“Every evening, leaving the elevator, I pulled my head into my shoulders and mentally gathered. It was not very easy, because after a long day at work I had no strength. But from the doorway, two eternally conflicting sides of our family pounced on me.
Every day my children fought and waited for me to complain about each other. Then it went according to the scenario – I did not want to be in the role of a judge, the eldest daughter was offended by me. Then an eternally tired and disgruntled husband would come and we would break down at each other. It was hell, ”says 45-year-old Irina.
What is a safe house?
It is a place where we can relax physically and mentally. With the birth of a child, parents, as a rule, look in a new way at the space where the baby crawls, takes the first steps, learns to run and explores the life around him. Smoothing nozzles are glued to the corners, cabinets with household chemicals are locked, a slippery and cold floor is covered with a children’s rug – many articles have been written about how to protect children from injury if possible, a whole industry works for this with all kinds of devices.
But at the same time, not everyone thinks about what is no less important: about emotional, psychological safety. We are safe when we are free from excessive criticism and control from loved ones, when we are not manipulated through guilt. When we are not afraid to say an “extra” word and provoke someone’s anger, we do not expect to be rejected.
Emotional security also implies that we have support and healthy attachments. That we are interesting to each other, and in communication there is positive energy, smiles, laughter, and we are grateful to our loved ones that they simply are and these feelings are mutual.
Want to know how safe your home is in this regard?
Clinical Psychologist Susan Heitler offers a 10-point test that you can answer “yes” or “no”.
- Family members rarely criticize me, and I rarely criticize them, and if necessary, we can calmly discuss disagreements.
- I usually feel comfortable talking about what I think and what I want to do, even if others have a different opinion.
- We rarely use angry, hurtful or even loud words. If someone talks irritably, they usually apologize and explain that they are tired, worried, or hungry.
- No one in our family will hit, push, or otherwise physically hurt others.
- If we disagree, we listen to each other, trying to understand.
- Nobody calls loved ones offensive nicknames.
- When a problem arises, each of us concentrates on what we can do to solve it, rather than figuring out who is to blame and who is to blame.
- We often tell each other that we value and love, we are proud of our achievements. It is customary for us to share successes and failures.
- We know how to have fun together.
- The opportunity to be together is priceless for us, we are glad that each other has. We are Family.
Obviously, the largest number of positive responses indicates that you feel safe in your own home. 10 is ideal. If your “yes” to these statements was few, it is worth considering what affects the feeling of insecurity. Perhaps it is physical or emotional abuse, abuse, or there are people with addictions in the family.
As a rule, such problems are “inherited”, passed down from generation to generation, says Susan Heitler. In any case, this can be a signal of problems that need to be identified and resolved. Seeing a therapist or, in some cases, thinking on your own can help make a difference to make the home safe for you, your partner, children, and other family members.
The same checklist can also work for assessing how safe you feel at work. For this, the words about family can be changed to “colleagues”, “bosses” and “employees”.