(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)
In a world (re)defined by popular literature and trendy explanations of male/female “differences” it’s easy to assume that focusing on the things that are different will lead to a greater understanding. Perhaps. But when the topic is emotion you want not to fall into the differences trap.
Emotional safety is important for men and women alike. People want to know that it is safe for them to be themselves. Until it is they will not reveal who they really are; they will withhold, hide, deflect, mask and clam up.
When you provide emotional safety for the people in your life it leads to clarity, truth, communications and pleasing results. That, in turn, will make you feel safe. Safety feeds safety. The cost of providing it drops virtually to zero.
Emotional security is good but it stops at the level of environment– gates, guards, walls and locks. If you are only providing emotional security for your world there is an implied “what-if” that is unconsciously disquieting. Emotional security takes energy to maintain because of the continuing search for the next threat.
Emotional security is the “what” and emotional safety is the “who”.
Copyright 1998 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.