When people who say “no offense..." actually offend you, they almost always excuse themselves with the classic “I have the right to freedom of speech!"
Your comeback should not have been “Is that the only Amendment you know?" but rather "What makes your opinion more valid than mine?"
Safe spaces give us the space to feel like our experiences are more than just the trials and tribulations we push through. Sharing the way that we see and react to the world gives others a glimpse into our reality and an opportunity to learn! No one walks into a room and automatically relates to every person they meet. We don't know their stories just as much as they don't know ours, but if we give each other the space to heal from our trauma and grow through our ignorance then can we all truly progress towards something greater together.
Safe spaces should manifest GROWTH.
The intention in creating or building a safe space should always be to bring people together for a healthy evaluation of ourselves and others. No one should ever be encouraged to judge, degrade or use anyone for their own personal gain or interests. Somethings that are always stressed in the safe spaces are the importance of privacy and each individual's right to being open in a space where their openness will not be taken for granted. It may seem obvious that you shouldn't tell other people's secrets or spill what is discussed in a safe space, but it's not always this clear to everyone.
Vulnerability and openness are common in safe spaces because in order to heal from your trauma you must have the room to talk about it, to look at everything for what it really is. This is a lot harder to do when the person or space you seek for support is really judgemental or inconsiderate of your security.
The Actual GROWTH starts...with you, you and you!
Once you have to space to get something off your chest, it's up to you to actually use that space! Many people assume that this means you always have to share or contribute VERBALLY, but they should learn to understand that PRESENCE speaks for itself. All you have to do is be there to support those who do need to say something because if that person were you, wouldn't you want the same? The most vital component of a safe space is the people who embody it; the more closed and reserved you are, the more closed and reserved the space will be. This, of course, creates an environment where no one is comfortable sharing in, and it also leaves people feeling unwelcome and like no one can relate to them which defeats the purpose of this space!
We all face different traumas in our everyday lives that can seem almost impossible to relate to when, in fact, there's likely always someone who can relate to us! Yes, we are all different and we do all come from different paths of life, but this alone should not determine what makes your life or experiences more defining or vital than mine. All safe spaces should create healthy discussions that leave everyone with new lessons to apply to their lives, and ultimately we should all leave knowing that we've provided ourselves and someone else the room to find peace in their storm.