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  • Writer's pictureEvita Ellis

SELF-CARE: Ways To Foster Healthy Relationships

Quality #1: Respect and good faith

When you respect your partner, you understand that he or she is not just an extension of you, but a completely unique individual with thoughts, feelings, and desires that are totally different from your own. Instead of assuming that there is one correct set of beliefs — yours — that any sane person would agree with, you understand that there are usually many perspectives on any topic. Just because your sweetie holds a different point of view doesn’t make that opinion “wrong” or less worthy of consideration than yours.

Quality #2: Appreciation and caring

When you appreciate your partner, you delight in his company. You care that he’s happy, and you show it by being emotionally supportive in your words and actions. When resolving problems, you sincerely want your mate to be satisfied by the compromises you draft together. You don’t want to win everything at the expense of your partner’s happiness.

People tend to be on their best behavior when they first meet someone. For example, they remember to praise their partner and show affection. But as time goes on, they become more and more used to one another, and they forget to talk about their positive thoughts and feelings for one another. They forget to mention all those endearing thoughts and ­feelings that once drew them close.

Quality #3: Honesty, loyalty, confidentiality, and trust

You and your partner must communicate honestly with one another. But you don’t have to say everything, and you may decline to reveal information to protect another person’s confidence or because you just don’t want to share the information.

Closely related to honesty and trust, confidentiality is another essential ingredient in good communication. In order to share your intimate thoughts, feelings, and experiences with your mate, you need to feel safe that he’ll keep those secrets to himself, and you need to keep his secrets sacred as well.

Of course, sharing the information in a professional relationship with your psychologist or therapist is fine. Sharing some of it with a close friend who helps you process events in your life is also OK — provided your friend also keeps your confidences and tells no one else. Often a close friend can let you talk aloud and help you figure out what to do in difficult situations.

Quality #4: Best friends

In a healthy relationship, partners are best friends. Similarly, to communicate well, you need to speak to your partner in a manner that shows you consider him or her to be your best friend. Yet some people show less tolerance for their mate’s opinions and statements than they would a stranger’s. They tune their partner out, and save their best communication habits for company instead. Well, if you want to alienate your lover and get closer to the company, go ahead! Otherwise, you’d best treat your partner — your closest friend — even better than you would a stranger, acquaintance, or a less intimate friend.

Quality #5: Owning and sharing your feelings

To communicate effectively, both partners must take responsibility for their own feelings. Each person has the right to feel as he or she feels, even if that’s not the way someone else might feel in the same situation. You have the right to feel the way you feel just because you feel it. Good communication involves acknowledging your feelings and sharing them with another person.

Quality #6: Determination and perseverance

For any relationship to last and grow, you and your partner must be committed to making it work; you need to be determined. Similarly, to communicate well together, you also need to be determined and persevering.

Quality #7: Positive attitude

Both partners need a reasonably optimistic attitude toward life and their union to make the relationship thrive. Similarly, to foster good communication, they need to feel reasonably confident that they can amicably discuss and resolve whatever problems come their way. Their statements to one another must be more positive than negative, so they’ll feel upbeat and excited around each other — and look forward to more sharing and communicating.

Artist - ann usman


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