I was recently challenged with the task of naming the characteristics of emotionally safe (relationally healthy) people. Why? Because I struggle with making excuses for others.
He didn't mean it. She was having a bad day. And so forth.
To my own detriment.
Yes, grace is a wonderful thing, but grace is not stupid. At some point, grace says, "Hey, I'm not going to enable bad behavior. I am not going to allow myself to be repeatedly used and hurt. Take some responsibility for yourself and the choices you make in life."
That's where I am now. Purposefully choosing to set boundaries. Purposefully choosing to allow people to 'not mean it' or 'have bad days' and yet still face the consequences of their acting out.
Or, more accurately, I am purposefully choosing to distance myself from those who 'don't mean it' or 'have bad days' and don't use any coping skills, moral compass or common sense in dealing with it.
Perhaps more importantly, I am purposefully choosing to acknowledge my wounded parts that need others to be good or safe or present in spite of evidence to the contrary.
I'm choosing to see what I don't always want to see.
I am choosing to face reality.
As such, I have created the following list. I think this list might be fluid... changing as I continue to grow and heal. But for now, my list is as follows.
Emotionally safe people:
Do you have a list? Do you know what to look for and what to avoid? Do you have wounded parts that desperately need someone to be a way that they are not? I encourage you to create your own list if you do not have one, and to hold others to the light of your list. It just may be time to let some people slip away.
Keep growing and healing, friends! What a great journey we are on! - M
The Motley Ms.
Hi! My name is Melinda. I'm a saved-by-grace-er, lifelong learner, INFJ, health & fitness trynabe, Mom, #vanlifer, mental health vlogger, and Director & Clinical Supervisor at a Child & Family Therapy Practice in Northern California.
The Motley Ms
The Therapist's Therapy Blog