Healthy relationships are necessary for us to thrive. At the core of our beings, we are social beings. Simply put, we need relationships. And to live fulfilling, purposeful, abundant, and healthy lives, we need healthy relationships. We need relationships that challenge us to grow, that give us healthy love and affection, that invite us to build healthy bonds and connections, and that allow us to serve purposes bigger than ourselves.
What Do Healthy Relationships Look Life?
Healthy relationships allow us to grow. They challenge us to become better versions of ourselves. They teach us new ways of being and coping. They are supportive. They make room for us to show up as our full selves. They allow safe space for give and take, for love, for sharing and openness.
Healthy relationships create space for:
· Emotional wellness
· Healthy emotional, physical, personal, sexual, financial, and other boundaries
· Healthy emotion expression
· Healthy social interactions between individuals
· Safe space for respect, compassion, trust
· Healthy communication
Healthy relationships respect our individual and human rights. They allow us space to develop ourselves while fostering community and healthy interactions. They don’t force us to shrink or minimize ourselves for others.
Signs of A Toxic Relationship
Signs of toxic relationships include:
1. Micromanagement of your time
2. Repeated/consistent violations of your boundaries
3. Attempts to control you and/or your resources
4. Isolation from friends/families
5. Hurtful/negative words and language to decrease feelings of self-worth and self-confidence
6. Suppression of emotion expression
7. Silencing of self-expression
8. Increasing aggression and/or violence
9. Consistent shaming/blaming language/behaviors
10. Passive/aggressive behaviors
11. Swift escalation of disagreements
Value of Healthy Relationships
Oftentimes, we relate toxic or unhealthy relationships only to intimate relationships. However, as we are social beings, we are all engaged in various relationships at any given time. Relationships allow us the space to explore ourselves, to grow into purpose, to pivot and make changes, and engage in activities that give our lives meaning.
Consequently, any relationship that violates our boundaries, that forces us to take up less space, or causes us to live in fear undermines our inherent value and self-worth. Therefore, all relationships should be examined under the lenses of a healthy relationship to determine if they are helping us meet our potentials or driving us further from ourselves.
All relationships – friends, acquaintances, partners, spouses, loved ones, relatives, mentors, teachers, therapists, coaches – should be evaluated. Relationships do not standstill. They either allow us to move forward or are pulling us backwards. We must be vigilant of the people we allow into our personal worlds because they have the ability to influence us deeply.