In life, besides our passions and careers, relationships play an extremely important role, becoming an indispensable thing, whether it’s family relationships, friends or significant others. The connection from soul to soul is the foundation for each person to have a happy and meaningful life.
This article will cover ways to help you form a healthy relationship, let's find out!
1. BE A GOOD LISTENER
No matter who you are, whether you are studying or a graduate with a job, knowing how to listen will always be a skill you should learn. Whether it’s deep conversations or daily chatter, listening is the invisible thread that strengthens your relationship with others. Listening and hearing are two different things; the former means you truly care about what the other person is saying, empathize and give genuine advice when appropriate or asked.
On the topic of romance, some people will worry about boring their significant others with mundane details about their daily lives, especially when such events are bound to be repetitive to an extent. In my opinion, I always cherish those little details because everyone has their own opinions and their perception of life, so even their meals and bedtime are unique to them. If we don’t care about and connect through these mundane details then the relationship doesn’t seem to have a strong foundation and won’t last very long. If your relationship is based on how much you can entertain the other person, it will create further distance.
However, you should pick and choose when to truly listen. The stories you pay attention to will affect your mood and mentality as well. In both romantic and platonic relationships, invest your energy into those who truly deserve it. If the other person only seeks you out to vent all their frustrations and does not respect your emotional boundaries then you should reconsider if they are worth your time and energy.
2. HONESTY MATTERS
Besides listening, we should strive to be honest and genuine with others. Every relationship is a result of continuous interaction. If possible, figure out a way to communicate your emotions instead of harboring annoyance and disappointment in silence. Being open and honest is one of the decisive factors in building a relationship; be constructive, civil and positive with your criticism. Only when you speak can both of you change for the better. “Communication is key” - Lee Brown.
Especially on sensitive topics like finance, in any relationship being open on material aspects is also necessary to avoid any misunderstanding. Many people also say that if you are close enough with the person then there is nothing to be meticulous and calculative about. In a romantic relationship that’s been deeply invested in, this is true. However, don’t confuse intimacy with a lack of financial organization. Both people in a relationship should do what’s best for each other.
3. DON’T ALWAYS CRITICIZE
One of the things that make for unhealthy relationships is constantly judging each other. Born into the world, each individual has a distinct color with different directions, from situations, thoughts to their environment. Because of that, imposing your thoughts on others is a very one-sided job. Everyone has their own opinions and it's completely normal for you not to like someone. But constantly noticing, judging and demeaning them, or even lecturing them is a completely different story.
In this case, we have two choices. One is to ignore it because it really doesn't matter how the person you don't like leads their life, or what people think of them. It really doesn't affect your personal affairs. This is why I chose the 'drama - free' lifestyle and didn't care too much about negative reviews from others. It would not be correct to say that we are not sad or upset when we are judged and misjudged. But take those negative words as motivation to improve yourself, do better. Importantly, you need to know yourself best so that you don't get disoriented by conflicting opinions in life.
Second, it's direct feedback as needed so that the person can make corrections. However, how do you choose to give feedback so that everything can be optimal? Some people will sit back and share calmly, but some people will clearly show their attitude and win or lose to the other side, even using harsh criticism. If you give your feedback in a civilized way, it shows that you really want things to be improved. On the contrary, if you make things 'toxic', it only shows that you need to satisfy your ego. This behavior does not make other people respect you, but you are the one who will create a worse impression.
4. EFFORT COMES FROM BOTH SIDES
Life with chaos and a never ending to-do-list makes people often assume that the people who are with them are with them forever and unconditionally, but forget that we also need to take care of those relationships. Like trees, relationships also need to be cared for and nurtured in order to last.
A small meal, a handmade card on a special day or a conversation to review good memories…Relationships are maintained from such very small things. Whether it's friends or loved ones, it all takes effort from both sides. When the relationship is out of balance, it is a "red flag" that you need to reconsider. Everything has its price, no one can only give and no one can take forever. Whatever your situation, try to take a moment to reflect on what they have done for you, or what you have done for them, and how you two have done for each other! Make adjustments before it's too late.
Other than this, nurturing your close relationships is also a way to relieve the stresses of life and the hardships of existing. Try not to be too caught up with your work that you end up losing your relationships!
5. HAVING TRUST IN EACH OTHER
Trust is extremely important in any relationship, as it is the determining factor to take the relationship a step further. There is no stable friendship, acquaintance or romance that does not come from trust.
To create a feeling of trustworthiness, you must first and foremost be honest and genuine. The general mindset of many people who want to build relationships is that they don’t want to disappoint others. Because of this, many people will occasionally say a white lie to appease each other. Maybe the nature of these lies do not result in the direst of consequences. However, if you don’t have a grasp on the situation, it will lead to misconceptions and conflicts that can tire you out in the relationship. It is best to be honest since the beginning with what you already have, because no one will blame a person that is always learning and listening.
Next is keeping your word. People soon lose their faith in someone who is a talker and not a doer. When someone truly treasures a relationship, they will prioritize their actions over empty promises. Wherever you go, you will always have time and energy for them. Trust is something that isn’t easy to foster and is hard to regain after losing it, like a broken vase being held together with glue. When there’s fidelity or suspicion, the relationship will suddenly be placed under a lot of pressure. Because of this, we need to be responsible and take accountability of our words to avoid hurting others as well as ruining our good relationships.
6. GROWING TOGETHER
A healthy relationship is when both of you work together to become better versions of yourselves, giving each other motivation and purpose. For me personally, having more relationships means more support for myself. Because, relatives, friends or siblings are always beside us and give us help whenever we need it.
However, not every relationship is like that. An unhealthy relationship stems from selfishness or apathy from you or the other person, asking too much of others and not being considerate of their emotional wellbeing. When the ego is far too inflated, it will be hard to respect one’s personal boundaries. Alternatively, some people accidentally or purposefully put each other in stressful situations. All that conflict obstructs them from ever developing themselves as human beings. If a relationship is bringing you down, perhaps it’s time to reflect. If you are respectful and try to make each other comfortable, you may end up learning invaluable lessons from each other.
Whoever you are, I believe everyone deserves a relationship that is healthy and suitable for them. For that reason, sincerely cherish those close to you! I hope my sharings can help you in some way.