr. John Townsend. Dr. John Townsend. Retrieved April 20, 2023, from https://drtownsend.com/who-are-safe-people/
  2. Pan, M. (2022, November 8). How to Identify an Emotionally Safe Person – Hello, Love – Medium. Medium. https://medium.com/hello-love/how-to-identify-an-emotionally-safe-person-8b6a49169
  3. Staff, D. (2020, September 25). 7 Ways to Remove Toxic People From Your Life. Del. Psych. Services. https://www.delawarepsychologicalservices.com/post/7-ways-to-remove-toxic-people-from-your-life
  4. BA, A. L. (2022). Not Everyone Is Your Friend and Here Are 8 Reasons Why (+20 Quotes). The Power of Misfits. https://powerofmisfits.com/communication/not-everyone-is-your-friend
  5. Cloud, H., & Townsend, J. (2016, August 2). Safe people: How to find relationships that are good for you and avoid those that aren’t. Barnes & Noble. https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/safe-people-henry-cloud/1110994424
  6. Muinos, L. (n.d.). 6 friendship maintenance tips for lasting connections. Psych Central. https://psychcentral.com/lib/friendship-maintenance-tips
  7. Art & Home (2022, June 26). 8 thoughtful ideas for showing appreciation to loved ones. Art & Home. https://artandhome.net/showing-appreciation-loved-ones/
  8. MantraBand (2021, October 13). Hold your loved ones close – Why you should Cherish every moment – MantraBand® bracelets MantraBand® Bracelets. https://www.mantraband.com/blogs/live-inspired-stories-that-inspire-and-empower/hold-your-loved-ones-close

 

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