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Safe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good for You and Avoid Those That Aren't
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Safe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good for You and Avoid Those That Aren't

4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  1,140 ratings  ·  118 reviews
Finding safe people provides the foundation for building healthy, lasting relationships. Here's how to identify safe people.
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Published May 26th 2009 by Zondervan (first published 1995)
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Evil is defined in the Bible as anything that is harmful, or not beneficial, to your spiritual growth. Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend apply this principle to relationships, with the challenge to evaluate yourself and your relationships with other people. God made people to be dependent on each other for love, encouragement, and support. A healthy relationship always involves honesty, acceptance, wise counsel, and confrontation. All of these are necessary for growth. The quality of your re ...more
Vicki Garza
This book was eye-opening to me. I never understood my need for isolation, why I chose friends who weren't good for me, etc. After reading this book, I understand why God created community and how important it is to have safe people in my life who are God-given, loving and accepting. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has struggled with the need to be self-sufficient and isolated.
Heather R. Smith
The authors do a good job of identifying the behaviors of "unsafe" people, however I do not think they effectively cover how unsafe people can become "safe." I conclude, after reading the list of unsafe behaviors, that none of us are safe but rather all exhibit some forms of unsafe behavior. The authors attribute unsafe behaviors to the presence of sin, and since Scripture teaches all have sinned I think it's a fair conclusion then that everyone of us have unsafe parts of us to be addressed. I j ...more
Nov 12, 2013 Erika rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Erika by: Mamta
The subtitle of Safe People is exactly what this book is about: finding good people for all types of relationships. Part One explains what a "unsafe" person is by identifying personal and interpersonal traits. These individuals are typically categorized as abandoners, critics, or irresponsibles. Unsafe people do the following: believe they "have it all together" instead of admitting weaknesses; go on the defensive instead of accepting feedback; act self-righteously instead of humbly; apologize i ...more
This was an interesting book. I tend to end up in "unsafe" relationships with assholes, so I had to ask myself, "Self, you idiot, what is it that causes you to be drawn to those people?" The book answers this question and so many more. It's a very practical guide for how to find good people and how to be a good person as opposed to being/finding a total jerk. I would highly recommend.
Jeff Bobin
We all want people that we feel safe with. As a pastor I want people to feel safe when they talk with me and at times share intimate details of their lives with me. I picked this book up because I was serving a church where there seemed to be a mistrust of pastors from the time I arrived. I was a little taken back by that since everywhere else I had served people tended to trust me from the time I arrived and that trust would even deepen as we developed relationships and learned to be vulnerable ...more
Easily retitled "Safe vs. Unsafe People", while reading this book, I had the eery feeling that someone had videotaped my relationship and took notes...because the book identified the subtle unhealthy attributes of my (now Ex) spouse in great detail one bullet point to the next, and I came to view her (often unexplainable) behavior in a completely new way. Reading this was a "light bulb moment" in our separation, and one hopes a guiding light for the next relationship.

The book identifies the qual
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Safe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good for You and Avoid Those That Aren't by Henry Cloud and John Townsend deals with the problem of character discernment. Cloud and Townsend write, "Safe people are individuals who draw us closer to being the people God intended us to be. Though not perfect, they are ‘good enough’ in their own character that the net effect of their presence in our lives is positive. They are accepting, honest, and present, and they help us bear good fruit in our l ...more
It took me forever to finish this, partially because each section gave me so much to think about. I'm a big fan of Cloud & Townsend, and just about everything they have put out strikes me as healthy--it's like a good satisfying meal for the heart and soul. Not sugar-coated and not harsh, just plain truth that refreshes. This one was no exception, and I loved some of the things it broke down about relationships and how to navigate and evaluate your own choices in them. Especially helpful to m ...more
Taylor Storey
Didn't finish this one, so I don't feel comfortable giving it 1 star. But I kept thinking, my friends are not at all like the people he is describing. It made me think I had the best friends in the world. And I got tired of him describing bad people and calling them my friends... Perhaps it was just to another audience, but this one definitely did not do it for me at the time of my life I was living. I think it assumes you are having a horrible life...which now that I think of it might be a symp ...more
Mohamad Fakih
The title is quite humble relative to the wealth and depth of wisdom about not just relationships, but about how we should be, each of us, a mature person as God intended us to be.

Reading this book, you will inevitably discover that you yourself has traits of unsafe person, and almost everyone you knew, has traits of unsafe people.

Moreover, the book pushes us to take the courage to open up for others and express our needs in relationships. As this courage is essential to be part of community and
I was a bit disappointed with this book. I think the authors are too black and white about people being either safe or unsafe. Maybe I have just not had the misfortune of meeting a great deal of people I would categorize as unsafe, but I feel like after reading it I can see ways that I, and people in my life, do unsafe things, but are in many ways still safe people. I do feel like I was able to make an evaluation of myself and whether or not I'm safe, which was my main desire in reading it. I wo ...more
I couldn't bring myself to finish this book. I had high expectations (my parents have, in the past, liked Cloud and Townsend) and wanted to like it, but I couldn't.

There were isolated concepts which I liked, and then significant sections of the book that were uncomfortable and frustrating. It felt too outside-in. Unless tempered (for lack of a better word) by an overwhelming amount of love and complete personal surrender to God, this kind of accountability/discipline/confrontation approach feels
I knew this was a good read when my initial reaction to it was anger. I was angry at a book! Clearly, it made an impact and like eating an elephant, I had to absorb it piece by piece. Many of the pages are covered in ink and have writing in the margins. This book should be considered an active read. Really get into it and take notes, recognize the emotions that spring up from its pages and work through them. I would and have recommended it to others.
A very good read for people who need/want to let go of the "unsafe" people in your life. Realizing people are "unsafe" & "takers" is the first step on your way of a "safe" and happier life.
This is truly another outstanding book by one of my favorite authors. Dr. Cloud speaks very openly about people with predator like qualities and how to recognize such in anyone; including ourselves.
I liked this one a lot better than Boundaries -- clear, practical, biblical, encouraging, challenging!
very good ...although I am not big on the bible quotes
Meg Adams
This book has changed me. It has changed me in the way I view others, myself, and has made me a stronger person. In this book it discusses how there are safe people and unsafe people in your lives, and how to manage it. While managing it, you also look at yourself and work on your unsafe qualities. Just because someone is unsafe to you, doesn't mean you aren't unsafe to other people. This book is to not be read quickly--you can, but I took a lot of time of meditation, walks, and also let myself ...more
Brandon Halvorsen
As a Christian, it's easy to assume that all other believers are "safe" and trustworthy yet this is not true. This book takes a close look at the characteristics of unsafe people as well as the various relating dynamics that discourage safety in relationships. It looks at the various things many people encountered in their developmental years / relationships that contributed to their losing safety. It looks at how we attract unsafe people and it also highlights the qualities of healthy, safe rel ...more
Sheilla Kiwi
My mom bugged me to read this one for a really long time...I'm sorry I waited so long! Reading this was super helpful for me to see the areas in my life that I need to work on so that I will be a safe person.Also, it helped me evaluate my ability to choose safe people.
Basically I learned a lot about myself and how I relate to people and the kind of people I choose to relate with me. I recommend the book to anyone and everyone! Though you may want to wait until teen years to understand in better
* Note: this book was written by both Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. I like their books because they are very specific and realistic about life. They give sound counsel and their use of scriptural references are good, too.

Too many of us have invested ourselves into relationships that left us deeply wounded. We've been abandoned or taken advantage of, and left with little to show for what we've given. We've lost our sense of security and personal value in the process. And what's worse, w
This book teaches you how to discern good character in friends, business partners, and family, but also how to work on your own character. This is from a Christian perspective, but far from being judgmental, the writers look at all people as having a mix of good and bad qualities. The focuse is on how we all deserve to be loved and supported by a group of trustworthy people and to also know how to be trustworthy ourselves.

It is rare to see a modern book which discusses the importance of characte
James Jeb
What can a person say more about a book that gives great insight into unhealthy versus healthy people; I was amazed of how much this book opened my eyes to understanding the complexities of what many human beings struggle with, co dependencies which lead to other unhealthy behaviors that manifest themselves in a variety of ways. Like a good friend Safe People by Dr. Henry Cloud equips the follower of Christ with a better understanding and knowledge of how to better navigate the waters of relati ...more
Becka Burgess
This book (from way back in the early 90's) was a pearler! The advice was relevant to the struggles we face today in relating to others and their baggage and also dealing with our own.
Often-times its hard to realise and accept the emotional critique on one's own character. -Which is what you get out of this as well.
The Bible verses used throughout further justify why God wants us to work on relationships while here on earth.
It teaches us that it is ok, even essential to step out of our comfort z
I would put this book in the top 5 influential books in my life. If I could buy a copy of it for all of my friends, I would. It's certainly written from a Christian perspective, (but? and?) there is so much plain good wisdom that I think anyone would find it interesting and helpful. I keep re-reading parts of it, and thinking about how it applies to different scenarios and situations. It somehow manages to be encouraging and challenging - not an easy stunt to pull off! It definitely helps me val ...more
Dealing with some hard (read painful) relationships in my life, this book was a very helpful tool to figure out that God does not call me to hard, painful relationships all the time. While he may call me to a few relationships like that, for the most part he wants me to have a safe community of people who I can trust. I must confess that the idea of being safe was a new concept for me, and this book was part of a trio of books God used to awaken my heart to the idea that safety is a basic human ...more
I agree with the reviewer who wrote that it takes a while to read because it makes you think. You have to digest parts of it before moving on. The only thing that would make this book better is doing it in a small group setting. I would love the discussion that each section would generate.
Rachel Pierce
This book. A dear friend of mine gave me this book after a relationship with another friend went a bit sideways and on so many levels I'm glad she did. Not only did this help me to identify times and actions in which my friends were not "safe", but it also helped me to see that due to my own actions in the relationship, I wasn't being a safe person for my friend.
Beyond that, this book also helped me to snap out of a rut that I had been in and start seriously looking for a job as opposed to waiti
Aug 03, 2014 LaSchelle rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone who wants to be a better person
I learned a lot about myself in ways I didn't expect. It has inspired me to try to be a better person. It's very religious based. Some parts I entirely didn't agree with but it made me think hard and evaluate myself. I did not expect to be so affected by this book.
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Dr. Cloud has written or co-written twenty-five books, including the two million-seller Boundaries. His most recent books are Boundaries for Leaders and Necessary Endings. He has earned three Gold Medallion awards, and was awarded the distinguished Retailers Choice award for God Will Make A Way.

As president of Cloud-Townsend Resources, Dr. Cloud has produced and conducted hundreds of public semina
More about Henry Cloud...
Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life Boundaries in Dating Boundaries with Kids: When to Say Yes, When to Say No to Help Your Children Gain Control of Their Lives Changes That Heal: How to Understand the Past to Ensure a Healthier Future How People Grow: What the Bible Reveals about Personal Growth

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“You aren't alive if you aren't in need.” 14 likes
“Every relationship has problems, because every person has problems, and the place that our problems appear most glaringly is in our close relationships. The key is whether or not we can hear from others where we are wrong, and accept their feedback without getting defensive. Time and again, the Bible says that someone who listens to feedback from others is wise, but someone who does not is a fool.” 3 likes
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