Tips for Healthy Relationships
Healthy relationships bring happiness and health to our lives. Studies show that people with healthy relationships really do have more happiness and less stress. There are basic ways to make relationships healthy, even though each one is different...family, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, professors, and classmates.
- Keep expectations realistic. No one can be everything we might want him or her to
be. Sometimes people disappoint us. Healthy relationships mean accepting people as
they are and not trying to change them.
- Talk with each other. It can't be said enough: communication is essential in healthy
- Genuinely listen. Don't plan what to say next while you're trying to listen. Don't interrupt.
- Listen with your ears and your heart. Sometimes people have emotional messages to share and weave it into their words.
- Ask questions. Ask if you think you may have missed the point. Ask for opinions. Show your interest.
- Share information. As your trust begins to grow, share more about yourself and allow
others to know the real you.
- Be flexible. It's natural to feel apprehensive, even sad or angry, when people or
things change and we're not ready for it. Healthy relationships mean change and growth
- Take care of you. First, you must be a healthy person to be in a healthy relationship.
Acknowledge your needs and take steps to meet them. Other people help make our lives
satisfying but they can't create that satisfaction for us. Only you can fill your
life. Healthy relationships aren't dependent!
- Be dependable. If you make plans with someone, follow through. If you have an assignment
deadline, meet it. If you take on a responsibility, complete it. Healthy relationships
- Fight fair. All relationships have some conflict. It only means you disagree about
something, it doesn't have to mean you don't like each other!
- Show your warmth. Find little ways to show the other person that you care and are
thinking of them. Healthy relationships show emotional warmth!
- Know that it's a process. Sometimes it looks like everyone else on campus is confident
and connected. Actually, most people feel just like you, wondering how to fit in and
have good relationships. It takes time to meet people and get to know them...so, make
"small talk"...respond to others...smile...keep trying. Healthy relationships can
be learned and practiced and keep getting better!
- Be yourself! It's much easier and much more fun to be you than to pretend to be something or someone else. Sooner or later, it catches up anyway. Healthy relationships are made of real people, not images!
Adapted from Joyce Woodford, Counseling Services, Kansas State University