The people in your life contribute significantly to your well-being.
The most essential aspect of determining the quality of your life flows through your self-talk.
Running a close second as the most important and influential part of your life are your relationships. The people in your life contribute significantly to your well-being (or lack thereof).
We constantly use relationships to determine our position in life. We observe the people around us and make decisions about who we are based on how we believe others perceive us. That’s why it’s important to do all we can to maintain our healthy relationships and improve our unhealthy ones.
A healthy relationship requires that each person bring something unique and special to it. A healthy relationship happens when two people understand and appreciate each other. A healthy relationship exists when value is placed not only on who you are together, but also on who you are individually.
Healthy people are growing people, and people do not grow healthy in isolation. We need each other for so many reasons: for companionship, encouragement, support, feedback, and insight.
Relationships can be complicated and complex. Sometimes we become so close to a situation—and so intertwined with a person—that it’s difficult to gauge whether a relationship is healthy or unhealthy. Whether you want to evaluate a marriage, friendship, family relationship, or any other personal connection, look for the following ten qualities, which are sure signs of strength and security:
1.) Trust. Two people develop trust because each has proven to be trustworthy and reliable. When tempted to betray the relationship in some way, they have held fast to the needs and feelings of the other person instead.
2.) Authenticity. Authentic people aren’t so judgmental, uptight, and defensive that they bristle at differences. They value individuality and uniqueness.
3.) Honesty. The truth should be spoken in love, compassion, and tenderness. To a friend, the truth is not a weapon; it is a healing balm
4.) Understanding. A healthy relationship involves two people who know the background and context of each other’s lives. They know the what of things, but they also know the why of things.
5.) Acceptance. Proximity sometimes results in pain where human beings are concerned. Healthy people acknowledge this pain as an acceptable consequence of the relationship.
6.) Mutual benefit. True friends monitor the relationship to ensure there is both give and take, refusing to allow it to become chronically one-sided and draining.
7.) Respect. Respect confers dignity, honor, and high worth to the recipient. In contrast, lack of respect leads to all kinds of relational ills—put-downs, dishonesty, cheating—which are sure to sink a relationship eventually.
8.) Unselfishness. If the person you’re with shows little regard for your wishes and opinions, consistently puts their desires before anyone else’s, and seems thoughtless and uncaring about others, you’re probably in the presence of someone more selfish than selfless, more big-headed than bighearted.
9.) Affection. At the heart of all friendships should be genuine affection. Friends enjoy each other. They like to be together because of the way they feel about each other.
10.) Joyfulness. It sounds simple, but the relationships that flourish include individuals who truly enjoy being together.
If you have most—or all—of these qualities in your relationship, be assured that your relationship is headed in the right direction, which is toward a satisfying, successful future.
Gregory L. Jantz, Ph.D.
Founder of The Center • A Place of HOPE in Edmonds, Washington, voted a top ten facility for the treatment of depression in the United States. Dr. Jantz pioneered Whole Person Care in the 1980’s and is a world-renowned expert on eating disorders, depression, anxiety, technology addiction, and abuse. He is a leading voice and innovator in Mental Health utilizing a variety of therapies including nutrition, sleep, spiritual counseling, and advanced DBT techniques. Dr. Jantz is a best-selling author of 39 books, member of the White House roundtable on opioid abuse, and has appeared on CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox, and CNN.
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