Forming and maintaining healthy relationships, more often than not- doesn’t come spontaneously. It requires hard work, sincerity, and dedication. Having healthy relationships, whether family or loved ones, can greatly impact your life and mental health in general.
Talking to relationship experts, we put together a comprehensive list of steps you can take to grow healthy relationships.
“There are many components needed to form and maintain healthy relationships.” says Damon DaRil Nailer, “I want to share four integral elements I believe are essential to any successful relationship;
Listen More And Speak Less
“Possessing great listening skills is one of the most vital characteristics of anyone desiring to create and sustain healthy relationships. At some point, all of us will need to be heard. What are we typically looking for in these instances? A great listener. What constitutes a great listener? A person who will give his/her undivided attention, make eye contact, listen intently without judging or criticizing, and share his/her honest opinion.” (Damon DaRil Nailer)
“When communicating, making decisions, and being in the presence of those with whom you have a relationship, it is critical that you consider their opinions, feelings, and personalities. This will significantly reduce the potential for arguments and conflict.” (Damon DaRil Nailer)
Allow Others To Live In Their Truth In Your Presence
“One of the greatest compliments you can receive from those with whom you are connected is that they feel comfortable being themselves around you. We should create a safe space and place for people to be vulnerable and unapologetically themselves. In essence, they don’t have to put on a façade or mask their insecurities or shortcomings.” (Damon DaRil Nailer)
“I sincerely believe that violating trust in any relationship is detrimental. In my observation, dishonesty is the greatest destroyer of trust. Make it a priority to tell the truth no matter what. Even if it hurts the other party’s feelings, at least he/she will be aware of the facts. I believe it’s easier for an individual to get over hurt feelings than it is to regain trust after being lied to.”
Damon DaRil Nailer, consultant, motivational speaker, author, and educator. www.livinglovingleading.net
“I spend my life coaching people on how to improve their mental health and keep healthy relationships. Time and time again, I am reminded that healthy relationships ground us and provide us with the confidence we need to be successful in life. This is not only applicable to romantic relationships, but to platonic ones too.
“In terms of how you can maintain healthy relationships, there are small steps you have to take on a daily basis. First, I would recommend keeping your communication completely open. Create an environment where each member of the relationship can express themselves freely without being ridiculed. This means that when your partner or friend comes to you with an issue, your immediate reaction should be to help them solve it rather than to get defensive.
“In romantic relationships, it’s a good idea to check in with your partner every week. Sit down and discuss how the week has gone, as well as bringing up any issues you have with them. If you do this on a weekly basis, you will prevent serious issues from arising further down the line as your feelings will not be repressed.”
Make an Effort
“Finally, make the effort to do nice things for your partner every day. Every now and then, this might be a big thing such as taking them on holiday or buying them an expensive gift. However, the most important acts are the ones that take place every day in a subtle way. For example, get up earlier to make them a coffee in the morning or let them choose where you go out to eat. If both members of the couple do this frequently, you will have a healthy, balanced relationship.”
Ray Sadoun. Mental health and addiction recovery specialist; OkRehab.org
“One of the most important aspects of a healthy relationship is to communicate. No one can read minds, so communicating your needs, feelings, and opinions is vital. Proper communication can help to keep the other person informed and prevent unnecessary conflict.”
Spend Quality Time Together
“Life can be busy and chaotic. While some days you may just want to come home from work and check out, make sure that you prioritize meaningful quality time in the relationships in your life. Participate in an activity that you both enjoy and make sure to focus your attention on the other person and really listen to what they are saying.”
Learn to Forgive
“Conflicts and arguments are bound to happen at some point in your relationships. While spats happen, they don’t have to define your relationship. Learn to communicate without hurling hurtful insults at the other person or pushing their buttons. Once you have worked through the issue, learn to forgive and try to move on.”
Max Whiteside BarBend.com
Learn To Respect Each Other’s Boundaries
“Even if you know your spouse’s social media password, that does not give you the right to do some spying. Let trust be the driving force here, and if you have your apprehensions, talk it out with your partner. Never take things into your own hands.”
“The adage is you can’t love someone if you don’t love yourself first. This isn’t saying that you should be selfish, but don’t forget about your own personal needs and wants.”
Learn The Right Way To Argue
“Fights and arguments are inevitable, but they shouldn’t come to a point where they will be destructive for either of you. You may butt heads, but at the end of it all, you should be focusing on what’s good for the relationship, not the individual.”
Set Realistic Expectations
“We all have our own set of standards. But if you’ve set the bar way too high that’s impossible for anyone to achieve, you won’t move forward. There’s also a point where you’ll have to accept the imperfections you’re facing.”
Jack Miller is the founder of How I Get Rid Of
“We may be biologically wired for connection with other people, but it doesn’t mean that relationships are easy.” says Cheri Timko, giving some practical tips to work on;
Staying Connected To Others Means Investing Some Time Into The Relationship
“If you want the relationship to last, you must prioritize some time in your schedule. That could be spending devoted time with another person (meeting up, video or phone calls, or regular texts) or occasional random interactions. If you want a good relationship, you will let the other person know that you are thinking about them.” (Cheri Timko)
Be Careful Who You Spend Your Time And Energy On
“In the best relationships, both parties invest similar amounts of energy. They may not invest the same type of energy (for example, one might do more planning while the other does more demonstrations of friendship), but they are both committed to staying connected. If you find yourself consistently putting in a lot more energy, know what crosses your boundaries and find someone willing to invest the way you do, or cut back on how much you invest.” (Cheri Timko)
Know The Limitations Of The Relationship
“Some friends are for fun while others are for talking about deeper issues. Both are important but you can’t expect the fun person to be a good listener. It’s ok to get something different from each relationship, so be realistic about what you expect. If you are lucky enough to find someone who meets all of the categories, that is a rare find.” (Cheri Timko)
Know Your Own Boundaries
“Even in the closest relationships, you must know what is ok for you and what is asking too much. It is your responsibility to enforce those boundaries when someone crosses those lines. In the best relationships, just mentioning the violation will prompt the other person to adjust their behavior. If someone continues to cross your boundaries, it is your responsibility to limit their ability to continue doing so.”
Cheri Timko, M.S. Couples Relationship Coach, Synergy Coaching, Timko Counseling Services, LLC.