Is Risky Really the New Safe? That Depends…

Okay, if we are talking about being successful in business and standing out and rising above the competition, then right on. Risky is the new safe. It's hard to get noticed when you play it safe and do what everyone else does.  But in relationships…  Ah well, that's a different story.

As a motivational speaker on building strong relationships, I often think about all the qualities that combine to make a healthy love partnership and guess what keeps rising to the top of my list.  Yup. You guessed it. Safety. Not something most people would think of but vitally important if we want to have the kind of love relationship that is rich and full and meaningful and long-lasting.

So let me ask you this – Do you make your partner feel safe?  I mean really, really safe.  Because if you do, then she can share her heart and soul with you and know that you won't laugh at her. She can mess up and do things wrong and know that you won't criticize her. She can try new things and fail miserably and know that you will buoy her up to try again.  She can tell you her deepest secrets and grandest hopes and dreams and she knows you will honor them as sacred gifts that she chose to share with you. If she feels deeply, truely, profoundly safe with you, then she is free to be vulnerable with you. And THAT might be the greatest gift YOU will ever receive.   

Of course, I write these things because I need to be reminded of them. Occasionally, I THINK I'm being funny with my husband, but instead he hears a little criticism and sarcasm.  And it doesn't MATTER what I intend in the moment.  If he believes that I'm being insensitive or uncaring – do you think that would make him want to be more open, loving and vulnerable with me? No, it doesn't. It makes him respond the way many people do when they feel like they are being attacked in some way – he shuts down and gets quiet.  In other words – his safety just got threatened and he goes into protection mode.

The bottom line is this: In business, go head and get all risky. But in relationships – at least where your partner's heart and vulnerability are concerned, play it very, very, very safe.



Motivational Speaker Linda Larsen, CSP has been described by meeting planners and audiences as "hysterically funny," and "riveting." Known for her ability to connect on an authentic and emotional level with audiences, her spontaneous sense of humor, and her engaging and powerful stories, Linda is passionate about sharing ideas to help people live their finest, best, and most productive lives. Her riveting and true story of being kidnapped and held hostage at gunpoint by an escaped convict, and the strategies she used to escape, will give people the tools THEY need to rise above any of life's toughest challenges, to communicate more effectively with THEIR difficult person, and to find creative solutions to THEIR problems. To book motivational speaker, Linda Larsen: 941-927-4700

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  1. So beautiful and true, Linda. Learning to be vulnerable was the hardest thing I've ever done. Sometimes it's still the hardest thing. And without a partner who makes me feel safe to share, probably not going to happen. Your post is a beautiful reminder that what I need most, so does he.

  2. I agree with everything you have said, oh briliant wise friend.  And I would like to add one teeny weeny contrary view – though I'm not contradicting what you said – just adding a little piece. And that's that sometimes in relationships we do have to take risks. Because for some of us, sharing our heart and making ourselves vulnerable, and telling someone how we really feel – is a BIG RISK – a big fear of giving our heart away and having it shatter to pieces. Just wanted to note that sometimes risk is a healthy part. But you are still right in your advice. Most definitely!!!!!


    • You are so right, Kelly. And I probably wasn't really clear or specific enough in my post (always trying to keep it below 300 words you know) – I was talking about a person PROVIDING safety so that they other person could take the risk to share.  AND – you make a very valid point!!

  3. I love how specific this blog is Linda.  In fact, one of the criteria that I was looking for in a man is a cushion for when I fall – a feeling of having a safe place to land and boy of boy did I luck out.  Thanks for reminding me of how good I have it with a man who makes me feel safe – safe enough to be myself, take risks, and know that he'll be there if I fail.  Or should I say, when I fail!

    • We are two fortunate girls, aren't we Marilyn???  AND – as I like to say – John Scalzi did not just show up for me. I believe I created him in my life.  I've heard your story with Yves and I believe you did the same thing!  We were lucky – AND – we were specific.  

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