One of the most important things I’ve learned is that I want to be around people who make me feel psychologically safe. I think about this as safety versus appraisal—do you feel like you have space to experiment and make mistakes without fear of judgment, or do you feel like you’re always walking on eggshells? It’s impossible to avoid appraisal—we’re all constantly being judged in multiple parts of our lives—but if the only relationships in your life are critical relationships, you’re likely to be unhappy.
Ava this is another really great essay! I liked when you wrote "Tact: the person is direct with you, but they’re also not an asshole who uses “honesty” as an excuse to be mean. They care about how you feel." I have known several people who proudly told me that they were kind, but not nice. On the surface thus sounds okay, we don't want people to lie to us and pretend they like what we do when they actually believe the complete opposite. However in each of these cases it turned out that brutal direct "honesty" was what they really believed in and practiced. It was cruelty marketed as candor. There is a big difference between giving constructive feedback in a way that does not put the other person down or belittle them vs. hitting them over the head with all the ways they come up short (really attacking them more as a person than providing feedback on their actions). These are people that I avoid at all costs.
Meesa just got out of a long term relationship, and this is exactly what meesa needed to hear. That list of things that make a relationship feel safe are exactly the things that were missing.
Sometimes meesa thinken that it was a mistake not to settle for things as they were. But meesa should trust meesaself.
loved it! :)
Hey great essay Ava ! This one really struck a cord within me. I've always wanted to have those type of friendships, but always fell short. After reading your essay though, I realized that I wasn't even the type of person who provides safety to others. A follow up question I had was: when do you think a friendship should be severed? I have a hard time giving this safety vibe towards people who are heavily critical towards other people, but maybe those people are the people that need the safety the most?
Anyway, would love to hear your thoughts on this. Continue the great work :)