Safe People Summary

1-Sentence-Summary: Safe People focuses on the importance of recognizing the types of people, distinguishing between the safe and unsafe ones, avoiding toxic relationships, and establishing meaningful ones by reading people and trusting God.

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Safe People Summary

If you’ve ever been around unsafe people, you know what an energy drainer that is. They can make you feel like you’re in the wrong place, giving you an unsettling feeling that you just can’t seem to be able to shake off. Then, they leave you feeling emotionally or spiritually harmed. 

Such people usually do more damage than good. It can be upsetting to find out that you have to let go of your relationship with them, as it can be something you’ve invested a lot of your time and energy into. However, you have to accept that a bad seed will only spread if you let it grow, and you’ll have to remove it at some point.

Safe People by Dr. Henry Cloud and John Townsend teaches you exactly how to do that and how to spot the right kind of people, the ones you should have in your life, as they can help you grow and be happier. We often hear that we are the average of the five people we spend most of our time with, so we’d better start looking for the right ones.

Here are my three favorite lessons from the book:

  1. There are three types of unsafe people, and they all have distinctive characteristics.
  2. Negative experiences from the past can contribute to you being an unsafe person today.
  3. While close relationships can make you healthy, unsafe ones can cause illness.

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Lesson 1: Unsafe people can be categorized into three groups, and you can recognize them by looking at certain features.

It’s easier to spot unsafe people if you have in mind certain features to look after when you’re networking. Make sure to remember them when the situation asks for it so that you don’t end up sitting at the wrong table. 

The first type of unsafe people are the abandoners. These people start off being nice and enthusiastic, but you rarely get to see them afterwards. They are most dangerous in a romantic relationship, as they start off looking like they want a close partnership, but once they see perfection is unattainable, they leave cold-heartedly. 

The second type are the critics. These people will spend their valuable time judging others instead of helping. They lack empathy and compassion. Still, they might come in handy when you need to analyze a situation or a person and if you need help untangling a situation and fixing it.

The third type are the irresponsible friends. You can’t count on these people with plans. They might cancel at the last minute or not show up at all without an excuse. Make sure to keep these types of people away, as they can put your happiness at risk and negatively influence the way you behave.

Lesson 2: Past trauma can negatively impact your personality today and make you an unsafe person.

Often we recognize unsafe people and feel if our connection with them is toxic. Then, we choose to become distant or end the relationship overall. However, what if we are the ones that are unsafe or toxic? How can one tell if they are incapable of true connection?

More often than not, our past experiences have turned us into unsafe people. Past trauma and psychological injuries messed up our ability to connect with other individuals on a deeper level. Let’s check some of the most self-destructive things we’re exposed to that put our safety in danger:

Envy. When we feel envy, we rob ourselves of the ability to receive love, as we can’t give it to others. Secondly, self-sufficiency is equally dangerous. It makes us think that we can’t rely on someone else, and it makes us deny our need for connection with another person ever again.

A sense of entitlement is also destructive. When we feel as if we don’t need anyone, it takes us one step further from God. And when we refuse to acknowledge we need Him too, we’re on our way to self-destruction. At this point, we need to go back to the problem and recognize that we might need to reach out to others and seek God for answers and healing.

Lesson 3: Our relationships define our health levels.

Our social circle plays an enormous role not just in our spiritual health but also in our physical health. A great example in this regard would be the curious case of Italian immigrant families that settled in Pennsylvania in the twentieth century. What is curious is that they all lived an unusually long life. 

It seems that the life expectancy of those people was so high because they had a very active and healthy social life. So just like toxic people can drain you mentally, emotionally, and physically, safe and good people can improve your overall health and even make you live longer!

To attract these people, it’s important to first draw a balance between what you give and what you take. Next, decide what you want out of a relationship. Look for patterns inside of you and see if you have fears of confrontation, rejection, or other types of intimacy issues that you might want to fix before networking.

Also, don’t let your past relationships hold you back from creating new ones. If you feel like something is off with your current partnership and that you are being harmed and held back from achieving your full potential, consider letting go of this attachment and finding new ways to socialize and look for intimacy.

Safe People Review

Safe People delves into the subject of meaningful relationships and how to achieve them by firstly recognizing what to avoid. This subject is vital in today’s world, as people network more than ever before, both online and offline, and are exposed to all kinds of fellow human beings. Reading this book will help you spot unsafe people and avoid creating toxic relationships with them.

Who would I recommend the Safe People summary to?

The person looking to create meaningful, long-lasting relationships and doesn’t know where to start, a Christian seeking for ways to recognize potential friends and trustworthy people, or someone who just got out of a toxic relationship and wants to avoid getting in another one in the future.

Last Updated on May 25, 2023

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Maria Deac

While working with my friend Ovi's company SocialBee, I had the good fortune of Maria writing over 200 summaries for us over the course of 18 months. Maria is a professional SEO copywriter, content writer, and social media marketing specialist. When she's not writing or learning more about marketing, she loves to dance and travel all over the world.