CHARLESTON, W.Va.-- "When relationships don't work, it's because somebody doesn't feel safe."
When I heard that statement from a counseling psychology professor, it really had an impact on me. What a simple, yet profound concept.
That got me thinking beyond the obvious. Of course, one wouldn't feel safe in an abusive relationship -- or in an unpredictable household ruled by addictions. What about the more subtle elements, though? There are lots of factors that can affect how safe we feel in a relationship:
n Inability to "be who you are"
Think about it. If you're "walking on eggshells" in any of your relationships, the relationships aren't working.
If you're being controlled or manipulated, it's only a matter of time before resentment sets in. Although it might not manifest externally, you'd better believe it's building up inside, and that poison is toxic.
You might want to ask yourself a few questions:
n Are you constantly being criticized?
n Do you feel "put down?"
n Are you afraid to speak up?