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No One Can Make You Feel Safe

No One Can Make You Feel Safe

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It is common in our culture to say things like, “I want someone to make my feel safe” (or respected, or beautiful, or valued, etc.). Or similarly, “You are making me feel unsafe.” This is partly a vague, shorthand way of trying to communicate things we long for in our relationships with others, but without our doing the hard work of specifying to ourself, or the other person, what in particular we wish they would do differently. These statements are also a way that we unconsciously fantasize about how someone else can (and in our mind, should) solve certain emotional struggles for us. When we cling to these fantasies we trap ourself in whatever past-pain we are failing to acknowledge, and we put our present and future at the mercy of however we might be perceiving others at the moment (which is a very precarious position to do life from). The way out of the trap is to take responsibility for our emotions by facing and owning our pain, which also then actually (eventually) enables us to get more specific and direct in asking for what we need from, and setting and holding boundaries with, those around us.

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