8 Keys to Healthy Relationships

1. Taking Interest: People in healthy relationships take interest in one another. This is usually done in a variety of ways from asking how someone is doing (and not just in the small-talk-passing-on-the-street kind of way), inviting them to do things, and asking deeper questions about how they experienced something rather than just what they did. 

2. Acceptance & Respect: This means accepting what we have come to know about the other person and continuing to treat him/her with respect. When we really get to know someone, we find out things that are not that great about them, and they find out the same about us. Continuing to hold the other person in a positive light (and you being held in a positive light too!), are essential practices in healthy relationships. Additionally, people in the happiest relationships also talk favorably about each other in social situations, and also try to honor the preferences the other person has for things. 

3. Positive Regard: People in healthy relationships tend to see negative things the other person has done as honest mistakes or due to difficult circumstances, and attribute positive things as the result of the other person just being a good person, due to hard work, or other positive character traits.

4. Meeting Basic Needs: The basic needs that everyone has in relationships are companionship, affection, and emotional support. People in healthy relationships are focused on meeting these as well as other special needs that the other person has, and they are willing to grow to be better at this. Read more about those basic relationship needs (link is external).

5. Positive Interactions: Research shows that relationships are the most satisfying when there are quantitatively more positive interactions with the other person than negative. For some relationships there may be a large number of negative interactions, but as long as the number of positive interactions is a lot higher, satisfaction will remain high. For more on this, learn some basics of communication (link is external)

6. Solve Problems: There are a lot of unsolvable problems in relationships that will continue to cycle through, regardless of solutions, and people in healthy relationships find ways to reduce these conflicts as much as possible. However, there are also a lot of problems that can be solved, and highly functioning couples will actively compromise and find solutions to those. 

7. Rupture & Repair: people in the the healthiest relationships are able to quickly and effectively repair damage (ruptures) to their relationships. This means a) recognizing that you or the other person is hurt, angry, or unhappy with something, and b) addressing it in a way that fixes things in a timely manner. Many people wait too long to initiate repairs, some try but make things worse because they aren't sure what to do, and others do not do it at all. A good repair usually starts with an apology, read How to Apologize (link is external), or bringing it up in a constructive way (read How to Say Hard Things (link is external)). 

8. Reciprocity: This means that both people in the relationship are working on this stuff. If only one person is taking an interest, accepting and respecting, giving the benefit of the doubt, meeting the others' needs, providing positive interactions, and repairing ruptures, then the relationship likely has larger problems that need to be explored.

No comments:

Post a Comment