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Rights to Emotional Safety

Many of us come from trauma histories that are often psychological and emotional in nature. We have yet to come across a way of defining how it is we deserve to be treated in ways that do not reinvoke emotional harm with each other. Here is a suggested list to get us started. Feel free to add/edit/remove what fits best for you. It is not a perfect list and meant to be riffed on and evolve. 1) The right to not be yelled or shouted at.

2) The right to be listened to.

3) The right to express feelings.

4) The right for feelings to be accepted at face value.

5) The right for feelings to be validated unto themselves.

6) The right to not be interrupted.

7) The right to not have feelings assumed.

8) The right to be allowed one’s experience.

9) The right to not be told what one’s experience is.

10) The right to clarify on one’s own terms what one means.

11) The right to the truth of one’s feelings, concerns and needs.

12) The right to have needs.

13) The right to articulate and ask for needs to be met.

14) The right to ask for support.

15) The right to notify others when feeling overwhelmed and needing to take space.

16) The right to be allowed to take space.

17) The right to not be verbally, psychologically, or emotionally abused.

18) The right to show feelings.

19) Right to have feelings acknowledged and respected.

20) Right to have feelings that are different than someone else’s.

21) Right to be treated with sensitivity, compassion and kindness.

22) The right to not be punished for having feelings.

23) Right to not be punished for expressing feelings.

24) The right to not be emotionally punished.

25) The right to not be responsible for another's emotional reaction.

26) The right to be invited to conversation before, during or after conflict.

27) The right to be spoken with and to receive curiosity and non judgment.

28) Right to not be attacked or verbally accosted.

29) Right to not have one’s experience be assumed.

30) Right to be notified or informed when another does not wish to speak with me.

31) Right to explain the context of feelings.

32) The right to clarify and correct misinterpretations.

33) Right to not have feelings/needs minimized or erased, especially re: safety.

34) The right to set limits on what one can give.

35) The right to make mistakes and take accountability.

36) The right to say ‘no’ any time and have it be respected without clarification or explanation.

37) The right to give and receive an apology.

38) The right to treat others well and be treated well oneself.

39) The right to receive consistent care and kindness.

40) The right to receive love.

Please keep in mind that these rights taken absolutely, and to an extreme can also be manipulated to cause harm unto others. The list is meant first and foremost as a map to orient oneself internally to possibilities that can provide more care and nurturing in relationship with self and others.

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