As January comes to a close, we will soon find ourselves in the month of February- a month often associated with the holiday celebrated in it. I am talking about Valentine’s Day- a day we often use to express love and appreciate for the people we love. Over the course of my life, I have found that most people associate Valentine’s Day with romantic love and can only be celebrated by those in romantic relationships. However, even if you’re not it a romantic relationship with a significant other, Valentine’s Day is a great time to examine and strengthen the relationships you have with friends and family. Having good and healthy relationships in your life is so important and provides numerous benefits. A healthy relationship can increase your sense of self-worth and belonging. Having relationships can make you feel less alone. They can also give you confidence and provide you with support. So how can you tell if the relationship you are in is a healthy one?
Here are some signs of a healthy relationship:
• Both individuals show respect for one another
• Both individual trust each other
• There is open communication in the relationship
• Both individuals feel they are treated equally and fairly
• Both shared and individual interests
• Both individuals are understanding of each other
• There is honesty in the relationship
• Both individuals care for each other
• The relationship provides emotional support for both individuals
• Shared values around finances, child raising and other important matters
All of these are signs of a good healthy relationship, what are the signs of a bad relationship?
Signs of a toxic or unhealthy relationship:
• Communication is toxic or ineffective
• Jealousy exists within the relationship
• Controlling behaviors
• Patterns of dishonesty
• Disrespect exists within the relationship
• There is a lack of support
Communication is one of the most common problems within relationships. Some relationships suffer from lack of communication, miscommunication, or negative and toxic communication. Here are some tips to ensure you are promoting healthy and effective communication.
In order to ensure that your relationships have effective communication try applying the following tips:
• set aside time to speak to each other, without interruptions
• put yourself in the other person’s shoes
• don’t rely on the other person to guess what is going on, or how you are feeling
• listen to each other, and make sure the other person knows you are listening to them
• let the other person finish what they are saying
• talk about things honestly and respectfully
• try not to be defensive
• stay calm
You now have an understanding of what a healthy or unhealthy relationship consists of but remember keeping a healthy relationship is an ongoing feat. You need to continue to build and nurture these relationships. So go apply the knowledge that you’ve learned and continue to build and nurture these healthy relationships!