The relationships we have with others can shape us as an individual. Keeping good company and nurturing healthy connections can lead to stable mental health. They act as a safety net during those rainy days and push you to become the best version of yourself.
You grow as a person when you surround yourself with genuine, trustworthy, and real people. They have your back, and at the same time, they let you know when you are going down the wrong path.
Every relationship needs some work. And there are different types of behaviors that could lead to unhealthy relationships. You need to follow specific rules to maintain or build a healthy relationship. Whether with your parents, siblings, friends, or romantic partners, a fulfilling bond is one where two people contribute to each other’s personal growth and happiness. Creating such connections involve a gradual process, and it is an investment that you should choose to make.
So let us look at seven tips one can follow to build a happy relationship.
1. Respect the differences.
We might have similar hobbies and interests with our siblings, friends, and partners. We often bond over it. We might also spend time exploring these hobbies and interests together. But, one cannot ignore the fact that there will be differences of opinion, sooner or later.
We might initially feel unsettled as we have so much in common with this particular individual. We may start resembling them and expect them to reflect the same behavior and thoughts. We may not do well with changes in their behavior and interests.
However, in a relationship with mutual respect, we learn to respect our differences and different opinions. We avoid imposing our value system onto others and realize that we are all different people. We should keep our behavior in check. Our loved ones have a mind, and we should try to understand them.
2. Avoid overburdening of emotions.
We all have a go-to person. A person we know will be available to us at any time of the day or night – the agony aunt of your friend circle, your partner, or the cousin who is more like a sibling. We might rant to them every time we face any inconvenience.
We look forward to speaking to them at the end of a hectic day. We know that they are just a text away. We seek emotional support from our loved ones. That is what sustains an emotional connection.
However, we need to refrain from overburdening them with our thoughts. We should be mindful that they have a life of their own. Not overburdening someone with emotions is key to building a cordial relationship, and it can take your connection a long way.
3. Communication is the key.
We have all heard before that communication is the key. But how often are we successfully communicating what we feel to our loved ones? When we are in a sticky situation, we avoid open conversations with them, especially in a new relationship. We brush things under the rug so we don’t hurt their feelings. Unexpressed emotions lead to pent-up anger, which may give rise to bitter feelings.
Open communication in relationships acts as an outlet for emotions and aid in conflict resolution. Effective communication skills are essential and can help you know the other person better. It clears out misunderstandings and facilitates healthier relationships. And in intimate relationships, it can lead to better sex. Let your loved ones know when they unknowingly hurt your feelings. It would be best if you always communicated what you want. Start a conversation and create a prolific bond.
4. Create a safe space.
The people we love are the ones we reach out to when we find ourselves in a mess. We seek people who will listen to us without judgment, with whom we can be our authentic selves. When you are in a healthy relationship, you will never feel insecure about opening up to them. This place of comfort and trust is what a safe space is.
Let the people you love know that you are here for them. Let them know that you are listening. Create a healthy space, a space free of any judgment and inhibition.
5. Respect each other’s boundaries
When we become too close to another person, we tend to forget their individuality. We become thoroughly dependent on them, feeling crippled when they are unavailable to us. This is especially true for a romantic relationship.
But, a healthy relationship is built on trust and respect. Respecting each other’s personal space and emotional boundaries is as important as being there for each other. You must realize that you are a part of the person’s life, not their entire life. One of the ways to avoid codependency is to have healthier coping mechanisms.
Self-love is important. So, pick up a hobby, widen your friend circle, practice some grounding techniques when you feel anxious, listen to music, spend a little time in nature or learn a new skill. Remember that your best friend or partner will be immensely grateful when you respect their boundaries. Respecting personal boundaries will only make your connection stronger.
6. Pay attention to the little things.
Movies have taught us that you must declare it by screaming from the top of a hill. They may make you think that if you love someone, you must take them out on a lavish date in a hot air balloon or a cruise. These often set unrealistic expectations for people. But, for couples, grand gestures are not the only way to express love.
In reality, making a hot cup of tea for your partner while they juggle their team meetings and client calls, surprising your best friend with their favorite eyeshadow palette, and spending quality time with your family members can be your preferred love language. You will create lasting memories and build meaningful and strong relationships with your near and dear ones.
7. Effective listening.
One can sustain healthy and long-term relationships when both parties involved contribute to it equally. Effective listening can positively contribute to a relationship in the best way possible. Always make an effort to actively listen to your spouse, parents, or friend to ensure that you are on the same page. Be open and receptive when they tell you how their day was. Ask them open-ended questions. Lend them an ear when they are feeling low and want to pour their heart out to you.
Give them constructive criticism when they ask for it or hold their hand when they need that extra support. Being a good listener is a lifelong skill that can help build a good relationship.
To sum it up:
A healthy relationship has a beauty of its own. It is the best gift one can give oneself and those they love. These kinds of relationships are hard to come by. We must keep them close to our hearts, value them and nurture them to the end. Following these tips, you can notice the changes yourself and can free your relationship from all red flags.
If there’s anything you need help with, talk to India’s top therapists on docvita.com.