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Top 21 Emotional Safety Quotes

Emotional Safety Quotes

This post contains some of the best emotional safety quotes.

Emotional Safety Quotes

1. “Safety IS the treatment.” ― Bonnie Badenoch

2. “When we neuroceive safety, we humans automatically begin to open into vulnerability, and the movement of our “inherent treatment plan” (Sills, 2010) has a greater probability of coming forward. ― Bonnie Badenoch

3. “lack of agenda is the primary essence of safety, giving our people implicit permission to bring forward any aspect of themselves that needs attention.” ― Bonnie Badenoch

4. “With visible relaxation in her body and strong eye contact, she said, “All my life people have criticized me for being cautious. It means a lot that you like that I’m that way.”― Bonnie Badenoch

5. “We are deeply sensitive to one another’s presence” ― Bonnie Badenoch

6. “This feeling of not being emotionally safe showed itself in the two common forms that plague couples who have this problem: either (a) a heightened state of reactivity that results in repetitive, unresolved conflict, or (b) an ongoing state of disconnection that results in a superficial, unsatisfying relationship. Most couples with this problem fall into one of these two categories or a mixture of both.” – Don R. Catherall

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Emotional Safety Quotes

7. “Beneath the surface with these couples, each partner has an underlying feeling that he (or she) is not emotionally safe, that the couple is never far from something happening that will result in harm—either to the individuals or to the relationship.” – Don R. Catherall

8. “Some partners deal with this feeling of unsafety by withdrawing and revealing only part of themselves. Some deal with it by leaping to their defense at the least appearance of what they perceive to be a threat. Some become emotionally numb and stile the passion out of their lives.” – Don R. Catherall

9. “Once a couple becomes locked into a repetitive cycle, whether of conflict or distance, neither partner feels safe enough to be completely open and vulnerable in the relationship. They have lost the key element that makes intimate relationships work—emotional safety.” – Don R. Catherall

10. “It is much safer and easier for her to talk with him about how upset she is when the source of her upset feelings is someone or something other than him.” – Don R. Catherall

11. “Their focus is always on the behavior of shaming, which is certainly a central part of the problem, but helping couples to heal and create emotional safety requires much more than just putting a halt to shaming.” – Don R. Catherall

12. “…when the sense of self is threatened, the relationship cannot be safe.” – Don R. Catherall

13. “..feelings of shame or distress, or the perception of disapproval or distrust in the other partner, eventually tend to lead to a loss of emotional safety.” – Don R. Catherall

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14. “Partners are largely unable to achieve satisfying levels of intimacy when the relationship does not feel safe.” – Don R. Catherall

15. “Emotional safety refers to those times in a relationship when both partners are (relatively) free of negative affects in the realms of esteem and attachment.” – Don R. Catherall

16. “Emotional safety describes a type of relationship, a location on the terrain of the emotional relationship, and a time in a relationship.” – Don R. Catherall

Emotional Safety Quotes

17. “People with a history of unsafe relationships often have a very low threshold of sensitivity to negative affective tone in their partner’s voice, posture, or facial display. Any inkling of negative tone can then trigger their anxiety. He may grimace when he bumps his toe and she wants to know if he is upset with her.” – Don R. Catherall

18. “…it is shame that plays the primary role in disrupting emotional safety in intimate relationships.” – Don R. Catherall

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19. “It is important to note that the most powerful experiences of shame occur when people are in the safe zone. When partners think they are safe and have relaxed their defenses, the sudden experience of shame can be devastating.” – Don R. Catherall

20. “When an intimate relationship is moved out of the safe zone, one or both partners experience some level of threat in the realm of attachment, the realm of esteem, or both.” – Don R. Catherall

21. “The longer the relationship remains outside the safe zone, the greater the likelihood that flexibility will decline, maladaptive patterns will be established, and each partner will adopt a more rigid view of both self and other.” – Don R. Catherall

22. “Couples caught up in mutual blaming are difficult to treat because it is not safe for either partner to be vulnerable.” – Don R. Catherall

Emotional Safety Quotes

23. “When a partner does not feel safe, he often will put up a wall instead of a boundary. When he puts up a wall, he is no longer simply distancing. A wall allows nothing to cross; it appears in relationships in which one person cannot deal with the other.” – Don R. Catherall

24. “Appropriate boundaries are a central component of what keeps relationships safe and prevents couples from becoming fused.” – Don R. Catherall

25. “When a couple’s safe zone grows, they find more opportunities for connection, because each partner can be more open and vulnerable.” – Don R. Catherall

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How to Cultivate Emotional Safety In Your Relationship?

Here are some tips on how to cultivate emotional safety in your relationship:

1. Communicate openly and honestly: Create an open line of communication where both partners feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings without fear of judgment or ridicule.

2. Practice active listening: Listen to your partner with empathy and understanding. Show that you are present and engaged in the conversation.

3. Validate your partner’s emotions: Acknowledge and validate your partner’s emotions, even if you don’t agree with them.

4. Take responsibility for your actions: Be accountable for your mistakes, apologize when necessary, and work to make things right.

5. Create a safe physical space: Ensure your partner feels physically safe in your home and that any boundaries are respected.

6. Be reliable: Show up consistently for your partner, both emotionally and physically. This builds trust and strengthens the relationship.

7. Foster intimacy: Cultivate intimacy and emotional connection through shared experiences, quality time, and physical touch.

Building emotional safety takes time and effort.

Be patient, show empathy, and focus on strengthening the emotional bond between you and your partner.


  • Portions of this article were adapted from the book Emotional Safety, © 2007 by Don R. Catherall. All rights reserved.

By Hadiah

Hadiah is a counselor who is passionate about supporting individuals on their journey towards mental well-being. Hadiah not only writes insightful articles on various mental health topics but also creates engaging and practical mental health worksheets.

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