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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  ·  Rating Details ·  1,926 Ratings  ·  167 Reviews
Finding safe people provides the foundation for building healthy, lasting relationships. Here's how to identify safe people.
ebook, 0 pages
Published May 26th 2009 by Zondervan (first published May 13th 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
Mar 23, 2015 Tess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faith, productivity
Okay first of all, I listened to the audiobook of this and it was hilarious. Like, just imagine a really calm and encouraging book talking about personality disorders and other psychological phenomena and giving lots of examples and case studies, but READ BY A GAME SHOW HOST. That is what this audiobook is like. So seriously, listen to it, because there are parts that are unintentionally laugh-out-loud funny. When he does women's voices it's the BEST. Or when he says things like "Bob had a secre ...more
Vicki Garza
Aug 07, 2008 Vicki Garza rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 20, 2013 Erika rated it really liked it  ·  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
Jan 27, 2011 Leah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 17, 2015 Violinknitter rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I would give this book 2 or 3 stars, except that a lot of the advice it contained could be absolutely devastating for people in abusive relationships (especially those with religious & emotional abuse, manipulation, and gaslighting). If you're just having "normal" troubles, there's some decent basic relational advice about finding "safe" people. But the advice for how to know when you need to get out of a destructive relationship? Unclear (and therefore dangerous) in the extreme!

I expected m
Jan 05, 2013 Evan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 12, 2014 الطالب rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 16, 2013 Natalie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Denise Sarkor
Mar 22, 2015 Denise Sarkor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: personal-growth
On my journey to experience peace and safety once more, and to have my heart reawakened by the various forms of love, this was by far the most important 200 pages I read. Everyone should read this book as well as Boundaries by the same authors. Is it safe to be around you?
Dec 07, 2016 Brenda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book on understanding people. People can be very cruel and heartless. This book explains and shares its views on why they can be like that. It opened my eyes to how people are. Thank you, Mr. Cloud for writing this. It has helped me tremendously.
Beverly Diehl
These are the authors that wrote one of THE defining books on boundaries and setting limits in relationships. They also both hold PhDs, AND are strongly entrenched in the American Christian life philosophies.

If you, also, are strongly entrenched in the American Christian lifestyle, this would be an excellent read for you. If you are are NOT, especially if you still carry trauma from being involved in this lifestyle previously (*raises hand*) you may have to tiptoe through the God-talk in order t
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
Samantha Kurtz
Safe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good for You, discusses “safe” and “unsafe” relationships and helps the reader recognize characteristics from each type of relationship. Cloud and Townsend discuss how the reader can work on their “unsafe” characteristics to help better their relationships, recognize what makes people trustworthy, how to avoid unhealthy relationship and form positive ones, and learn the 20 traits of unsafe people. A good, thoughtful read. It helped me recognize som ...more
Sep 02, 2011 Leslie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
May 07, 2013 Audrey rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
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
Sep 04, 2015 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let me be clear: I'm damn near atheist. My therapist (Christian) assigned me this for an upcoming group session. She thought it would be beneficial and give us specific language to start discussion. She was correct. Even if you aren't religious or operating in a Christian denomination, this book can offer you some sound content.
I just skipped over the biblical sections, skimmed the spiritual mumbo jumbo (and admittedly rolled my eyes whenever they mentioned that a relationship with god was req
Carrie Daws
This was an enlightening read. I not only identified some places in relationships around me that need work, but I identified some places within myself I need to change. The authors did a great job of defining what they were talking about, giving real life examples to make it easy to see, and then giving lists or steps to go deeper into understanding. I think this is a book I will refer back to time and again.
Kingdom Writers Books
Excellent Book. I continue to refer back to this book.
Catherine Richmond
This would be great for a small group with a professional facilitator. Yes, we should avoid toxic people. But what if it's someone you're related to? What if it's someone who's been great for decades, then suddenly betrays you? What if it's someone in your care, like a child or person with a disability? After all, Jesus hung out with some unsafe people, including one who betrayed him.
Jun 23, 2015 Gary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
one of the most challenging books i've ever read. i got it for help discerning who is and isn't worth investing time and energy into. INSTEAD i got a good hard look at whether or not i'm a person worth spending time and energy on.
Dec 23, 2010 Jill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
very good ...although I am not big on the bible quotes
Feb 28, 2011 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 25, 2012 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this one a lot better than Boundaries -- clear, practical, biblical, encouraging, challenging!
Barry Davis
Nov 11, 2016 Barry Davis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Subtitled “How to find relationships that are good for you and avoid those that aren’t,” this immensely practical book approaches the challenge of finding positive relationships from a Biblical and hands-on perspective. After a brief description of Unsafe People (typically falling into three main groups - Abandoners, Critics, and Irresponsibles), the authors introduce significant lists of the personal and interpersonal traits of the Unsafe. For example one personal trait is that they feel they h ...more
Paulo Guilherme
Dec 30, 2016 Paulo Guilherme rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good self help book. Although more directed to Christians, it can give anybody many good resources to deal with relationships.

How many "complicated people" do you have in your life? We all certainly have. But I have already noticed, as a neurologist, how my patients who go after me for headache, back pain, anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, panic feelings and loss of memory, almost all of them have them too in their lives. Well, more than tell you what to do, this book will first help you
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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...

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“You aren't alive if you aren't in need.” 22 likes
“This is one of the marks of a truly safe person: they are confrontable.” 14 likes
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