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What Does It Take? A Healthy Relationship Meter

Posted Aug 23 2008 3:19pm
Relationships are funny little creatures and in taking stock of some of my own I have discovered something; in order to have healthy relationships (friendship, romantic, business) the following things should be present (for me); they make up my healthy relationship meter: 1) The ability and space to be who you are. If you have to be someone you’re not, that creates room for games, feelings of disconnect with one’s own self (the “Who Am I Being? Syndrome), hurt, embarrassment, and possibly the loss of integrity. Some signs to look out for: Saying and doing things that you would not normally say and do, a feeling of uneasiness, always questioning yourself in the relationship. How genuine is the relationship going to be out of the gate if either person is showing up as someone they’re not? 2) Room to grow and the support to do so – no shackles or tethers. As we go through life we learn and as a result we grow. Growth is a good thing! Some signs to look out for: Criticism and put-downs from the other person, especially during times of growth and positive change. Increased signs of insecurity from your partner and the need for continual reassurance that they are OK in your eyes. 3) No emotional games allowed. There is never a winner in an emotional game. Some signs to look out for: Emotional blackmail (“If you loved me you would…”), a constant push and pull (pushing you away and then pulling you in when a distance has been created). 4) Equal balance of give and take. When there is an imbalance one person always walks away feeling depleted, used, or unimportant. Some signs to look out for: Your partner, friend, or colleague spends most of their time focusing on themselves in almost every conversation (self obsessed or self absorbed behavior); one person is putting in most of the effort to make the relationship work. Having to constantly hold your partner/friend/colleague upright emotionally. Feeling completely drained after a conversation. 5) Direct and open communication. No person is a mind-reader so it is important to be able to constructively communicate wants, dislikes, expectations, etc. Some signs to look out for: An applied assumption that you should always know what your partner/friend/colleague wants, increased resentment, and frustration. 6) Mutual respect. Without mutual respect lines get crossed and feelings get hurt. Some signs to look out for: The crossing of personal boundaries, exhibiting behavior that is belittling, embarrassing, and at the expense of the other person. Healthy relationships take two people who are equally committed to the relationship and being the best they can be. So what’s your meter for determining whether you are engaging in healthy relationships?
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