Are Your Relationships Healthy?

By: Lisa Card Strong, Ph.D. | November 12, 2021

Psychologists know that healthy relationships are based on respect and equality. Stable, healthy friendships, romantic partnerships and work relationships are formed when people treat each other in a respectful manner. When relationships are at their best, they can be a great source of companionship, support, and intimacy. We all strive for healthy relationships, but how do we know if we have one?

Elements of Healthy Relationships

Healthy relationships consist of calm communication and a collaborative approach, when both people can listen to one another, even if they do not agree. When two people don’t see eye to eye, the objective moves from trying to change the other person’s mind to trying to understand their unique perspective. By doing so, we acknowledge that we can each have our own perspective and appreciate each other’s differences.

WHEW. That’s a lot to think about and requires a tremendous amount of work. Easier to write about than to live, for sure!

The framework of healthy relationships are:

  • Trust
  • Honesty
  • Accountability
  • Negotiation
  • Shared Responsibility

Some of us are raised in a family where these skills are taught and modeled, and many of us are not. The good news is that even if you didn’t learn these skills growing up, they can still be learned if you are motivated and willing to try something new.

Signs of an Unhealthy Relationship

It can be difficult to accept or acknowledge warning signs that a relationship is based on power and control. Examples of warning signs are insults, gaslighting, or being coerced into doing something that you don’t want to do. If these elements are in your relationship, it is a sign that the relationship dynamic is out of balance and based on power, not equality. If someone controls what you say, what you do, blames you, or doesn’t take your concerns seriously, consider meeting with a San Diego Psychologist to learn strategies to balance or untangle yourself from an unhealthy relationship.

You can improve your overall wellbeing in therapy by learning to understand yourself better, adopt new ways of thinking, and develop new skills. Don’t wait until your relationship is teetering on the edge of disaster. If you want to improve your relationship, consider Individual or Couples Therapy at Therapy Changes. It takes a great deal of courage to take the first step. What are you waiting for? Now is your opportunity!



Photo by Kristin Wilson on Unsplash

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