About this post category: These are slap-downs of thoughts. In these posts I will address “us,” meaning any people who may concern themselves with making a safe space for others whether others are their friends, their kids, their students, their clients, their patients, etc. “We” are concerned with making a safe space because we know how valuable is safe space, and we know that personal maintenance is a normal thing that goes along with getting better at making those spaces.
We have opinions. We have the ability, with practice, to withhold opinions should we choose to do so at certain times. Even better though, is being our genuine selves and reflecting outward the result of daily personal growth and maintenance.
Here is why.
Outward expression of opinions may create unsafe space for others, especially when it comes to those we hold most dear. In that case, they may become withdrawn when they really need to reach out, they may become aggravated and defensive, they may seek help from whoever will listen without judgment even if those other sources can hurt them.
Regardless of how we feel about concepts or people with different opinions, most people crave safe spaces. When they have a safe space, they may respond in kind – making the sharing of perspective easier. When the sharing of perspective is safe and easy, a person with a harmful opinion has a chance to change their own mind. (Maybe.) Even if they keep their harmful opinions, we remain facilitators of safe space. We remain chance-givers. We remind of possibilities and of choices and of personal power (the other person’s) by simply being safe people.
We will outwardly express ourselves. And…
A measure of trust is established before someone feels safe enough to cry, to share, to ask questions. By remembering this one thing, it is easier for us to self-check our attitudes, thoughts, and behaviors when we want to be open to the needs of others.
Instinctively, a person looking for help with a sensitive issue will first watch us and listen to us. They will notice changes in our posture when topics similar to theirs are mentioned. They will listen, not only to words, but to our timely silence. They will hear tone of voice. They will know if we have compassion regardless of personal opinion -or- if we have fiercely guarded opinions that divide our understanding of humanity as a whole.
And, it is okay if they see things in us that we have not yet seen about ourselves!
It is human. (Anyway, no one wants to approach some stiff robot.)
If it is extra important to us to be providers of safe spaces however, we can simply stay in (or return to) the routine of daily personal growth. And, we can remember that every bit of genuine personal development will make our safe spaces more meaningful as well as truly unique to each of us – in our own current genuine!
What makes your safe space different and special?