Relationships are a crucial part of your emotional health and well-being. There are many different types of relationships – from friendships, parent-child relations, and romantic relationships to work, teacher/student, and community relationships.
There is a lot of research that shows the benefits of having healthy relationships – including reduced stress, restful slumber, improved mental and physical health, and more. The positive impact of a relationship can also extend to your social network as you can help to keep each other grounded and not lose sight of what is important.
A key feature of a healthy relationship is respect for one another. This includes respect for one’s individuality (including hobbies, interests, and perspectives). It also means that both of you take each other at your word – that if you say you are going to do something, it is likely that you will follow through on it. Respect also includes being able to communicate openly and honestly with one another, even if it is difficult or embarrassing.
In unhealthy relationships, the focus becomes more about avoiding conflict and resolving issues in a way that is harmful to both individuals. This often results in resentments that build up over time, a feeling of being trapped, and a lack of satisfaction with the relationship. If you feel this is a problem in your relationship, be sure to reach out and talk with a therapist to discuss options for change.