A healthy relationship can enhance your life significantly, making you feel good about yourself and giving your life meaning. Unhealthy relationships can do just the opposite, lowering your self esteem, sometimes even making making you feel anxious, unfulfilled or just disappointed.
Just like our physical health, emotional health and even our careers, they take time, care and commitment to keep them healthy. Regardless of the details of how we choose to live our lives, most of us endeavor to enjoy happy and healthy relationships with our children, partners, parents, siblings, friends and even our co-workers. In addition to investing time, support and forgiveness into your relationships, you can have a positive impact on those around you by following these simple life principles.
Stick To Your Word
Follow through not only on the big promises, but also the small ones. If you say you are going to attend to something, make it a priority to do.
Admit Your Mistakes
When you have recognised that your actions or behaviours have hurt the other person, let them know that you are committed to changing this behaviour. Let them see you trying to change this behaviour and ask them to help you by reminding you if you fall out of line.
Review your expectations of the person you feel may have let you down. View this person as someone with both qualities and flaws, and make the decision to love them anyway. If your expect people to be perfect 100% of the time, you are sure to end up disappointed.
Learn to listen not only to the daily run down of events, but to how the other person feels about these events. Learn to know the difference between when this person just needs a sympathetic ear and when they are actually asking for input or advice.
Show Your Affection
It’s easy to kiss someone hello and goodbye, or remember to buy them flowers on their birthday, but don’t forget to put some effort into the little things that show you care! Offering a foot rub if they have been up on their feet all day or picking up their favorite treat from the shop while you are out reminds the other person that you are thinking of them and are also in tune with how they may be feeling.
Be dependable. Let your actions show them that they can always count on you to be there. You may not always be able to help them out of every pickle, but let them know they can trust you to be there regardless.
Don’t ever hide anything. Except for special surprise birthday plans, any other secrets are bound to be destructive to a relationship, and will ultimately come out anyway.
It’s healthy to spend time apart from each other. But more importantly it’s healthy to trust each other to do so. Never spy or eavesdrop on someone you care about. Lack of trust is very toxic to a relationship and they may never forgive you for this. If there is a secret they are hiding, you will likely find out in due course anyway.
Express Your Feelings
This may seem obvious, but be sure not to attack the other person in this process. Instead of yelling " You were home late again, you better not do that again or you’ll be sleeping on the couch!" try saying something like "When you come home late without a reason and without letting me know, it makes me feel hurt and like you are putting your work before our relationship".
Support the other person so that they can grow to be more successful in life. No matter how small or large their ambitions are, it’s important to all of us to feel validated and fulfilled.
Relationships are complex. They are often hard work, but if your are willing to put in the effort, you will reap the rewards of being surrounded by happy, healthy and beneficial relationships.