At one point or another, we have often wondered about the health of our relationships – be it a relationship with a colleague, friend, parent, or romantic partner. We want to feel assured that our relationships are positive and mutually beneficial.
Owing to the uniqueness and complexities of each individual relationship, there is no one-size-fits-all questionnaire to determine if your relationships are healthy. However, regardless of the particular relationship that you want to strengthen, the below tips and suggestions by Jonah Engler are almost certain to help.
Ways to Establish Healthy Personal Relationships:
1) Develop Listening Skills:
Talking is healthy – talking about our lives, problems, and achievements improves our psychological health (no wonder that psychotherapy is often referred to as ‘talk therapy’).
However, if we keep on talking without giving the other person a chance to do the same, we will eventually find that we do not have any more listeners. When you listen to others, you display respect and care for the other person – two of the building blocks for any healthy relationship. We have all been part of a conversation that made us feel more of a spectator and less of a participant.
As a test, the next time you strike a conversation with someone, notice what you are primarily talking about: are you sharing your own lives or experiences, or are you asking the other person about theirs. According to Jonah Engler, a healthy relationship should have the right balance between the two.
2) Being Honest:
Honesty is probably one of the top three prerequisites for a healthy relationship. Even if your characteristics are otherwise impeccable, nothing can make up for the lack of honesty since it impacts pretty much every aspect of any relationship.
Jonah Engler does not believe that honesty is confined to truthfully responding to questions. Instead, honesty also involves opening up about the secrets and details of your life that you would rather twist or not share at all. It is not easy to own up to your mistakes and shortcomings, but know that the people who truly love and appreciate you will be there for you. Honesty also presents your loved ones with the chance to help you in case you need it, and it helps develop an invaluable bond of trust.
3) Not Shying Away from Apologizing:
Apologizing is often just as hard – if not harder – than being honest, as it requires you to bring up something heavy to the surface. However, the resulting appreciation and recognition is well worth the difficulty of having to apologize. Conceding your mistakes shows the other person that you care more about mending the relationship and working on your flaws, than you do about your ego.
However, Jonah Engler wants you to make sure that your apologies are genuine, and are not just another way to deflect blame or responsibility onto other people.
In summary, relationships are complex, complicated, and often overwhelming. However, one cannot deny that they are also the most meaningful aspect of our lives, and, therefore, worth the effort that they often require. We hope that the tips by Jonah Engler discussed in this blog will help you nurture and strengthen your interpersonal relationships in every aspect of your life.