1. Safe relationships involve suspending judgment –I can’t begin to recount the times I’ve jumped to conclusions regarding my judgment of someone’s motives.Even though “what” someone has done is clear, “why” they did it is rarely as obvious. It takes time and patience to discover what is in someone’s heart and what motive was behind their behavior.
2. Safe relationships involve celebrating differences – The difference between you and others is a reason for celebration. The beauty of the distinction between you, your friends, your mate and your family members can be likened to the genius of the different parts of the human body having unique functions, yet contributing to the health of the whole body.
3. Safe relationships involve honoring others – We demonstrate honor to others by respecting their perspective and opinions. When we allow others to express their views and feelings, we are communication the fact that they have value. In the Bible we read, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.” [Romans 12:10]
4. Safe relationships involve being trustworthy – Tom Peters, businessman and author says,” Technique and technology are important, but adding trust is the issue of the decade.” Mahatma Gandhi said, “The moment there is suspicion about a person’s motives, everything he does becomes tainted.”
Trust is a function of both character and competence. Consequently, strive to follow through with your promises – both in word and performance.
5. Safe relationships involve respecting boundaries – Often when people feel threatened or insecure they will erect an emotional wall of protection. Resist the temptation to knock down the wall and force yourself through their boundaries. Instead through patience and understanding, create a climate where the other person feels safe enough to begin to lower the wall of protection on their own and in their own time.
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