Recently my friends and I have made it a point to create safe spaces for each other. These spaces are where we can talk freely, with no judgment, we can ask questions that may be uncomfortable or where we can laugh uncontrollably at our shenanigans. I love having this space. We also are in the habit of asking each other if we have the capacity to deal with someone’s emotions. I think that question there is what truly fills my heart with joy and I know that I am safe.
Most people think that all of their friends are safe spaces and I have learned that this is not the case. I’ve learned the hard way that all friends are not safe spaces and that releasing emotional, mentally sacred information to them can be detrimental to your health. I shared with someone I’d been friends with for 10+ years some things over time that had been going on in my life. I shared it as a way of release and to help with walking through the resolution process. SN: the number of years you are connected with someone does not equate to them being a safe space. Fast-forward to a disagreement we had. I am a believer in everyone having their feelings and expressing themselves, I am not a believer in using something told to you in confidence as a weapon against a person when you don’t agree. I was devastated as this person recounted events and moments where I shared myself with them open thinking I would not be judged. Only to discover the arsenal they’d stored up.
As I’ve navigated new friendships and safe spaces I have noted a few things to look for if you are in search of truly authentic safe spaces:
- Watch how the people you share information react when news is shared with them, by you or someone else. A person’s body language says a lot.
- The saying is true if a person will call to gossip about someone with you, they will gossip about you with someone else.
- Are they always willing to be the releaser of emotions but never the listener?
- Do they make you feel safe? Use your intuition and discernment. If you don’t feel safe don’t release to them.
- Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do you feel safe with your friends? How do you determine who you can emotionally and mentally share with?