GO! Have a Friendship Garden of Safe People!

Posted on April 28th, 2009 by Clinically Clueless

Continuing on the theme of friendships here in Southern California. I find myself asking, so what is a healthy friendship? The two I ended after more than 30 years certainly were not, in fact, they were toxic. So what does a healthy friendship look like?

A book that I find helpful in describing what is a healthy relationship is Safe People: How to find Relationships That Are Good For You and Avoid Those That Aren’t by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend who are both Christian psychologists. Safe people are those that you want in your life.

Those are the people that make you feel good, allow you to be yourself, encourage you in your strengths and accept you for who you are, despite your weaknesses……


If the God part of this makes it a barrier to think about this, if you are spiritual in another way replace God with something else. Or, pretend it is not there and think about relationships that draws us closer to others and ourselves or helps us to become a real person, the one that is inside all of us that wants to say, “hello, this is who I really am, but will you still accept me?” I hope that helps and you keep reading.

Hey, I’m just taking it out of a book (even though it is my own belief too)

They list the characteristics of …..

….unsafe people, but I want to focus on the SAFE people. You’re smart you’ll figure out who the unsafe people are.

The following is from the book:

We like to think of safe relationships as one that does three things:

Draws us closer to God.

Draws us closer to others.

Helps us become the real person God created us to be.

When they asked others, these are some of the responses: ” a person who accepts me just like I am; who loves me no matter how I am being or what I do; whose influence develops my ability to love and be responsible; someone who creates love and good works within me; gives me an opportunity to grow; increases love within me; I can be myself around; allows me to be on the outside what I am on the inside; allows me to become the me that God intended; helps me become the me God sees in me; whose life touches mine and leaves me better for it .”

My addition is “someone who accepts and loves me for who I am and therefore helps me love myself and others with God’s love. Also, they make me want to be a better person, but don’t make me feel like I have to just to please them.” Thanks Jack Nicholson.

So can you figure out who is safe and not in your friendships?

garden-and-flowers1This is a scary area to actually even think about.

Have you been inspired to make changes, have you recently made changes or have you been inspired just to look at your relationship differently?

Which make your garden grow and which don’t grow with you?”

Comments on your friendship garden. All comments are welcomed!!


6 Responses to “GO! Have a Friendship Garden of Safe People!”

  1. Jim says:

    It’s about being true to ourselves CC, that’s for sure….friends should take us on that merit alone.

    Friends and even soulmates can be forever, for seconds or for hours – it’s about being in the NOW with anyone at any given time….

  2. sarah says:

    Perhaps this is why I didn’t have many friends. Most of my “friends” are un-safe.

  3. denmarkguy says:

    Sounds like an interesting and timely book, for many people.

    Perhaps there’s some truth to the idea that we tend to “fall into” most friendships, rather than deliberately choose them, because they fit us. I can look back on many my old contacts (who became “friends,” in less than safe ways) and see that the connection centered around “accidental points in time.”

    Some years ago, I “reinvented” myself (VERY long story) and part of the process was a wholesale evaluation of those I called “friends,” and the basis for those connections. In the process… I ended up “firing” probably 90% of the people I had contact with… and COMPLETELY reconsidering how I connect with people.

    And it has made a HUGE difference in my life… and in Love, too.

    I know that when being around someone makes me feel inspired to reach for my best self, then I’m on the right track.

    • Sounds like we have been on similar journeys. It is amazing how many people I had to “let go of.” And, it has made a HUGE difference in my life too.

      Welcome to GSTF. I am enjoying getting to know you. :)

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