Healthy relationships are foundational for our happiness throughout life. But they don’t just happen; healthy relationships take time to build and need work to keep them healthy. The more positive effort and work you put into a relationship, the healthier it should be.
Healthy relationships bring about a sense of happiness as they promote the feeling of belonging as well as providing confidence as you learn more about yourself. The signs of a healthy relationship can be varied, but they are commonly based on things such as respect, open communication, honesty, care and emotional support.
The power of communication in a healthy relationship should not be underestimated. It’s important to actively listen as well as regularly talking things out to allow for misunderstandings to be avoided.
To encourage more open communication in your relationship:
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 too defensive
Stay calm and try not to attack
Communication is not just talking; non-verbal communication — your posture, tone of voice, facial expressions — can tell the other person how you feel. Non-verbal communication can even undermine what you’re saying if your behaviour doesn’t match your words.
Tips for maintaining healthy relationships:
Say sorry when you’re wrong
While saying sorry when you’re wrong can be hard, it’s important to communicate in order to heal any conflict that might have arisen.
Be affectionate and show appreciation
If you’re in a romantic relationship, plan dates and be affectionate as relationships can become routine after a while so it can often be forgotten. In other relationships, whether that’s with your friends or family, make sure you show appreciation for any help or support that you have received so that they know you care.
Find solutions and compromise
Conflict is an inevitable part of any relationship, no matter how small an issue can be. It is essential that you both respect and accept your differences and similarities. Finding solutions that work for both of you will probably require compromise at different times. Listening and trying to understand where the other person is coming from can help to ensure that both parties are being heard.
If you're having any troubles or concerns, reach out to a psychologist or chat with Sonder who can help to provide support.
Information sourced from Health Direct
All content is created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health professional.