One of the most difficult things we experience in life is relationships. No matter how wonderful of parents a person has, no one walks away from their biological family without a few scars. We take the baggage of our biological family and engage the world with it. Learning how to work through hurts of the past in order to be relationally healthy is important to do if we want to experience the joy relationships can bring. In order to be a part of a healthy relationship we will have to unpack our baggage and put it into perspective so it no longer clouds our vision to find safe people and become a safe person ourselves.
The baggage we carry from our biological family, even though we do not necessarily like it, is our norm and what we tend to find or seek out in a mate. Therefore, becoming aware of the effects our biological family has on us is part of a healing/healthy process. Safe people do not engage with others based on the trauma, hurts, and wounds of the past. In other words, I cannot act and think that the way a person treats me, when it feels the way my mother treated me, is the same reason my mother treated me that way. One person may get quiet and isolate when their feelings get hurt; however, the other person may have experienced being manipulated and punished with silence. The “other” person will be greatly mistaken if they allow their past to create current perceptions. Safe people will accept what a person says at face value without adding their own meaning to what the person has said.
Personal boundaries are another aspect of healthy relationships. Personal boundaries can be understood as the physical and emotional space between you and another person. Safe people will verbalize their boundaries, teaching others how to treat them. Safe people also allow boundaries to be established with them. Boundaries protect relationships; they are conditions that create a healthy, safe environment. Unsafe people fear setting boundaries or have silent boundaries leaving it up to others to figure out for themselves. The catch is that these types of people usually hold people accountable for violating their “silent” boundaries. Safe people will be accountable when they are called out for a boundary violation; they will not shift blame, get defensive, or sulk. Unsafe people do these things: they refuse to be accountable for their actions or simply accept that they have done someone wrong. When you come across an unsafe person, it is important to consider how close to this type of person you are willing to get.
Other aspects of being a safe person exist. Safety becomes a concern when engaged in a relationship with a person who struggles with perfectionism, any form of addiction, refuse to allow for equality in the relationship; just to mention a few. As I wrote earlier, these dysfunctional ways of relating exist in our biological family so they are familiar to us. This familiarity blinds us to the dysfunction when searching for other relationships if we have not done the work to be aware of it. Being in a relationship with an unsafe person can be painful, frustrating, and traumatic when we are on the receiving end.
At Rocky Mountain Neurotherapy and Counseling, located in Loveland, CO, we address issues just like these. As we walk alongside our clients this is an area we look at; do you engage in relationships with healthy, safe people? Are you a healthy person? Am I setting healthy boundaries? If the answer is no to these questions, we will work toward fixing it. For more information and/or to get started on your journey to healthier, happier relationships, contact our office today at 970-381-4082.
Rocky Mountain Neurotherapy & Counseling is located in Loveland, Colorado. We specialize in counseling, LENS treatments & helping you feel like yourself again. We hope you enjoyed our blog post above and welcome you to reach out with any questions or to see how we can help you.