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Relationship Trauma and Emotional Safety

Updated: Jun 8

Emotional safety refers to feeling secure, comfortable, and respected in expressing one's emotions without fear of judgment, rejection, or harm. Emotional safety is essential in building healthy relationships, promoting trust, and fostering emotional intimacy. A relationship without emotional safety can be very damaging to a person’s emotional and psychological well-being.

Here are some ways to promote emotional safety:

  1. Active Listening: Listening to someone without interrupting, giving advice, or passing judgment can make them feel heard and validated.

  2. Respectful Communication: Being respectful, honest, and clear in communication helps to build trust and a sense of safety in expressing oneself.

  3. Boundaries: Respecting and communicating boundaries, both yours and others, helps to create a safe and respectful space.

  4. Empathy: Being able to understand and empathize with others' emotions and experiences can help to foster a sense of emotional safety and support.

  5. Non-judgmental Attitude: Avoiding criticism, blame, or judgment can help to create a non-threatening environment where people feel safe to express themselves.

  6. Validation: Acknowledging and validating someone's emotions and experiences can help to build trust and promote emotional safety.

  7. Self-Care: Taking care of oneself, both physically and emotionally, can help to reduce stress and promote emotional well-being, which can in turn promote emotional safety in relationships.

A relationship without emotional safety can be very challenging and can negatively impact the individuals involved. Emotional safety is essential in any healthy relationship because it allows people to feel comfortable expressing themselves and sharing their thoughts and feelings without fear of judgment or rejection.

Without emotional safety, insecurities can be triggered, and we can experience feeling more anxious, which can lead to difficulties in communication and trust. In the long run, any relationship, whether romantic or friendship, without emotional safety can be unsustainable. It is essential to establish emotional safety early on in any relationship and to prioritize it throughout the relationship. This can involve setting clear boundaries, communicating openly and honestly, and showing empathy and understanding toward each other's feelings and experiences.

If people in your life are unable to provide you with this sense of emotional safety, you should reconsider the value of the relationship. In other words, if you are in a relationship without emotional safety, it is essential to address the issue. This can involve having an open and honest conversation about your feelings and concerns, seeking support from a therapist, and working together to develop strategies for improving communication and building trust. Ultimately, it is up to both parties in a relationship to prioritize emotional safety and create a relationship that feels secure, supportive, and fulfilling. If someone is not willing to put in the effort to work through problems and differences, that person perhaps is not ready to be in a healthy relationship with you because they may have their own issues that they may need to work through and that’s okay. But what is important for you to remember for your own mental health is that if someone does not give you the time of day, they may not be worth your time to continue pursuing the relationship.

In conclusion:

Clients often ask me what emotional safety can look like, and I wanted to provide this summary to hopefully help you gain insight. Also, clients often ask me about relationship traumas and how someone can become a completely different person from one day to the next without an explanation. It is important to remember that if someone is acting differently towards you all of the sudden or cuts off communication without an explanation is a reflection of the person doing it, not you! It’s their decision to cut off communication, and it’s not a reflection of your worth as a person, a partner, or a friend. It's okay to feel hurt. It's natural to feel hurt and confused when someone you care about disappears without explanation. Allow yourself to feel your emotions and process them in a healthy way. Most importantly, remember that you are worth it and don't let anybody make you feel otherwise!


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