Safe People Summary – Find the Right Ones

Author: Henry Cloud, John Townsend

Short Summary
Safe People (1995) guides us on how we can distinguish between people who are good to us and those who are toxic. We need to be vigilant before making any connection with people. Moreover, the book helps us to set boundaries and avoid repeating mistakes. The book not only guides us about safe and unsafe people but also realizes how our past traumas can make us unsafe for others as well.
safe people

Detailed Safe People Summary

The book Safe People highlights an extremely important topic that will help every individual. This is because we all have invested time and energy in relationships that did not work out. We all met people and gave importance to them that they never deserved and we regretted.

Although we all make mistakes, things don’t always go as planned, but we can set boundaries. We can allow those who deserve our love and appreciate our efforts to be a part of our lives. Whereas those who never appreciate your efforts are toxic to you and don’t deserve to be a part of your life.

Just like a toxic relationship can drain you, a healthy connection can give you so much peace and happiness. So, you need to choose your friends and partners wisely.

But the book Safe People guides us about safe and unsafe people and how we can recognize safe and unsafe people in our lives.

Moreover, the book helps the readers choose their friends wisely, how distance themselves from toxic people and those who drain their energies, and especially to figure out what’s that thing in yourself that draws the wrong types of people to you and how you can change yourself. The book is an eye-opener and guides us about many things that we need to understand.

Safe People Summary Key Points

Feeling safe around people is one of the utmost happiness and inner peace. But what about you feel unsafe with some people? What will you do then? Will you run? Will you hide?

The negative vibe you get when you are with the wrong people is like an alarm for you. This book discloses the personality of safe and unsafe people so we can distinguish them instantly. Moreover, it teaches that do not to trust anyone quickly and blindly.

Types of unsafe people

“People with a style of denial and blaming are definitely on the list of unsafe people to avoid.”
― Henry Cloud

The book Safe People helps the readers to distinguish between the types of people, i.e, safe and unsafe people.

There are a lot of unsafe people that we meet in our lives, and we wish that we never knew them. They all teach us a lot of lessons. But there are different types of unsafe people. The authors have categorized unsafe people into three types.


The abandoners are the first category of unsafe people. These people appear to be kind and passionate at first, but you rarely meet them again. They are most harmful in love relationships because they appear to seek a deep relationship at first, but once they realize perfection is impossible, they leave.

These kinds of people leave you in the middle of nowhere when they see things are not going as planned. They don’t put extra effort into the relationship and abandon you. Such people need to be avoided.


The critics are the second group who are unsafe. These people will waste their time judging others rather than assisting them. They are devoid of empathy and sympathy. Still, they might be useful if you need to assess a scenario or a person or if you need assistance untangling and fixing a problem. These people will never appreciate you and your efforts but always find something and start criticizing it.

Irresponsible people

Friends who are irresponsible are the third category of unsafe people. You can’t rely on these people to stick to their plans. They may cancel at the last minute or fail to show up for no apparent reason. Keep these types of people at bay because they can jeopardize your happiness and negatively impact your behavior.

Friends should always reciprocate the energies because that’s the beauty of a friendship. But friends who don’t value you and spare their time for you don’t deserve to be in your life.

You can check another book, The Courage to Be Disliked Summary, to read.

What makes you an unsafe person

The book guides us about the unsafe people around us but, at the same, also makes us realize that sometimes we also become toxic to others. Maybe because of some of our past traumas or sometimes jealousy, we become unsafe to others.

Our prior experiences have frequently turned us into dangerous individuals. Past trauma and psychological injuries have harmed our ability to connect with others on a deeper level. Let’s take a look at some of the most self-destructive things we’re exposed to that endanger our lives:

Envy. We rob ourselves of the potential to receive love when we feel jealous because we can’t give it to others. Self-sufficiency, on the other hand, is equally perilous. Besides this, a sense of entitlement can sometimes be harmful. It puts us one step closer to God when we feel as though we don’t need anyone. We’re on the verge of self-destruction if we refuse to admit that we, too, require His help. At this point, we must return to the situation and acknowledge that we may need to seek help from others or turn to God for answers and healing.

Our relationships have an impact on our mental health

“Confrontation helps us learn about ourselves and change destructive patterns.”
― Henry Cloud

Just like a toxic relationship gives us anxiety, depression, and stress, a healthy relationship gives us happiness and peace. So, the book tells us that relationships have an impact on our mental health, sometimes positive and sometimes negative.

The strange instance of Italian immigrant families who landed in Pennsylvania in the twentieth century is an excellent example of this that is shared in the book. What’s strange is that they all had exceptionally long lives.

It appears that the people’s life expectancy was so high because they had such a busy and healthy social life. So, just as poisonous people can drain you intellectually, emotionally, and physically, safe and nice people can help you enhance your general health and even extend your life. It’s crucial to strike a balance between what you provide and what you take in order to attract these folks.

Decide what you want from a relationship next. Examine your habits to discover any concerns about confrontation, rejection, or other intimacy issues that you should address before networking.

Lastly, the book teaches us a lesson that doesn’t let previous connections prevent us from forming new ones. Consider letting go of this attachment and finding new ways to socialize and seek intimacy if you believe something is wrong with your current relationship and that you are being injured and held back from reaching your full potential.

Who would I recommend the Safe People Summary to?

The book Safe People is highly recommended to students who make friends instantly and start trusting them easily. The book will help them to recognize safe and unsafe people.

Safe People Summary - February 2022

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