SAFE vs UNSAFE PEOPLE


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I WANT TO BE COMFORTABLE
so I have to pay attention to who people are!

PREVIOUS: Setting Healthy Bs – #3

❀ This outline is not earth shattering or even news, but it’s nice to have it all in one place. You may want to add to the list, based on your personal experiences – or maybe additions that are variations on this list

• It comes from the book “SAFE PEOPLE” by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend. The orientation of the book is Christian & has references to Biblical truths, which apply to all spiritual persuasions, so please don’t let it keep you from benefiting from the available info in it.   “Take what you like & leave the rest”!

• The book also has excellent chapters on many of the same topics covered in this blog, under such heading as: “How we lost our safety”, “Do I have a Safety Deficit?”, “Learning how to be safe” ……

• ACoAs are so used to being around unhealthy people that we don’t realize how we’re being damaged by them.  Even when we think something’s might be wrong, we don’t trust our gut or our head – so we feel confused & think we’re crazy or over-reacting to toxic environments & relationships.  Once we have the right info, we can make informed choices & set boundaries with the unhealthy people we love!

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10 thoughts on “SAFE vs UNSAFE PEOPLE

  1. Fantastic Post. My first thought was to get a little riled up about all the people in my life that fall into the “unsafe” category. I felt a little surge and took a deep breath, deciding to arrest that cycle into negativity, and to instead think about the list of “safe” people and those attributes. I need more of those people in my life and need to seek them out, opening myself and trusting that I can exhibit all the same attributes and be “safe” in return.

    Punch.
    http://foodforablackdog.blogspot.com/

  2. I have a tough time discerning imperfect people from unhealthy ones. As you point out, my early frame of reference had no boundaries, bizarre was the status quo.

    For instance, I met a dear friend/coworker of my husband, a man very much my senior (by 28 yrs!). He invited me to dinner while my husband was working – my husband encouraged me to go. I did, and later this charming elderly gentleman said its a shame he has to be “alone” that night and looked at me pointedly.

    He gave me the creeps so I made a joke and got out of there and thought, I must have misunderstood, he’s so much older, a DEAR friend of my husbands…..but a few weeks later he told me he was just “testing me” and it was a joke.

    I now believe it wasn’t a joke at all. I’ve kept my eye on him and my distance and I see? borderline behavior with other women. My husband would be horrified but truthfully I’m not sure he would believe me, it seems so ridiculous. And it does, so again, is it just my suspicious nature?

    Pardon my details but so often I find myself caught in a scenario that could be read two ways…so what is the litmus test??

    Cheers, Kira

    • He was definitely a creep! His comment was totally inappropriate & can not be read any other way. His age & relationship to your husband is just camouflage. Narcissists play with people & then deny what they’ve done. The fact that he said he was testing you shows he knew he was ‘wrong’ but with no moral sense, or he would have apologized!

      WE have to be clear & stick to what we know. How can we know?
      a. by gathering lots of into – read articles on narcissists, sexual predators, boundary invaders…. so that the bad voice in our head can’t con us into denying our experiences
      b. by how it FEELS in our body – the chest or gut tightening, nervousness, nausea, weakness in muscles., that ICK in the stomach…
      c. by how we feel emotionally – anxious, scared, disgusted, shocked….

      This means being deeply in touch with the healthy inner child & saying every day “I KNOW WHAT KNOW”!

  3. I will read some articles, etc that’s a good idea. I really am “working” on trusting my instincts. While I tend to believe my gut I also fight my instincts because……its seems like there are an awful lot of these folks running around (not everyone of course). I find them in prestigious positions….everyone speaks of how wonderful they are, pillars of the community etc and yet they make the hair stand up on my neck. Perhaps an unfortunate truth is they naturally gravitate towards those kind of positions?

    Thanks so much for entertaining my scenario, I got a reasonable “litmus” test after all.

    Your posts are very helpful for me, I appreciate your effort.

    Cheers, Kira

  4. Like Kira, I too have had A LOT of those creepy types of experiences with guys over the years and for years I would deny my own inner knowing or not catch on until much later. I’m starting to get this a lot better especially noticing whether I feel anxious or want to move away from them physically.

  5. Thank you for providing such useful information in one place. I am just beginning my healing process. My spouse of 12 years is an unsafe person in my life. I am still the WIC and fear what happens next.

    • Welcome Mikala. The WIC will be afraid for a long time, but as you develop a healthy Adult & a good Inner Parent, she will become less so. Make sure you have a good support system of safe people to compensate for family & spouse. Keep in touch.

  6. Hello,
    What I get in this narrative is that “I allow” unsafe people to form unsafe relationships with me OR I allow myself to form relations with unsafe people, so I can complete, or try and complete that unfinished ‘symbiosis’ with my distant mother.
    I don’t know, however, as I acquire knowledge about life, whether through here or with 12 Step Groups, I seem to be able to matched up that info/knowledge with my thoughts and experiences and get an awakening, about what has happened in my life, and see that I am cause in my own life. Certainly not in as I have been stupid or wrong, but, like, I did what I did and I got what I got – now I can see it is me who puts me in unsafe positions and so I can also do some thing about this now.
    There is a poem, I can’t think of the name of it now – about walking down the same footpath and falling in hole and not being able to get out until one can see that they fell in of their own doing.

    But I could understand what the hole was, I could not see the hole.

    One day recently I was reminiscing and and I inserted the ‘incident’ in place of ‘hole’ and I got a major change in how I interpreted what was occurring for me.

    Thanks, I love your narratives – Peter.

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