With a history of gossip, betrayal, and codependency in friendship, becoming a safe person has been a journey.
"I’ve burned through best friends like cheap running shoes..."
...and tossed people behind before ever evaluating my own behavior. I’ve discussed before how I have been a bad picker, but I’ve also not been very safe. Becoming safe is work. Lots of trial and error and forgiveness. Through reading books, blogs, and talking with my counselor on the subject, I have come up with 5 ways to know whether I am a safe person or not.
Because before you can start eliminating people from you life, you always always have to ask yourself,
“am I safe?”
5 Ways to know if you are a Safe Person:
1. You’re true to your word
-you choose integrity over ease
-you are honest in the big and the small; you refrain from the occasional “white lie,” even when it would make things easier
-your yes means yes, and your no means no (aka, you do what you say you will + know your own limitations.)
2. You welcome personal growth
-you're open to constructive criticism
-you are willing to change behavior when it is hurting someone
-you are not defensive when someone expresses their feelings
-you invite the truth about yourself, asking perspectives of trusted, loving companions.
3. You're able to be vulnerable and seen for who you are
-you open up to people and show them the real you, not just the you that you desire people to see
-you have people in your life who know the hard stuff going on
-you're able to reciprocate sharing and are not just the listening ear or advice giver
-you can ask for help
-flattery and gossip are no longer a means for connection
4. You are able to have hard conversations
-you have the courage to confront real issues
-you are honest about your feelings when necessary
-you don’t “spare” people and secretly hold a grudge
-you can discern between picking a fight and a constructive conversation
5. You give grace
-you can give grace to yourself
-you can give grace to others
-you can ask for forgiveness AND receive it
-you refrain from judgement and assumptions
A safe person is a mature person. I don't believe everyone is safe 100% of the time. I slip up. You will probably slip up. It doesn't make you unsafe to slip up. Just practice #5 and get back to it.