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Healthy Relationships

Healthy Relationships

The relationships in your life can anchor you through some rough storms that you encounter, like health woes or career turmoil. When you have solid relationships with your parents, siblings, spouse or partner and children – as well as friends and co-workers, it helps you feel content with everyday living.


Parents and Siblings


Relatives are perhaps the hardest relationships for us to manage – if they’re in turmoil. Instead of being able to cut ties with these people, they’re family – so it’s harder to remove any negative influences you might encounter.


When parent or sibling discourse is part of your life, you need to learn how to set boundaries so that you can live the best life possible. That doesn’t mean you have to slam the door shut on that person forever, but instead learn to empower yourself in relation to their demands.


Maybe you don’t even have a terribly strained relationship with these individuals. If you feel guilt for a lack of communication, then try to map out a schedule when you can reconnect with them on a regular basis.


That may mean a weekly phone call – or better yet – a Skype call where you can see each other! Or maybe it’s a weekly or monthly lunch or dinner where the family can meet up and share what’s going in their lives.


Spouse or Partner


Your spouse or partner should be a support beam for you – and vice versa. You both should be able to vent frustrations to one another without zapping the other person of their self-esteem or their own happiness.


Likewise, you should be able to share every moment of your best life – and it’s important that the two of you have things in common where your activities and interests cross paths.


It doesn’t have to be identical, but you should both be willing to do something the other person enjoys periodically. And make sure you give each other the space everyone needs as they grow into adulthood.


You shouldn’t have to keep tabs on someone (or have that done to yourself). If there’s a high level of distrust, then it won’t make for a good relationship over time.


The best thing you can do for yourself is analyze whether or not your current relationship is thriving. If you don’t feel it is, look to see if you think it has potential for repair.


There are certain books, such as the 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, which might help you meet each other’s needs. If you try various methods to salvage your relationship and it’s not working, then you might have to make the difficult decision to move on without that person in your life.


If you don’t, and you let a stagnant relationship ruin each and every day, you will see it seeping into other areas of your life – and nobody should live that way.




The relationship you have with your children is unlike any other. There’s an unconditional love that supersedes all else in life. But it has to be nurtured and tended to, or problems will arise.


Kids need attention – one on one and as a family unit. They want to feel safe, loved and proud. Make sure you have a relationship with the other parent that is amicable.


This kind of communication provides a safe environment for the kids. When you’re yelling at each other and slamming doors or threatening divorce, it causes a great deal of emotional turmoil on your offspring.


Make sure the kids feel they can come to you about anything. Open up discussions more than just asking, “How was school?” You don’t want “fine” as an answer – you want to know the good and the bad emotions they’re feeling when they walk in the door, so you can help them handle it.


Many parents are in such a rush every day – from the time you wake the kids up, to after school when activities are pursued, and on to homework, dinner and bedtime.


Take time each day to lovingly and gently show your kids you care. Don’t yell “Get up!” at them in the morning. Sit down on their bed, pat their back gently and say, “Good morning!”


Eat dinner together at night and talk about each other’s days. Tuck the kids in and let them fall asleep feeling loved and safe. These small moments are the things that give your children a solid foundation in life – and it helps you feel good about yourself as a parent, too.




We all have friends that vary in the degree of closeness we feel to them. We have acquaintances, best friends, and everything in between. Some of them are great influences on our lives – and others, not so much.


You need to evaluate who is good for you and who isn’t – and cultivate more of a relationship with those who make you feel good. We’ve all seen the leech friend who takes and takes but never gives anything in return.


That’s a hard type of relationship to end, but you can set boundaries and protect your mental health by limiting the amount of contact you have with that person. At the same time, it’s important to be a good friend to those who need and deserve it – being there for them as they’ve been there for you.


Being a hermit, closing yourself off from any and all forms of socialization, is not healthy. It leads to a feeling of isolation and eventually could turn into depression. Find like-minded friends who have similar interests and build a bond with those people.


Coworkers, Boss and Clients


The relationships you have in your work environment are more formal. Sometimes they cross the boundaries into close familiarity, but that’s not always a wise decision.


Some people make the mistake of opening up their lives (think Facebook) to coworkers, bosses or clients and find themselves out of a job, or being shunned for promotions based on behavior outside of work.


Forming good relationships – even friendships – with the people you work with can have a good impact on your life, too. Job stress is a very real and very common ailment in our society.


The friendships – lunch dates, for instance – that you have with others can alleviate some of that stress. Good relationships at work also foster a sense of belonging and respect that your superiors might view as a good contribution for the company if an advanced position opens up for which you’re qualified.


To live your best life, look at who you interact with on a daily, monthly, or annual basis. How could you improve that relationship? Should it be limited or expanded?

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