5 Potent Habits for Building Healthy Relationships
The best relationships are love-filled, selfless, sincere, supportive, full of fun memories, and will enhance your growth and development. However, you can only get these benefits from building healthy relationships because relationships like these don’t just work themselves out.
People enter different types of relationships for various reasons; it could be friendship, work, or a more intimate relationship. Irrespective of the type of relationship, these five habits are generally applicable and will help you build healthy relationships of any kind.
Always Practice Effective Communication
Communication is perhaps the most important tool for building any kind of relationship. When you meet someone, the first thing you will probably do to engage them is to communicate. However, the key here is not just to communicate but to communicate effectively.
Effective communication allows you and the other person to express your thoughts, feelings, and concerns with understanding and mutual respect. When you speak, they listen empathetically and without judgment, and you do the same.
To effectively communicate with others, you should speak in a simple language. Avoid big grammar and choose words that communicate your intentions in the most basic form. You should also watch your tone and body language. Taking a defensive posture or speaking harshly sends the wrong signal.
You should never let your emotions cloud your judgment when communicating. Do not speak if either of you is too upset. Wait for the emotions to die down so you are both in a position to listen to each other.
Communication should not just be effective; it must be done regularly. This is the best way to manage conflicts, promote understanding, and strengthen your bond in any relationship.
Avoid keeping secrets and be honest
Secrets and lies are major threats to building trust in a relationship. Trust, on the other hand, is another fundamental ingredient in building a healthy, long-lasting relationship.
You must cultivate the habit of speaking the truth and being open with the other person, especially on issues that can hurt them. We often lie because we don’t want to hurt the people we love. Nonetheless, when these people learn the truth, they still get hurt by it and then by the fact that they were made to believe a lie in the first place.
Telling the truth or sharing a secret may hurt, but it will also earn you a kind of respect and trust that will help your relationships last longer.
Be a good listener
We all love to be paid full attention when talking to people, irrespective of our relationship with them. If you are giving a speech in a room full of people, you are most likely to keep your eyes fixed on the one person who is listening with rapt attention, with a smile on their face and a nod now and then.
To build a healthy relationship, you must know when you need to talk and when you need to listen. Don’t be in a hurry to share your opinion when the other person is talking. Don’t be in a hurry to dismiss them, either.
Give people your full attention to show that you are listening to them. Avoid getting busy with your hands, moving around, and looking around unless you absolutely must. Nod your head or repeat something they’ve said at intervals to show that you are actually listening.
Sometimes, people don’t even want you to talk; they just need you to listen to them and comfort them. Know when you do not need to speak, keep your opinion to yourself in such situations, and simply provide the comfort the other person needs.
Spend quality time together
Spending quality time with one another in a relationship creates the opportunity to communicate, listen, and get to know each other. Like watering a plant, spending quality time with one another is crucial to growing a healthy relationship.
When you spend quality time with a potential business partner, you get to share your goals and values with them and foster the possibility of future collaborations. When you spend quality time with your friends, you exchange helpful pieces of advice and create fun, lasting memories. With your partner, it is an opportunity to talk at length about your future and strengthen your physical and emotional bond.
It is easy to replace quality time with phone conversations in the busy world that we live in. So you should intentionally plan to spend time with your relationships at every opportunity. Have dinner together, go on trips, do self-care appointments, or just watch a movie together.
Respect privacy and boundaries
Lack of respect, especially for boundaries, is a major killer in relationships, particularly when they are new. People tend to ease up on boundaries as the relationship deepens; until then, always be aware of boundaries and stick to them.
You should also learn to treat people according to their personalities. Some people are more private than others. Therefore, you should avoid projecting the boundaries of one person or the general public into the rest of your relationships.
If you are not clear on boundaries and privacy, talk to those concerned about them so you can be sure. Give people the time they need to warm up to you and let you into their space. Where conflict arises from crossed boundaries, be quick to apologise and reiterate your readiness to respect them.
Sometimes, people just want to enjoy some time alone. Other times, they are just being really careful about letting others into certain aspects of their lives. Whatever the case, respecting boundaries and privacy will score you huge points in any relationship.
Effective communication, listening, honesty, quality time, and respecting boundaries are effective practices for building healthy relationships. It is best to develop these practices into habits because relationships require constant nurturing to stay healthy and grow.
Remember that having healthy relationships is good for your mental health and that of the people you care about. A healthy relationship can also increase self-esteem, prevent depression, and boost your immune system.
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