5 Signs You’re Dealing With an Unsafe Person

An unsafe person can turn out to be anyone in your life, from a new friend to a close family member. What exactly is an unsafe person, though? Hence the name, an unsafe person is someone who makes you feel unsafe. This can be done through several ways, including verbal abuse, manipulation, and more. A relationship with an unsafe person can feel one-sided, draining, and even borderline-toxic. Do you think you have an unsafe person in your life but aren’t exactly sure? If so, here are five signs you’re dealing with an unsafe person:

1. They Use Dishonesty to Their Advantage

It’s not uncommon for an unsafe person to lie, even over the smallest matters. Everyone, at some point in their life, has told a lie; lying is human nature. However, unsafe people may frequently lie without hesitation. They may do this by making empty promises, to lie their way out of conflict, to manipulate you into doing what they say, or to maintain a false, but better version of themselves for you to perceive them as. When confronted, an unsafe person may even continue to drag out their lies in order to avoid being caught red-handed. When you notice someone is being dishonest with you, it is not something to be ignored. A lack of honesty in any relationship is unfair and needed to be addressed.

2. They Don’t Own Up to Their Faults

Being at fault definitely isn’t something that’s favorable, but it happens to the best of us. It can make you feel embarrassed, ashamed, and uncomfortable. But even so, these feelings shouldn’t serve as an excuse to avoid taking accountability for something you did wrong. Much like being dishonest, for unsafe people, avoiding having to own up to their wrongdoings may be a common occurrence. They might pinpoint the blame on others, refuse to apologize, or fail to acknowledge their faults at all because of their self-centered nature. Dealing with an unsafe person who demonstrates these tendencies may be difficult to confront because changing old habits is not easy, especially for someone who doesn’t want to. When addressed, they can become defensive and quick to turn the conversation into an argument.

3. They Don’t Put Themselves in Other People’s Shoes

It’s very likely for an unsafe person to think only about themselves at times, with little to no regard for others. When it comes to someone else’s well-being, they may choose to turn a blind eye or fail to recognize how that person may feel, even when they’re the reason for someone’s low spirits. This might stem from that unsafe person’s poor ability to self-reflect and practice sympathy, which is being able to show feelings of pity or sadness towards someone else’s misfortune. Unsafe people may do things that include disrespecting your boundaries and not seeing anything wrong with it, invalidating your struggles by telling you they have it worse, humiliating you, and much more. Because of this, it can be hard to expect someone unsafe in your life to acknowledge the effect of their actions on you and others in order to change their ways.

4. They Purposely Humiliate and Shame You

We all know the dreadful feeling of embarrassment. Recalling embarrassing life moments has happened to many of us, but can be even worse of a memory when they’ve been caused by someone you thought you could trust. There are many ways an unsafe person could humiliate you. This includes joking about your insecurities to other people, comparing you to someone else, carelessly spreading secrets you’ve told them, and more, showing you that your humiliation and shame can be for their own benefit at times. As mentioned before, an unsafe person may often fail to consider your feelings and emotions without acknowledging how their actions affect you, leaving you feeling mistreated and hurt.

5. They Demand Your Loyalty

Unsafe people want your utmost loyalty, even if they don’t reciprocate it. They might expect you to fully trust them; if they jumped off a cliff, they’d want you to follow right after. An unsafe person may guilt you into making you feel like you’re in debt to them, as a way to gain control over you. This is especially common among unsafe parents. A parent who is unsafe establishes a clear difference in power or hierarchy between them and their child, where their child stands almost powerless next to them. If you find that you have an unsafe parent, you may relate to often hearing them use the sole excuse that since they gave birth to you, you owe them for your existence. Unsafe people who demand your loyalty without earning it display toxic behavior, and should not be allowed to take advantage of you.

Being aware of the signs that you’re dealing with an unsafe person can help you set healthy boundaries in your relationships, and can also help you protect yourself from ones that aren’t good for you. Did you find this article helpful? Let us know in the comments below.


“‘Empathy’ vs. ‘Sympathy’: Which Word To Use And When.” Dictionary.com, Dictionary.com, www.dictionary.com/e/empathy-vs-sympathy/.

Mustafa, Nawal. Signs of an Unsafe Person. Instagram, 1 Jan. 2020, www.instagram.com/thebraincoach/.

“20 Traits of Unsafe People (from Dr. Henry Cloud’s Book Safe People).” Pneuma Neurofeedback, 17 Nov. 2017, neurofeedbackville.com/articles/.

Ward, Deborah. “The Top 10 Traits of Unsafe People.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 16 Nov. 2013, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sense-and-sensitivity/201311/the-top-10-traits-unsafe-people.

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