Promoting Healthy Relationships
Inviting the right people into your life might not be as easy as it sounds. There is a lot that goes into attracting the right people into our life. Negativity is all around you but if you pay close attention, you can weed out the negative people and not allow them into your life. If you are trying to become the best version of yourself, part of that is targeting the right relationships you want in your life.
How do we promote healthy relationships? We are all human and have grown up with certain influences. If you grew up thinking friends who lie, cheat, steal or use drugs is a proper way of life then there is some work to do. If you grew up with more positive role models, showing you that it is important to treat others the way you want to be treated with respect, honesty, accountability and healthy lifestyle choices, then cultivating healthy relationships might be simple.
Do You Accept the Love You Think You Deserve?
When someone acts a certain way do you know it? What I mean is, do you have a level of discomfort in your core, or a sign, telling you a person might not have your best interest in mind? Are you accepting the love you think you deserve? Are you clear on what you deserve? If you are not clear on what you deserve then this would be a good time to get quiet with yourself or talk to a counselor.
The survey method is one way we can challenge what we might be thinking by talking about it to others. By getting input we can make a more informed decision.
Here are some examples or signs to warn you that a relationship might be unhealthy:
- Substance abuse or addiction issues (or lying about/covering up these issues)
- Lack of effective communication (i.e., communication presents: frustration, irritation, triangulation, manipulation, confusion, low self-worth)
- Criminal background
- Passive-aggressive or aggressive behaviors (i.e., subtly trying to hurt you or blatantly trying to hurt you)
- Verbal, emotional abuse (i.e., name-calling, labeling or lack of respect given your current boundaries)
- Physical or sexual abuse
- Disagreement of major values (i.e., topics of debate politics, religion, ideas around money, procreation, parenting style)
- Jealous actions, words or behaviors
- Narcissistic and selfish behaviors (manipulates, degrades, loves attention, shows entitlement or blame)
- Threats of leaving a relationship or threatening suicide when there are problems in the relationship
- Overly involved in family drama or extended family relationships
- Anyone trying to change or control you
Toxic people as described above may take some time to figure out. By the time you see some of these behaviors or attributes you might be highly involved with the person or attached. Others might be seeing the behavior and warning you. Perhaps you are not listening.
Toxic people can be involved in various relationships with you including family members, friendships or romantic relationships. You will have to make the decision on whether or not to cease communication with toxic people. Defining your own boundaries is a sure way to stand your ground. Boundaries help overcome unhealthy relationships. Getting out of a toxic relationship is the first step in identifying how you can create healthier relationships for yourself. Coming up with healthy boundaries is the next step.
How Do You Define Healthy Boundaries?
It is important to first understand how to set healthy boundaries. If you are unaware on what goes into defining healthy boundaries for yourself, here are some tips.
Define what your limits are. By defining what you are willing to put up with and not willing to put up with, is a first step. However, this can be convoluted and confusing depending on what your beliefs are. It can be complex depending on how low your self-esteem is.
Reading about healthy relationships is another way to gauge what standards you want to set up for yourself. Try to use a 0-10 scale. If your level of discomfort regarding one of the examples above it higher than a 5, you probably want to set up a boundary, address it (see below- under “Make Yourself Number One) and be ready to leave the relationship alone if the standard is not met.
If you are feeling exhausted or beat-down or your physical/mental health is less than average due to a stressor in the relationship, this is another sign that you are ready to define healthy boundaries for yourself.
Make Yourself Number One
Take time out for yourself. Get to know what you want out of your relationships. When you know what you want after talking with a counselor or making a list of important character traits you would like to see from your counterpart (friend, lover or otherwise), get ready to have a real conversation about it. Practice your assertion skills on friends by rehearsing them.
Seek out the proper channels of support from people you can trust such as friends, a counselor or family member. Then, when you are ready to be firm, assertive, direct (with use of sincere language) with use of eye contact, get into a conversation with the person about what boundaries you would like to see established. If the other person cannot comply after a time-tested period, then make a decision to walk away.
There are many other people in the world who are able to be in a healthy relationship. You just have to affirm what you want for yourself and go find them. In the meantime, if you need to work on your self-esteem, then work on loving yourself to build the courage to find the next partner. Working on loving self is valuable time spent. Investing in yourself before the next relationship is a worthwhile investment.
Here are some examples of a relationship that is healthy:
- Negotiation and fairness or compromise
- Respect for each other
- Non-threatening behaviors with effective communication
- Trust and honoring each other
- Honesty and accountability
- Sharing responsibility
- Financial partnering and healthy discussion around financial decisions
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that everyone is expected to make mistakes in life. That is how we learn. The lessons we go through allow us to make improvements in our life. Creating healthy boundaries can lead to promoting healthy relationships. Loving yourself also allows healthy relationships to come into our life more easily. A healthy relationship feels good and boosts us up, not bring us down. Comment below to tell me what you thought of this blog. Follow me on Facebook at I CAN TRAIN MY BRAIN and join my I CAN TRAIN MY BRAIN Group.