A relationship is a way two or more people are connected or the way they behave toward each other. You might have romantic, friend, professional, and family relationships. Healthy relationships include boundaries, self-control, communication, and respect. In healthy relationships, people feel supported, connected, and independent. Think of a healthy relationship you have, or have had in the past, regardless of the type of relationship, or maybe people who have a healthy relationship that you admire. What made you think of that relationship? What do you think makes it healthy?
Communication in Relationships
• Treat each other with respect.
• Share in decision-making.
• Forge a financial partnership.
• Speak openly about thoughts and feelings.
• Listen to each other; feel heard and supported.
• Celebrate each other’s successes.
• Trust each other.
• Spend time with family.
• Spend time with friends and apart from your partner.
• Don’t pressure each other to do things.
Contact Family Team Building to sign up for a Real Relationships course.
Conflict is a normal part of all relationships, and everyone reacts differently to conflict. Negotiating is one of the best ways to resolve conflicts and problems. Negotiating includes the following:
- Focus on the idea, not the person.
- Allow others to finish statements and thoughts.
- Emphasize shared values, viewpoints, and attitudes.
- Show interest in others’ viewpoints.
- Don’t let emotions run the discussion.
Showing kindness, understanding, and respect enables individuals to create and sustain healthy relationships.
Express Your Needs in a Relationship in a Positive Way or They Won’t be Met
If someone isn’t meeting your needs, it is important to discuss it with the other individual. If the other person is unaware that the behavior is negatively impacting you, there is little chance the behavior will stop. If you can’t positively communicate those expectations, you could drastically limit your relationship.
There’s an effective way to do that without sounding critical, and it’s called an I statement. These statements may sound odd at first, but they make logical sense.
Using I statements allows you to pose your expectation, point, frustration, or idea without making it about the other person.
Instead of “You never clean up after yourself,” try “I feel frustrated when the house is a wreck because I am too tired to clean up after work.” Instead of “You never have time for me,” try “I feel lonely when we don’t have a date night once a week because I value spending time with you even with our busy schedules.”