Healthy Relationships

Like It Or Not-You're In Relationship

Relationships-we all have them, and each one is different. There are parental relationships, sibling, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, teachers, mentors, roommates, husbands, wives, children...and the list goes on. Relationships can be a blessing or a curse to your life, depending upon whether they are healthy or unhealthy. In fact, healthy relationships bring happiness and health into our lives. Dysfunctional relationships can destroy us.

No Man Is An Island

Healthy relationships are not happenstance. They require a healthy mentality, boundaries, and a willingness to grow, change, and meld when necessary. The adage that "no man is an island" implies that regardless how solitary we may wish to be, we are going to have to interact with someone else at some time in our lives. Why not make that interaction and relationship healthy, fun, and deliberate?

You can develop healthy relationships that enrich your life and the lives of those with whom you are relating in several ways. By keeping your expectations realistic, you understand that people are who they are. You cannot change them nor can you make them become what you think they should be. The fact is, sometimes people will disappoint you, and you will disappoint them. It just is, and it's okay.

Talk, Talk, Talk

In this age of "communication," it seems that we're stating the obvious. However, communication is essential to a healthy relationship. Talk with each other. Take the time to relate and when you do, be "present" with the person, not thinking about where you will be five hours later. Listen, with both ears and your heart. Planning what you're going to say next and interrupting to get your thought out before they have finished expressing their thought is not listening. If you are really paying attention, you may be able to hear what isn't being said. If you think you missed something, ask a question-just make sure it is appropriate and non-accusatory. Be interested in what they are saying. One of the best ways to communicate is by sharing information. By being generous with your insights and information, you open the door to interaction. However, it is important not to inundate the other with too much data. Try to be balanced. It's give and take.

Relax, Be Flexible

Unexpected changes can rock anybody's boat. Most of us like the status quo and will fight to maintain the familiar. Being in a healthy relationship means there will be opportunities for growth by being challenged with new ideas. By being flexible, you can experience new things without too much difficulty. Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be broken.

It's A Two-Way Street

When we really like someone, we tend to want to make him or her happy beyond measure and often do so at our own expense. A healthy relationship means, "I care about myself as much as I care about you." Remember that healthy relationships are mutual relationships. It is not one person doing all the giving and the other all the taking.

Keep your word-be dependable. If you have made a commitment to be somewhere at 8:00, be there. If you have an assignment deadline for your boss, meet it. If you are responsible to a committee, complete your responsibility.

A healthy relationship is a trustworthy relationship. Healthy relationships enrich the lives of those who are in them.

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