We teach kids how to be safe around fire, around strangers, at the park…but how many of us were taught to be safe at home and within ourselves?
Answer these two 5 item questionnaires to see if you were emotionally safe at home and if you are now?
Was I Emotionally Safe at Home? (TRUE or FALSE)
1. My parents required the people in my life to use respectful language with me
- Swearing, name calling or mocking was not tolerated- including by themselves, siblings or other family members
- Threats, intimidation and violence was not acceptable by anyone, including themselves, siblings or other close family friends
- This sends the message to us that we mattered, when this doesn’t happen we often feel invisible, worthless and/or helpless
- ie. Of course you are upset that someone bullied you! It is a healthy response to be mad and sad when you are treated disrespectfully. How can I support you right now?
5. I felt SEEN, HEARD and like what I wanted or needed MATTERED at home
Am I Emotionally Safe within Myself now? (TRUE or FALSE)
(answer based on how things are the MAJORITY of the time)
- Swearing, name calling or mocking is not tolerated- including by myself, siblings or other family members
2. I expect respectful behaviour from others and do not tolerate anything less
- Threats, intimidation and violence are not acceptable by anyone, including myself, siblings or other close family or friends
3. I take time to reflect on what is healthiest for me when disputes or changes are going to happen
- I send the message to myself that I matter and I am deserving of the healthiest option for me given any given situation
4. I normalize and validate my own feelings when I am upset and use (mostly) healthy coping strategies to work through them
- i.e., Of course I am upset by this! It is a healthy response to be mad and sad when I am treated disrespectfully and unfairly. What is the healthiest thing for me to do right now?
- I give myself permission to acknowledge all of my feelings, even when that sometimes means being upset with other people for things they may have done intentionally or not.
If you are like most people, there is a strong overlap between your answers to whether or not you were emotionally safe at home and whether or not you are emotionally safe within yourself now.
This is because our early life experiences shape our understanding of how the world works, and how we should be treated within it. These form our survival maps and filters that influence everything in our life from what we notice to who we are draw to marrying! (Click here for more on survival maps and filters)
- All change starts with AWARENESS
- Be CURIOUS about your survival maps and if they are still serving you
- Allow yourself to SIT WITH THE FEELINGS (often grief and anger) that arise when we notice some messages that have had a negative impact in our lives. NOTE: Some people find writing to be a more active way to “sit” with feelings
- Reflect on your VALUES and what a healthier belief that is more in line with your strong and healthy self would be
- Begin CONSCIOUSLY looking for evidence to support your new filter (i.e., a gratitude journal if your filter was that the world is a terrible place)
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