Safe Qualities Make for Safe People

Extroverts, introverts, and folks of all kinds benefit from healthy, supportive human connection. Yet, it's not always easy to tell whether someone is safe to have in your life. As with all things, practice makes better. The more we practice identifying safe qualities, the easier it becomes.


VPC created the Safe Qualities Square to notice safe behaviors and qualities of good people to have in your life.



How it Works...


1. Choose one person in your life.

Think of someone you have a relationship with or interact with. Use the Safe Qualities Square to consider how they treat you and how you feel when they are around.


2. Go through the squares.

Take time for each safe quality. Think of situations when they have and haven't embodied the safe quality listed. Are they more often yes or no?


3. Consider how safely they treat you.

Is this person a safe person to have in your life? This can be difficult to navigate and the VPC is here to process those feelings with you.


4. Repeat for other individuals in your life.


The Squares...

  • They listen to me without interrupting.

Safe people care about what you have to say and value your words. Pay attention to how people listen to you and how you feel if they interrupt or ignore you.

  • They validate my feelings and accept me.

Safe people support you on your good days and your bad days.

  • They treat me as an equal.

Safe people appreciate your strengths and skills. Though you may look to them for advice or guidance, safe people will not talk down to you or act condescendingly toward you. This means, they won't act as though they are better or smarter than you.

  • They are patient with me.

Safe people will give you space and time. They will understand if you need to process your feelings and thoughts. Notice if people make you feel rushed or if they seem judgemental.

  • They don't tell me how I should think or feel.

Safe people understand that you have your own feelings and thoughts. You may process things differently than they do and they are okay with that.

  • They respect my boundaries and wishes.

Safe people will listen to you and follow boundaries you put in place. Boundaries are able to be used in all types of relationships. Using boundaries doesn't mean you have a bad relationship with someone. Boundaries are a tool so your relationships can operate as you and the other person are comfortable.

  • They admit when they are wrong.

Safe people are comfortable recognizing and acknowledging their mistakes. They take ownership and responsibility for their words and actions.

  • They notice how I'm feeling.

Safe people care about your feelings. They are more likely to notice how you are feeling because they pay attention to your body language and tone of voice.

  • They communicate well with me.

A safe person will make efforts to communicate with you in ways you understand. If you give them suggestions for how you like to communicate, they will do what they can to adjust communication between you two.

  • They make me feel like I can trust them.

Safe people do what they say they will do. They are consistent and reliable.

  • They let me control my life and make my own choices.

Safe people don't try to make your decisions for you. Though you might ask them for advice, safe people respect your choices and that the decision is ultimately yours.

  • They tell me the truth and don't lie to me.

A safe person won't lie to you. They won't keep harmful secrets from you or avoid telling you the whole truth.

  • They apologize AND try to make things better.

Safe people will apologize and make an effort to change behavior. While it's one thing for someone to say, "I'm sorry" and acknowledge responsibility, safe people take it one step further by working to make positive change.

  • They enjoy spending time with me.

Safe people like your company and enjoy being around you. Though you may not share the same favorite activities, safe people try to do a mix of what you and they enjoy.

  • They make an effort to make me feel happy.

Safe people enjoy seeing you happy and want to share in your joy.

  • They bring out the best in me when we're together.

You can tell a lot about a safe person by how you feel when they're around. How comfortable do you feel? How safe do you feel? How happy do you feel? Do you feel like yourself when they are around?


The Safe Qualities Square is a tool you can use to start noticing how people treat you and how you want to be treated. VPC is available if you would like emotional support while processing some of the people and relationships in your life.


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The mission of the Violence Prevention Center is to serve individuals and families in Cook County affected by domestic and sexual violence and to act as a catalyst in building healthy relationships and developing a community where violence is not tolerated.

Violence Prevention Center. Cascade Building, 21 W. 2nd St., Grand Marais, MN 55604.

(218) 387-1262. (218) 387-1237. hope4u@boreal.org. www.violencepreventioncenter.org