Relationships with friends, family, and partners can be fulfilling and uplifting. Relationships can be healthy, and sometimes they can be unhealthy. Being part of an unhealthy relationship can be tough on mental, emotional, and physical health. However, healthy relationships have the potential to improve your overall health and wellbeing.
In a healthy relationship, everyone in the relationship should feel:
There are many ways you can maintain healthy relationships with your friends, your partner(s), or your family. These include:
Some signs of an unhealthy relationship include:
Check out the video below from AMAZE Org on what makes a relationship healthy.
Communication is the key to any healthy relationship – from friendships, to romantic partnerships, to family and work relationships! Communication is not only about expressing your thoughts to others, but it is also about being a good listener. It is a two-way process. You might not always see eye to eye or agree with your friends, your partner, or your family members. However, it is important that you express your feelings in a respectful manner. And, you should also expect others to make you feel respected and safe enough to share your thoughts.
Below are some communication tips you can utilize in your relationships:
Consider pulling from the Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) framework, which can teach specific skills that help you maintain healthy relationships, and has different acronyms to easily remember those skills.
One of the acronyms is GIVE. It stands for:
Remember to be yourself. You don’t have to fake emotions, or pretend you are interested if you are not! Smiling and respectfully bowing out of a conversation you are no longer interested in is also valid.
Personal boundaries are rules and guidelines a person sets up for themselves that help teach other people how they want other people to behave toward them. You can think of boundaries as imaginary fences we build around ourselves. Some might be high and impenetrable and some might be sturdy and have a gate. Others might be falling down and absent in places.
Personal boundaries can be hard to set up because we sometimes fear that creating boundaries might make us seem selfish. This is untrue as healthy boundaries are important to our well-being, safety, and peace of mind. Personal boundaries will change over time, be different with different people and for different areas of your life (e.g. sexual, emotional, spiritual, financial boundaries).
You have the right:
You can set up boundaries for your:
Check out the infographics below for more information on your relationship rights and responsibilities.
It’s important to recognize that your worth is not based on how much you do for other people. Learning to say no is very important, not only for your peace of mind, but it can also prevent you from feeling resentful later!
Check out this helpful page for further tips on how to set up some boundaries! Check out our Groups and Workshops for more real life, relationship building help! We also have private, free virtual appointments available with our Mental Health Therapists, Peer Support Worker, and Employment Support Worker.
Relationship Communication Skills For Teenagers (plannedparenthood.org)
DBT Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills: The Guide to Healthy Relationships – Sunrise Residential Treatment Center (sunrisertc.com)
The No BS Guide to Setting Healthy Boundaries in Real Life (healthline.com)
How to Stop Saying Yes When You Want to Say No (tinybuddha.com)
AMAZE – Age appropriate info on puberty for tweens and their parents
Relationship Rights & Responsibilities | I Am Courageous
10 Tips for healthy realtionships | Healthy relationships | Amherst College
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All information on this site is intended to provide assistance and guidance but cannot replace the care of a medical professional.