3 Tips for Healthy Relationships
Improving your relationships one step at a time
We’ve celebrated the start of a new year and 2017 is all about creating healthier relationships. When I talk about relationships, I’m not just talking about romantic relationships. I am talking about the connection you have with any person in your life. This could be a family member, a best friend, a manager etc.
Our days our spent constantly interacting with people and it can be exhausting to deal with unhealthy stressful relationships.
Here are 3 tips to help improve the relationships in your life.
- Let go of the “should’s”
Too often we get a picture in our minds of how a relationship should be and it makes us incapable of accepting the relationship for what it is. We say things like “That’s not how a mother is supposed to act” “Our relationship shouldn’t be like this” and “He should want to do this for me”.
Of course, this involves some balance. We have this idea told that we “shouldn’t” accept anything but the best in our lives- that we deserve to be treated exactly how we want to be.
But, I think sometimes we take that too far. Yes, you should feel safe and loved. No, this does not mean everyone will conform to yours or anyone else’s standards when it comes to your relationships.
We have to allow people to be themselves in order to have authentic relationships. When we do this, we open the door for mutual growth and positive relationships.
When we let go of the “should’s”, we welcome healthy relationships into our lives.
- Learn to listen
Being an active listener is hard. It involves letting our guard down, hearing things we might not want to hear and being quiet and focused while someone else speaks.
What we tend to do is listen for what we want to hear- the thing we can respond to, our chance to step in. We’re not listening to really hear the other person out. Sometimes we’re not even really hearing what the other person is saying at all.
To create better relationships, it’s important to be able to really listen.
The second part to this is listening without judgement. You have to walk into the conversation with the commitment that you will respect what the other person has to say. You may not agree, but they, just as much as you, are entitled to their thoughts.
Healthy relationships involve active listening and listening without judgment.
- Work on yourself
In order to have healthy relationships with others, you need to have a happy loving relationship with yourself. Sometimes we focus our energy on trying to fix the people in our lives instead of working on ourselves. Rather than taking control of our own lives and making the positive changes we need, we try to control and change others.
It is very difficult to have healthy relationships with others when you are unwilling to observe your own need for growth. This isn’t saying that there is something wrong with you. We are all in need of constant growth and change in our lives.
Take the time to focus on yourself and your needs. The best way to support those around you is by ensuring you have your own stuff in order first.
Feeling good about yourself allows you to bring your best self to your relationships creating a more positive environment for everyone involved.