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Putting the Pieces Together

Creating Safety in Relationships: Part 3


--Adam Maisen, LPC-S/TA

· Creating Safety

My mom and dad recently picked up the hobby of doing a puzzle per week together. They frequently go to the local thrift store and purchase slightly used puzzles at a fraction of the cost of new ones. Of course, it is always a gamble as to whether the puzzles have all the pieces.

So, what does this have to do with creating safety in relationships? I am so glad you asked.

If a person does not think they are heard and understood, they develop the “walking on eggshells” mentality I spoke of in the second post of this series. It is hard to resolve conflict when you don’t have all of the information. It would be like trying to put together a puzzle when several crucial pieces are missing.

By creating an environment in which both people feel safe to speak their thoughts and feelings, you can ensure that all the pieces of the puzzle are spread out on the table before you start.

3 Attitudes for Safe Relationships:

  1. Humility
  2. A teamwork mindset (Think win-win)
  3. A willingness to listen and ask for clarification

Humility is about recognizing that you and your partner may have unique perspectives. But you need to let down your pride or your desire to win an argument if you want understand the heart of what your partner is saying.

Teamwork Mindset is about teaming up with your partner against the problem. The problem is the problem. Your partner is not.

Willingness to listen and ask for clarification is vital to establishing an atmosphere of openness for safe and honest communication. Have you ever wanted to talk to your partner and chose not to because you were afraid of how they might react? The uncertainty can be paralyzing. However, if you have the confidence that your partner will listen to you with grace, understanding, and support regardless of what you have to say, I bet that you would be more motivated to communicate your thoughts and feelings honestly.

If we can master these 3 attitudes, we take the eggshells out of the relationship. In the next blog post, I will specifically address a 10-step approach to effectively utilize these attitudes for resolving conflict in your relationships.

The next post will offer 10 effective steps for resolving conflict in your relationship!

If you missed any of the content from the first two blog posts in the series, check it out at the links below!

Creating Safety in Relationships:

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