November 29, 2021

5 Pieces of Advice for Healthy Relationships with Friends and Family

Ece Eke

Having a strong relationship with your loved ones, whether that be your parents, friends or significant other, is important. However, it's normal to have times where the relationship may feel strained or problematic. Here are 5 pieces of advice for building a healthy relationship with your loved ones:  

  1. Relationships with Parents

Don’t be scared to share your feelings or ask for help from your parents . It may feel awkward or unnatural, but parents can provide helpful input with issues that you are struggling with. And don’t forget to thank them and show your appreciation whenever you can, it may mean more to them than you know. Parents may not always be perfect, so it's important to try to put yourself in their shoes. It's natural to disagree or find their reactions unhelpful. Instead of lashing out, try to have a calm, respectful chat about how to better understand one another and further a constructive and healthy parent-child dynamic.

  1. Relationships with Siblings

Siblings can be some of our closest confidants, making strong relationships  with them that much more important. Improving your communication is the biggest step towards a healthy relationship. Your siblings, other than your parents, are most likely your longest-lasting relationship and you may be tempted to speak whatever you are feeling out loud at all times. However, being thoughtful with your words could help prevent arguments or hurting your sibling’s feelings. Moreover, instead of placing blame on your siblings, which may feel like the easy route at times, verbalizing your feelings in response to their actions is a much more constructive response when solving problems. Another important strategy to maintain a strong relationship with siblings includes spending quality time together to bond and.

  1. Relationships with Significant Others

One of the most important aspects of personal relationships is setting and respecting boundaries. A relationship is a two-way street, with both partners willing to put in effort to establish a healthy dynamic. Genuine effort to get to know your significant other and accepting them as who they are, including their faults, will help them become the most comfortable they can be in the relationship. However, things can get tough in every relationship and arguments naturally arise. In these situations, ask your partner about their intentions and feelings instead of jumping to conclusions. This simple act prevents miscommunications and sets the stage for some constructive conversations between yourself and your partner. And don’t forget, it’s you and your partner against the problem, not the two of you against each other!

  1. Relationships with Friends

Juggling a busy schedule in addition to valuing your social life and  your friendships can be a struggle. Thus, making a conscious effort to set aside quality time for your friends or simply making time to connect for a few minutes every day could prevent your friendships from drifting apart. However, don’t forget to be mindful of your friend’s personal lives and acknowledge that you may not always be their first priority. Brief text messages or phone calls to let your friend know you are there for them keeps your friendship compassionate, yet still respectful of their personal circumstances and boundaries. Similarly, if you feel the need to talk to a friend, be open and letthem know. This small act is helpful for building a trusted friendship where your feelings and needs can be acknowledged and reciprocated.

  1. Relationship with Yourself

The relationships we have with ourselves are extremely important to value and cultivate just as much as we value our relationships with others. At times it may feel difficult to accept yourself as who you are given that we tend to be more judgmental and harsher towards ourselves. The first step to establishing a healthy relationship with yourself is to extend the same grace and patience you show to others to yourself as well. Get to know yourself, your strengths, and your weaknesses. Recognize when you are not being kind to yourself and turn that negative self-talk into a motivating speech. Show yourself some compassion and don’t be afraid to show gratitude for who you are and what you can and have achieved. Give yourself the time and effort you would for others that you value and cherish in your life.