Safe People Book Summary - Safe People Book explained in key points
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Safe People summary

Henry Cloud and John Townsend

How to Find Relationships that are Good for You and Avoid Those That Aren't

3.6 (468 ratings)
20 mins
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    Safe People
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    Unsafe people can be destructive and lead to unhappiness.

    You know that college girlfriend you can’t stop thinking about? The one who broke your heart back in sophomore year? Or that work buddy who you thought was shaping up to be a best friend until you realized that he was overly critical of everyone?

    These are the unsafe people in your life, the ones who cause you more harm than good. 

    The key message here is: Unsafe people can be destructive and lead to unhappiness.

    There are three different groups of unsafe people. First there are the abandoners. These are people who enthusiastically start relationships but rarely see them through. Let’s say you begin dating an abandoner. Things may get off to a great start – long phone calls, restaurant reservations, flowers, and chocolates. But the impetus rarely lasts once you pass the first impressions stage and flaws begin to appear. Abandoners don’t want true closeness, and when perfection isn’t attainable, they leave.

    Then, there are the critics. If you want help solving a problem, your critical friend might be the ideal person to call. These people are excellent at analyzing situations and people. But, they’re also more motivated by being judgmental and fixing mistakes than by showing compassion and truly helping others.

    Lastly, there’s the third group, the ones who you can’t count on to make or stick to a plan. We’ll call them the irresponsibles. Think of that friend who you made dinner plans with weeks ago. You’d agreed to meet at 7:00 p.m., but she left you sitting alone at the table until she swept in half an hour late with no apologies. While irresponsibles are fun and spontaneous, you can’t count on them.

    So what do all these groups have in common? An inability or lack of desire for true closeness, with each other and with God. Inviting these types of people into your life without truly analyzing their impact on you can make you unhappy. And in the long run, their presence can even be destructive.

    In the next blink, we’ll learn about how to recognize unsafe people by their personality traits.

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    What is Safe People about?

    Safe People (1995) examines the traits of safe and unsafe people and teaches readers how to seek out the former and avoid the latter in their search for meaningful relationships. From a biblical perspective, the book talks about the importance of true connection.

    Who should read Safe People?

    • Anyone interested in improving the quality of their relationships
    • Christians seeking ways to improve their lives
    • Lonely people looking for a way to build safe, happy, and lasting relationships

    About the Author

    Dr. Henry Cloud is a clinical psychologist, leadership expert, consultant, and coach. Dr. John Townsend is a psychologist, leadership coach, and speaker who runs the Townsend Institute for Leadership and Counseling. The authors have written a series of best-selling books, both together and separately, that explore boundaries in parenting, dating, and other relationships.

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