WHAT IS A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP?
How are your relationships with a spouse, partner, friend, child or parent? Are they toxic and unhealthy or constructive and fulfilling? Are you a controller or are you being controlled?
The frightening thing is that we only know what we know and knowing what a good relationship should look like can be quite a foreign concept for those who have been conditioned and defined by existing in and experiencing an abusive relationship. Unhealthy relationships rob us of our confidence and damage or sense of self worth. It is through our relationships that we define our selves and that is why it is vital to stop and take a long hard, honest look at the quality of our relationships. Are they meeting our needs? So, what does a healthy relationship look like?
A healthy relationship looks like?
Here is a list of basic needs we all have and a constructive healthy relationship should honor these needs.
- The need for emotional support.
- The need to be heard by the other and to be responded to with respect and acceptance
- The need to have your own view, even if others have a different view.
- The need to have your feelings and experience acknowledged as real.
- The need to receive a sincere apology for any jokes or actions you find offensive.
- The need for clear, honest and informative answers to questions about what affects you.
- The need to for freedom from accusation, interrogation and blame.
- The need to live free from criticism and judgment.
- The need to have your work and your interests respected.
- The need for encouragement.
- The need for freedom from emotional and physical threat.
- The need for freedom from angry outburst and rage.
- The need for freedom from labels which devalue you.
- The need to be respectfully asked rather than ordered.
- The need to have your final decisions accepted.
- The need for privacy at times
So, how do you and your relationships measure up? Are you locked into a relationship that is driving you insane? Do you have the courage to shine the torch and scrutinize your relationships?
Here are some hard questions:
- Are your relationships marred by constant bickering, name calling, insults and constant criticisms?
- Do you feel that you can do nothing right?
- Are your feelings respected and are you able to express your wants, desires, thoughts and opinions, or are they belittled?
- How is conflict and differences of opinion dealt with in your relationships?
- Do you receive or give the silent treatment, the long lip, the great sulk which lasts for days and weeks?
- Do you have to be a “chameleon” and constantly be what another person wants you to be?
- Have you lost touch with yourself and who you actually are, while you are striving to please someone else?
- How much are you sacrificing to be in the relationship you are in?
- What is the level of trust, commitment and honesty?
- Do you feel respected as an individual or do you have to stay small so as not to threaten the fragile ego of your partner?
- Do you feel understood and able to discuss matters openly in your relationship?
So, how are you doing as a wife, a mother, a sister or a daughter? How are you doing as a husband, father, brother son or friend? Do you need assistance in handling anger or conflict? Do you want to improve the communication in your marriage?
The sad thing is that so many people feel overwhelmed and see no way to change the status quo in their lives. Remember, the longer you put off an honest and hard look at the health of your relationships, is another day, week, month or year that you do not get what you deserve.
Nothing is sadder, than living a small unfulfilled life, settling for mediocrity, denying our needs and facing the end of our lives with regret and resentment.
The good news is that we are immensely more powerful than we realise and there is ALWAYS something we can do to change the dynamics of any relationship and choose to live in an authentic, conscious and constructive way. This is where life coaching can support you in making changes in your life.
September 3, 2014