Safer Space

3 min read

Our Story

At times, communication in a relationship can be challenging. This is when the concept of a “Safer Space” can be invoked. When we enter this environment we are asking our partner to hold the space as we try to share something that might be bothering us.

In our relationship, we use this when giving feedback to each other. By calling a Safer Space, we can communicate our emotions without the fear of judgment and triggering defensiveness. The intention when using Safer Space is to use “I statements”. The person who calls this space uses the platform to describe what they are feeling. For example, instead of saying, “You don’t make time for me”, we share the same message by saying “I miss spending time with you”.

As we learned how to communicate effectively, we used the trust in our relationship to have difficult conversations. However, we found the one listening to be getting defensive or trying to solve the problem at the moment. We realized that sometimes, all we need is a space to share, and for our partner to hear us.


The heat of the moment can cloud the effect of other frameworks. Just having an “honest” conversation with your partner can make things worse. Inviting both partners into a Safer Space can prevent things from falling apart.

Before using this framework in real-time, practice invoking a Safer Space with situations from the past like common disagreements. If that feels controversial, be creative and make your own scenarios.

  • Recall a recent incident.
  • Have one person invoke the Safer Space and lead the conversation in vulnerability by using “I statements”. The other person practices active listening and empathy.
  • Discuss and switch roles.

Repeat for different situations so it becomes comfortable to exercise at the moment. Customize the steps on how this might work best for you.

The challenge is to be vulnerable and listen without asking questions or taking immediate action after the exchange. Use this tool in moderation, and with time strive to normalize Safer Spaces.