Posted by: rejuvenatembwc | February 17, 2011

Foundations – 5 Tips to Create Safety

SAFETY

How does love develop in relationships? What causes love to grow and turn into something beautiful? Love is like the fruit of the tree. What all the other elements work together to create. 

One of the biggest fundamental elements in order for love to bloom is safety. How safe is your relationship? Couple after couple enter my office and tell me that they cannot “talk anymore. We need to work on our communication,” they declare. But what is communication without safety?

There are many kinds of safety in a relationship. Obviously there is physical safety, but some lesser known safety issues involve emotional safety, the ability to be vulnerable, validation of one’s thoughts and feelings without fear of criticism or rejection. If you are critical of your partner, frequently putting them down, avoid topics, shut down, walk away, act dismissive, or if you make fun of them, are sarcastic, rude, or call them names – you are not creating any sort of safety.

When I say fundamental, I mean that Safety is part of the foundation that allows love to grow. If there is no safety in your relationship it’s like building your house on quicksand. I can teach my couples proper ways of communicating – but as soon as Safety is challenged – then it’s back to square one. Safety is essential for any healthy relationship to develop.

Tips to create safety in your relationship:

1. Protect your relationship from other people: We are all attracted to other people – that is human nature. However, if you are flirtatious and have poor boundaries – you are not protecting the person you are committed to. You have become unsafe and love will not grow. Think of your relationship like a home with a fence around it. The fence is controlled by you and your partner. You both decide who to let in and who to keep out. If you are letting people into your relationship without consent of your partner you run the risk of violating their trust and you become unsafe.

2. Stop name calling and blaming: Take responsibility for what you think, how you feel, and what you do. You choose to make yourself feel whatever way you feel. If you’re angry by your partners behavior then you are choosing to be angry. Stop blaming them for something you are doing to yourself. Calling someone names is character assassination and gets you nowhere. Name calling is “power tripping” at it’s finest. Grow up.

3. Validate: respect the thoughts and feelings of your partner. You may not agree with your partner and you don’t have to. Give them the respect to hear them out and recognize that they need to be heard and believe that you care about what they have to say or how they feel. This leads a couple not only to safety but to the ability to be vulnerable as well. GUYS TAKE NOTICE!!! If you want more intimacy in your relationship start working on this one aspect of your relationship – VALIDATION and watch the intimacy grow. If intimacy is a problem you may not be a safe person in your partner’s eyes. Women do not want to be intimate with someone they do not feel safe with. This means someone who attempts to evoke guilt, someone who gets angry, calls names, is demanding, or forcefully tries to get them to be intimate.

4. Talk more often: Talk about how you feel and what you think. Communication is the life blood of your relationship. Couples who do not communicate well end up in my office or in divorce court. There are no right or wrong emotions – emotions just exist. There are functional and dysfunctional ways of thinking about things and the more a person talks the more they begin to see the flaws in their thinking – which corrects their emotions. The most important things you can give to your partner is your time and attention.

5. Commit to learning how to become a safe person for your spouse: no one is perfect. We all mess up here and there, but these mess ups should be the exception, not the rule. If you have children – they are watching!! You are their model when it comes to teaching them what relationships are all about. If you look at your life and realize that you have had one chaotic relationship after the next – stop blaming and take responsibility!! At least 50% of the problem is you. Commit to learning how to grow, be better at your relationships and how to build a solid foundation that will sustain a relationship for your lifetime.

Dr. Scott

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