What DOES a Healthy Relationship Look Like?
“A healthy relationship will never require you to sacrifice your friends, your dreams, or your dignity.” – Dinkar Kalotra
We’ve been talking about exploring our values and how to live in line with those values. Last week I talked about making behavior changes to live more in line with your values. I was going to talk about relationships and boundaries, but then I realized that it may be helpful to identify what a healthy relationship actually is, and what it isn’t. I love the quote above, because fundamentally, healthy relationships allow us to be ourselves, live in line with our values, and live out our dreams. We also have to give others the permission to do so as well.
I know this probably goes without saying, but it is important to say that everyone deserves to feel and be physically safe in their relationships. If you are experiencing domestic violence or being physically hurt in your relationship, you need help. Please call the local domestic violence hot line at 980.771.4673.
Mutual respect for one another is the core and foundation of a healthy relationship. Respect is like the soil in a garden…in order for healthy plants to grow the soil needs to be nourished and healthy.
This is another big one. In order for a relationship to feel emotionally safe, being able to trust each other is absolutely necessary.
Honesty ties in with trust, but I think this has to do with being honest in your intentions, communication, and behavior. It’s important that we are honest with the other person. Honesty brings growth and closeness in relationships.
I also feel that this one should go without saying, but unfortunately it needs to be said. Each person in the relationship is absolutely equal to the other. There are no dynamics of power or authority over the other. The way in which we think, feel, communicate, and interact with the other person should be done so from a place of complete and utter equality.
This is a hard one for many people, but the ability for each person in the relationship to compromise will likely determine the success of the relationship. Compromising is an expression of respect and equality.
You can’t have a healthy relationship without open communication from both people. Open communication allows the expression of thoughts, feelings, goals, dreams, concerns, and much more. Open communication done with respect and equality fosters validation, affirmation, and ultimately growth in the relationship.
These are just a few of the characteristics of a healthy relationship. There are plenty more. You can start to evaluate your relationships by identifying if these characteristics are present. Journaling is a great way to start that evaluation and introspection. Remember, the goal here is to identify how to live more in line with our values, and that includes the quality of our relationships.
Have a great day and reach out anytime!