Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Picking "Safe" Relationships

Have you ever wondered why some relationships you see grow and are nurtured into a loving and mutually respecting relationship, and others you have seen seem to be abusive and hurtful in nature. It is because one or both of the people are "unsafe" to be in a relationship. Has there been someone you have found to be extremely alluring and charming and later have found yourself to be hurt deeply wounded by this person's behavior or actions?
You have to be wise, typically people will fall into patterns of choosing who they will befriend, date, or marry. This is where you need to take a step back and evaluate your personal relationships. It is extremely hard when you find that unsafe people are in your family. This can be due to the fact that there is a psychological condition left untreated, abuse, criminal activity, manipulative personality etc. This can be completely devastating to close family members, because ultimately you want to be able to trust and consider your family a safe haven or your home a place of refuge.
If you are being abused you need to seek help. There is nothing worse then living in a situation where this is taking place. I don't care if your married or not. Even in a marriage, abuse is never to be tolerated on any level. Many people think that because this is a family situation it should be overlooked or forgotten about. That could not be further from the truth.
Here is a list of things you need to look for when dealing with interpersonal relationships. You need to understand what is wise to let close to your heart and what you need to distance yourself from.
These are concepts taken from the book, "Safe People," which you will see referenced and for order at the bottom of the article.

1. Think they have it all together instead of admitting their weaknesses.
2. Are defensive instead of open to feedback.
3. Are self-righteous instead of humble.
4. Only apologize instead of changing their behavior. (SHOW NO GUILT OR REMORSE FOR ACTION)
5. Avoid working on their problems instead of dealing with them.
6. Demand trust, instead of earning it.
7. Belive they are perfect instead of admitting their faults.
8. Blame others instead of taking responsibility.
9. Will lie instead of being honest. ( THIS WILL BE REPEATED)
10. Are stagnant instead of growing.
11. Avoid closeness instead of connecting.
12. Are only concerned about "I" instead of "we" (not relationship centered)
13. Resist freedom instead of encouraging it.
14. Condemn us instead of forgiving us.
15. Stay in parent/child roles instead of relating as equals. (CAN BE CODEPENDENT) 
16. Are unstable over time instead of being consistent. (PATTERNS REPEAT)
17. Are a negative influence on us, rather than a positive one.
18. Gossip instead of keeping our confidences. (CAN NOT CONTROL THEIR MOUTH)
1. Value love - connection - have the ability to trust.
2. Value responsibility (take responsibility for themselves and value that in others) Neither overly dependent on others nor codependent - feeling responsible for others
3. Value honesty - ability to be known - transparent - who they really are.
4. Working on their own issues
5. Respond to truth
6. Have a good track record (may fail, but learn from failure and move on, are in progress of making a good track record even if this is a new beginning for them)
7. Can be observed and tested - see them in interactions with other people (test them with a small part of yourself, share a part of your heart and see what happens)
8. Bear good fruit in your life by being with them (encourage you to grow individually and in your connection with other people)

If you are in an unsafe relationship or know of people who are generally unsafe for you, it is time to make some TOUGH choices. These may be the most difficult choices ever made in your life. These may actually bring about huge disturbances, but you need to be safe. You must protect your heart, your health, and your family.
It  is wise to use discernment! 

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