17 Dec December 2021 Newsletter
Hi there! Christmas is just a few days away and we have reached halfway through this school year. This time of year, is all about those loving meaningful and close relationships we value and thrive off as human beings. The subject of this newsletter couldn’t be any more relevant – RELATIONSHIPS, as a third variable of the formula for resilient happiness.
As humans, the relationships we form with other people are vital to our mental and emotional well-being and even our survival.
Humans have an inherent desire to be close to other people — to connect and build relationships. While a man talking to a volleyball while stranded on an island (Remember the movie?) isn’t necessarily “healthy,” his compulsion for company is. That’s because healthy relationships, whether romantic, friendships or familial, can help make life healthier. And it shouldn’t come down to just one relationship.
A positive relationship can be shared between any two people who support, encourage and help each other practically as well as emotionally. The most important part of a healthy relationship is healthy communication.
Healthy communication in a relationship can be achieved by following the following steps:
- Another person’s perspective. Remember that you’re not speaking to yourself. Try to understand where the other person is coming from and how they understand the world when communicating with them.
- Be prepared to hear something challenging. Be willing to hear something that doesn’t fall within what you’ve predetermined to be true.
- Listen intently and wholeheartedly. Listen without preparing your rebuttal or response.
- Make the effort to connect with the other person using prosocial behaviours. These include acts of kindness, generosity, inclusion, interest and acceptance.
- Ensure you are a responsive participant in the relationship. Ask questions, listen to what the other person is saying, share how you are feeling and display empathy.
- Schedule in time to nurture the relationship and connect with the other person. This doesn’t have to be face to face, you could video-call them or even write to them. Try to make the time meaningful if you can, without other distractions getting in the way.
In no particular order, people in healthy relationships tend to:
- Listen to each other and communicate without judgement. This includes communicating effectively about sex and intimacy for people in romantic relationships, to ensure that both parties are satisfied within their sexuality.
- Trust and respect each other.
- Consistently make time for each other.
- Remember details about each other’s lives.
- Engage in healthy activities together.
- Work collaboratively as a team rather than as two self-serving individuals.
- Be disciplined. It’s easy to let your hair down and show your worst side around people you are close with, which is why the phrase “You always hurt the ones you love” rings true to many. People in healthy relationships have the discipline to not treat their counterpart poorly just because they are close.
- Be healthy and whole on their own instead of searching for their identity or healing in another person.
- Avoid focusing on what they want to get from the other person but instead focus on how the relationship can be mutually beneficial.
It is the quality, and not the quantity, of your relationships that counts. Less can in many ways be more, as it means you can dedicate more of your time to each one and avoid neglecting them through spreading yourself too thinly. You could even factor building your positive relationships into your self-care practices.
Have a wonderful festive season connecting and savouring every moment with your loved ones!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from team Unravel!