The relationships we have with others 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 people that are genuine and trustworthy. They have your back, and at the same they let you know when you are going down the wrong path.

Every relationship needs some work. There are certain rules that you need to follow to maintain or build a healthy relationship. Be it your parents, siblings, friends or romantic partners. A fulfilling relationship is the one where two people contribute to each other’s personal growth and happiness. Creating such relationships involve a gradual process, and it is an investment that you should choose to make.

So let us look at seven tips that one can follow to build a healthy relationship.

1. Respect the differences.

We might have similar hobbies and interests with our siblings, friends and partners. We often bond over it. We 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 feel unsettled at first as we have so much in common with this particular individual. We start resembling them and expect them to reflect the same behaviour and thoughts.

In a healthy relationship, we learn to respect our differences. We avoid imposing our value system onto the other person. We should keep our behaviour in check. Our loved ones have a mind of their own, and we should try to understand them.

2. Avoid overburdening of emotions.

We all have a go-to person. A person who 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 rant to them every time we face any kind of 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. However, we need to refrain from overburdening them with our thoughts. We should be mindful of the fact that they have a life of their own. Not overburdening someone with emotions is key to building a healthy relationship, bringing us to our next suggestion.

3. Communication is the key.

We have all heard this before that communication is the key. But how often are we successful in communicating what we feel to our loved ones. When we find ourselves in a sticky situation, we avoid having an open conversation with them. We brush things under the rug so that we don’t end up hurting their feelings. Unexpressed emotions lead to pent up anger, and this may give rise to bitter feelings.

Good Communication in relationships acts as an outlet for emotions. It can help you know the other person better. It clears out misunderstandings and facilitates healthier relationships. Let your loved one know when they unknowingly hurt your feelings. 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 any judgment. With whom we can be our authentic self. When you are in a healthy relationship, you will never find yourself feeling 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. A healthy relationship is built on the foundation of trust and respect. Respecting each other’s personal space and emotional boundaries is as important as being there for each other. One of the ways of avoiding codependency is having healthier coping mechanisms.

Pick up a hobby, widen your friend circle, practice some grounding techniques when you feel anxious, listen to music, spend time in nature or learn a new skill. Remind yourself that your best friend or your partner will be immensely grateful when you respect their boundaries. Respecting personal boundaries will only make your relationship stronger.

6. Pay attention to the little things.

Movies have taught us that you need to declare it by screaming from the top of a hill if you love someone by taking them on a cruise ship or taking them on a date in a hot air balloon. Grand gestures are not the only way to express love. 

In reality, making a hot cup of tea for your partner while they juggle between their team meetings and client calls, surprising your best friend with their favourite eyeshadow palette, spending quality time with your ageing parents can be your preferred love language. You will end up creating lasting memories and build a meaningful relationship with your near and dear ones.

7. Effective listening.

One can sustain a healthy relationship when both the parties involved contribute to it equally. Effective listening can positively contribute to a relationship by being a good listener. Make an effort to actively listen to your partner or your parents when telling 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. 

Provide them with constructive criticism when they ask for it or just hold their hand when they need that extra support. Being a good listener is a lifelong skill and can help build any type of healthy relationship.

To sum it up:

A healthy relationship has a beauty of its own. It is the best gift that one can give to themselves and the people they love. These kinds of relationships are hard to come by. We need to keep them close to our heart, value it and nurture it to the end of time.

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