Friday, August 28, 2015

SAFE PEOPLE: How To Find Relationships That Are Good For You & Avoid Those That Aren't

Colin Powell says,

"The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve. Any time you tolerate mediocrity in others, it increases your mediocrity. An important attribute in successful people is their impatience with negative thinking and negative acting people."

"As you grow, your associates will change. Some of your friends will not want you to go on. They will want you to stay where they are. Friends that don't help you climb will want you to crawl. Your friends will stretch your vision or choke your dream. Those that don't increase you will eventually decrease you."

"Consider this: Never receive counsel from unproductive people. Never discuss your problems with someone incapable of contributing to the solution, because those who never succeed themselves are always first to tell you how. Not everyone has a right to speak into your life. You are certain to get the worst of the bargain when you exchange ideas with the wrong person. Don't follow anyone who's not going anywhere."

"With some people you spend an evening: with others you invest it. Be careful where you stop to inquire for directions along the road of life. Wise is the person who fortifies his life with the right friendships. If you run with wolves, you will learn how to howl. But, if you associate with eagles, you will learn how to soar to great heights. A mirror reflects a man's face, but what he is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses."

"The simple but true fact of life is that you become like those with whom you closely associate - for the good and the bad. Be not mistaken. This is applicable to family as well as friends. love, appreciate and be thankful for your family, for they will always be your family no matter what. Just know that they are human first and though they are family to you, they may be a friend to someone else and will fit somewhere in the criteria above."

"In prosperity our friends know us. In adversity we know our friends. Never make someone a priority when you are only an option for them. If you are going to achieve excellence in big things,you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude."

Henry Cloud & John Townsend, authors of the best selling book Boundaries, in their book Safe People write:

"God does not use religious terms and language when he discusses people. He talks about how people treat Him and others, and whether or not they get things done as they said they would. In short, he looks at someone’s character. He is looking at their makeup as a person and the way that that character interacts with Him and the world."

"The Bible is full of 'religious' people who are 'spiritual,' 'godly,' 'ambitious,' or 'fun to be with,' but these people are the ones that Jesus and the Old Testament prophets confronted over and over. They look good on the outside or from a distance, but to get close to them is a nightmare."

"They continue,

"We do not get a lot of training in evaluating character. We tend to look on the outside and not the inside of a person (1 Sam. 16:7; Matt. 23:25–28). So we choose people based on outward appearance, and then experience the inside of them. We look at worldly success, charm, looks, humor, status and education, accomplishments, talents and gifted-ness, or religious activity. But then we experience the pain of being in a real relationship with them, and come up very empty-handed."

"My boys love Saturday morning cartoons. They especially like the superhero-super-villain types, and they enjoy picking out which character is the good guy and which is the bad guy. These shows, of course, make it easy for them: the good guys are clean-cut with heroic features and strong voices. But the bad guys are ugly, dress horribly, and have low, menacing voices. In real life, the bad guys aren’t that easy to pick out."

"Unsafe people are particularly difficult to spot. Quite often, unsafe people appear winsome and promising, and their character problems are often subtle. So how do we know whom to trust? While there are many different kinds of unsafe people, many of them fall under three categories: the abandoners, the critics, and the irresponsibles."


"Abandoners are people who can start a relationship—but can’t finish it. They begin with statements about companionship and commitment, but they leave us when we need them most. Often, abandoners have been abandoned themselves. Sometimes, afraid of true closeness, they prefer shallow acquaintances. Others are looking for perfect friends, and they leave when the cracks start showing."

"Abandoners destroy trust. Those they leave in their wake are apt to say, “I’ll never have anyone who will be there for me.” This is a far cry from God’s ideal, that we be “rooted and established in love” (Eph. 3:17). And those who continually pick abandoners often become depressed, develop compulsive behaviors, or worse."


"Critics are people who take a parental role with everyone they know. They are judgmental, speak the truth without love, and have no room for grace or forgiveness. Critics are more concerned with confronting errors than they are with making connections. For example, they often jump on doctrinal and ethical bandwagons (which are important) and neglect issues of love, compassion, and forgiveness."

"They often confuse weakness with sinfulness, and therefore condemn others when they have problems. Critics tend to point the finger outside, rather than at themselves. They will sometimes become indignant at the trouble others cause, and propose solutions like “think, feel, believe, and act like my group” as the cure-all."

"Critics often deeply love truth and righteousness. Because they are clear thinkers, they can be good people to go to for information. But don’t go to them for relationship, for their truth often comes poisoned with judgmentalism. If you’re attracted to critical people, you may find relief in their clarity of thought and purity of vision. But you’ll also find yourself guilt-ridden, compliant, and unable to make mistakes without tremendous anxiety."


"Irresponsibles are people who don’t take care of themselves or others. They have problems with delaying gratification, they don’t consider the consequences of their actions, and they don’t follow through on their commitments. They are like grown-up children."

"Many irresponsibles are caring, warm, fun-loving people. I like irresponsibles. They help me notice what’s going on in life today instead of being anxious about tomorrow. There isn’t a place in their head for tomorrow! They’re often empathic and understanding. But while I like irresponsibles, I just don’t trust them."

"The irresponsible’s lack of dependability can cause us many problems, ranging from making us wait for her at a restaurant to losing a crucial business deal because he didn’t get the documentation in on time. As Proverbs puts it: 'Better to meet a bear robbed of her cubs than a fool in his folly' (17:12)."

"Because the irresponsible has problems in delaying gratification, he or she often becomes alcoholic, addicted to sexual gratification, and in debt. You may be providing a safety net for an irresponsible. For some reason, you end up paying for his or her problems. We could be talking about a friend, an adult child, a spouse, or a business relationship. For every irresponsible, there is an enabler, someone who protects them."

"These are just three examples of the many types of unsafe people. Think about your present support system. You may be in a relationship with an abandoner, a critic, or an irresponsible."

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