“Safety is a pre-requisite for great relationships. Be safe to come home to–always.” ~LMB
Great relationships feel good to come home to. They are the bomb shelter that protects you from the outside storms. This is as true in times of conflict as it is in times of peace. Most people know that it’s not okay to ever be physically unsafe towards your loved ones (pushing, shoving, hitting, etc.). Sadly though, many people believe it’s “normal” to be emotionally unsafe. Far too many people normalize rage, yelling, swearing, name-calling, and intimidation. Few realize that this is emotional abuse.
When it comes to intimate relationships, you should be the safest person in your partner’s life, and they in yours. Period. No matter how angry you are, raging at your partner makes you unsafe. Threatening makes you unsafe. Calling your partner names, and swearing at them in anger…makes…you…unsafe. Great relationships are always safe. True intimacy can’t happen when there is an underlying fear of how the other person is going to respond. Intimacy and walking on eggshells cannot and do not co-exist—no matter how much you may believe they might.
Our world has this crazy notion that it’s okay to bully, lash out at, or intimidate others when angered. You do not have that right. Others do not have that right. You have the right to speak up for what you want, set limits on behaviors that are unacceptable, and to physically defend yourself if your life is in danger. Beyond that, you do not have the right to be verbally or physically intimidating to anyone. What most people don’t realize, is that rage, anger, bullying, and intimidation always come with a cost. Those on the other side of someone’s anger deeply know the costs:
- Loyalty begins to waver.
- Joy is often fleeting and accompanied by fear.
- Hypervigilance replaces spontaneity and authenticity.
The unspoken costs of anger and reactivity run deep.
Challenge: Reactivity plants weeds in every foundation it touches. Be aware of what you’re planting in your foundation. Be the safest person in the lives of your loved ones, and they in yours. Don’t be fooled into normalizing harmful behaviors. Find the courage to stop them—from you or towards you.