How to Build a Healthy Relationship: 15 Steps (with Pictures)
By building positive relationships with others, we will be happier and and while it may not always taste great, it can be very good for you. Do a Google search on how to get your best body and you'll be inundated with pages of training tips. For those who want to take that same, proactive approach. With that in mind, I'd like to offer some tips that have been effective for me in building good relationships. Related: Rohn: 8 Traits of Healthy.
We can all become better relationship builders by clearing our minds and practicing a few basic necessary acts: Become A Great Listener Everyone has the basic desire to be heard and understood. Unfortunately few of us are taught how to be great listeners.
Most people are too busy thinking of what they want to say next to really listen to what the other person is saying. When you notice yourself doing this, take a breath and correct your pattern by listening well. Ask The Right Questions The best way to let people know that we hear them is to make sure that we first understand what they are saying.
To do this we dig deeper and ask questions. We repeat back to them what they said in our own words to make sure what we heard makes sense to us. This deepens the relationship and places us in the category of people they want to seek out and talk to.
This tells us they are paying attention to us, and we all want that. When someone is speaking, focus not only on the tone of their words, but also their facial expression and body language. This will open doors to having deeper, more meaningful conversations that will lead to developing trust and stronger connections.
VAV Healthy Relationships
They will tell us what is important in their lives, all we need to do is listen and pay attention. When they are speaking about a family member, an event, or a hobby and their faces light up, remember this factoid, as it is important to them. Some people known for building relationships keep a small portfolio of important information on significant people in their lives so they will have a written record to refer to in order to the keep facts accurate. If your family wasn't good at communicating or resolving conflict constructively, give yourself permission to try out some new ways of handling conflict.
Contrary to previous notions, the best time to resolve a conflict may not be immediately. It is not unusual for one or both partners to need some time to cool off. This "time-out' period can help you avoid saying or doing hurtful things in the heat of the moment, and can help partners more clearly identify what changes are most important. Remember - if you are angry with your partner but don't know what you want yet, it will be nearly impossible for your partner to figure it out!
Establish an Atmosphere of Emotional Support.
Emotional support involves accepting your partner's differences and not insisting that he or she meet your needs only in the precise way that you want them met.
Find out how your partner shows his or her love for you, and don't set absolute criteria that require your partner to always behave differently before you're satisfied. Agree to Disagree and Move On. Most couples will encounter some issues upon which they will never completely agree. Rather than continuing a cycle of repeated fights, agree to disagree and negotiate a compromise or find a way to work around the issue.
Distinguish between things you want versus things you need from your partner. For example, for safety reasons, you might need your partner to remember to pick you up on time after dark. But calling you several times a day may really only be a "want.
A clear message involves a respectful but direct expression of your wants and needs. Take some time to identify what you really want before talking to your partner.
Work on being able to describe your request in clear, observable terms. For example, you might say, "I would like you to hold my hand more often" rather than the vague, "I wish you were more affectionate. It can be tempting to list your concerns or grievances, but doing so will likely prolong an argument.
Do your best to keep the focus on resolving one concern at a time. Being a good listener requires the following: You might start this process with: Research has found that couples who "edit" themselves and do not say all the angry things they may be thinking are typically the happiest.
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Adopt a "Win-Win" Position. A "win-win" stance means that your goal is for the relationship, rather than for either partner, to "win" in a conflict situation. Holding on to unrealistic expectations can cause a relationship to be unsatisfying and to eventually fail.
The following will help you to distinguish between healthy and problematic relationship expectations: What you want from a relationship in the early months of dating may be quite different from what you want after you have been together for some time. Anticipate that both you and your partner will change over time. Feelings of love and passion change with time, as well. Respecting and valuing these changes is healthy. Love literally changes brain chemistry for the first months of a relationship.
For both physiological and emotional reasons, an established relationship will have a more complex and often richer type of passion than a new relationship. It is difficult, but healthy, to accept that there are some things about our partners that will not change over time, no matter how much we want them to. Unfortunately, there is often an expectation that our partner will change only in the ways we want.
We may also hold the unrealistic expectation that our partner will never change from the way he or she is now. Express Wants and Needs. While it is easy to assume that your partner knows your wants and needs, this is often not the case and can be the source of much stress in relationships.
A healthier approach is to directly express our needs and wishes to our partner. Respect Your Partner's Rights. It is unrealistic to expect or demand that that he or she have the same priorities, goals, and interests as you. Be Prepared to "Fight Fair. Healthy couples fight, but they "fight fair" - accepting responsibility for their part in a problem, admitting when they are wrong, and seeking compromise.
Additional information about fair fighting can be found here.
Fighting Fair Maintain the Relationship. Most of us know that keeping a vehicle moving in the desired direction requires not only regular refueling, but also ongoing maintenance and active corrections to the steering to compensate for changes in the road.
A similar situation applies to continuing relationships. While we may work hard to get the relationship started, expecting to cruise without effort or active maintenance typically leads the relationship to stall or crash!
Though gifts and getaways are important, it is often the small, nonmaterial things that partners routinely do for each other that keep the relationship satisfying.
Outside Pressures on the Relationship Differences in Background. Even partners coming from very similar cultural, religious, or economic backgrounds can benefit from discussing their expectations of how a good boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse behaves. What seems obvious or normal to you may surprise your partner, and vice versa. If you are from different backgrounds, be aware that you may need to spend more time and energy to build your relationship.