“The Safety Pyramid.” – Part 6
Adults from the enmeshed home will often find themselves in unhealthy and often dangerous relationships. They are lacking the navigational skills necessary to protect themselves (and others) because they dive in too deep and too fast. When she was young, Joni Erickson Tada dove into shallow water, thinking it was deep. She fractured her neck and became a paraplegic. Though she was able to turn her tragedy into a powerful ministry, it is tragic nonetheless.
We too can become injured when we fail to test the waters in relationships. The characteristics which make us vulnerable to injury and relational trauma are as follows.
• Becoming your BFF overnight and over trusting another person. Assuming that a smile and attentiveness is a sign of safety.
• TMI: Divulging too much information indiscriminately. If you or others tell too much too quickly, view that as a danger sign and back off. It shows that a person has no filters and is relationally immature. While they may be nice to have as an acquaintance or occasional friend, they are not safe.
• Wanting to know more information that is appropriate. When I hear of people sharing intimate details about their personal sex lives with others I know that this person is not be safe because they do not have any boundaries. All lines are blurred and there is no respect for allowing there to be a private world of love between a husband and wife.
• Gossip! When I hear people talking about others and sharing information that has no business being shared, I walk in the other direction.
• Offering opinions without being asked. The other day, a fairly famous person said to me, “ You know what you need to do?” I sighed and out of curiosity said “What?” They went on for five minutes before I said, “I’ve gotta go now.” As I walked away I thought to myself, “You don’t know me and you never asked me one question. How can you tell me what I ‘need’ to do?”
• Forming judgments prematurely without knowing all of the facts. When a person starts asserting final conclusions and judgments too quickly in a conversation, I am immediately suspect as to how much I can trust this person.
• Taking sides in relational dynamics where taking sides is not even necessary. I frequently hear people say, “I broke off relationship with these people because they hurt my best friend.” Really? When an individual takes up other’s offenses because of relational skirmishes, I know I’m not dealing with a person with much depth. Will I view them as safe? No.
• Talking incessantly without asking any questions. There is a great scene from the movie Beaches where Bet Midler says, “I’m tired of talking about me, why don’t you talk about me?” I’m out the door.
Here are some areas to work on so you may become more mature and relationally successful.
Thanks for listening.
Milan for Milan & Kay
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