Building Healthy Relationships

Relationships are not easy.  If relationships were easy we would all have loads of friends, a devoted spouse and a family that would make the Kennedys’ jealous. Give yourself a chance to think about what it takes to make a relationship work. Maintaining relationships is not a job, although they do require a little effort.

Webster’s online dictionary defines a relationship as a relation between people. People are sensitive, inquisitive, and fearful among many other adjectives that define human nature. These characteristics are the things that drive people towards or away from one another. Recognizing a person’s motive or state of being can build or deter the foundation of friendship.

Stress.about.com reports listening to someone can go along way into building trust and camaraderie. Taking the time to just be present for someone to vent their emotions, express their excitement, or discuss something intelligently is the easiest way to build a solid relationship. If they are giving you the time to talk, you should give them the time to listen. Relationships start with a common goal defined easily as “together, we better.”

Kansas State University Counseling Services ranks “keeping expectations realistic” number 1 in their Ten Tips for Healthy Relationships. The lack of managing expectations may be the worst culprit to destroying a relationship.  We have all been let down by someone a time or two. This really starts with dependability, thoughtfulness, and desire. Sometimes you cannot choose who is counting on you, but it is your responsibility to speak openly about those expectations. Be honored, but realistic to what you can give someone else.

Building a relationship with friends, co-workers, family, and lovers starts with commitment. The commitment can be casual or lifelong, and both require dedication to the same goals.  We all have many relationships that we take for granted. Explore one you have with someone and give it 100% attention.  The interpersonal connection is priceless.

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