In this day and age, it can be difficult to actualize an honest diagnostic of what makes a relationship “healthy”. The experiences we have vary, but we can agree on a lot of the things that make a relationship “feel good”.
The thing is, what makes something “healthy” and what makes something “feel good” are two different things. Of course, triple meat lovers pizza with extra cheese and garlic butter and stuffed crust makes me feel good, but I think that science will tell me accurately that it is not healthy.
While that may be a physical and anatomical comparison, a relationship is not much different in how it can affect us emotionally (any physically).
A lot of times, when we think of a healthy relationship, we think of the relationship from an emotional standpoint, but in reference to the self-care theme we had in January, I think it’s critical for us to see that a relationship can be extended to friendships and family as well.
Under this umbrella of relationships, I’ll share two things I have learned over the past few years from having healthy relationships and knowing the difference.
Having humility and trusting each other to do the right thing is crucial. It’s hard sometimes to swallow one’s pride and stop acting like you know everything and what is right. A healthy relationship will allow us to trust each other to make the right choices and do the right thing. I no longer feel the need to get involved in all of the individual goings on in my romantic partner’s life or my friends lives because I know they will make the right decisions. My intervention could just make things worse and not allow the people I respect to learn. I expect the same from them.
Do not control the ones you love. Let them make their own choices and support them. Trust that they will ask you for help when needed.
With this being said, be proud. Too many people are intimidated by the success of others. “How I Met Your Mother” had a line I’ll never forget.
“When someone has good news, you’re happy for them! For like a millisecond. And then you start thinking about yourself.”
Don’t feel bad if this applies to you. I have been here before. Remember to be genuinely proud of the people to have relationships with. Know what is going on in their lives. Know their high and low points. What their struggles and successes are. Articulate your pride in them. If they get a new job, congratulate them and as them more about it. Link this success to their down point they may have been experiencing leading up to them getting a new job. If they suffer through a break up, tell them you are proud of them for powering through the pain. If they are suffering a loss, tell them you are proud of them for being open in their communication.
Everything comes down to honest communication with out attacking anyone and showing pride and excitement.
I have learned a lot over the past few years about healthy relationships, and these are my two biggest takeaways to date. Maybe you’ll find different things that you realize are challenging but healthy. Just don’t dive into only what makes you feel good. Sometimes it is toxic and can prohibit growth.