How to Sustain Healthy Relationships

Life is full of difficulties, but there’s one challenge that is filled with complexities and no straight-forward answers. What is that challenge? Relationships. Whether it’s the relationship with family members, friends, significant others, partners, or co-workers, relationships are not always easy. While upholding this month’s affirmation to sustain healthy relationships, I found it’s more complex than you think. Not everyone thinks like you, acts like you would, or is supportive of your decisions. What can be done? Here are a few steps I learned that helped me maintain my affirmation both now and in the future:

Remember that you can’t control what others do or say, you can only control how you respond. There will always people who approach situations differently than you would and who don’t agree with you. Your first instinct might be to lash out at them, point out their faults, and shut them out. You might chose instead to grumble and hold the resent inside, waiting for them to receive their just punishment. I’ve found that both of these ways are an incredible waste of time and energy, and they’re also most likely bad for your health. Why hold on to something you can’t change? Why try to control someone’s behavior when you can’t? What can you be in charge of? How you react to their comments. I found when people disagree with you, it’s much better to take a step back and ask them why they see the solution a different way. From here, we can come up with a compromise instead of fighting. Just because you do things differently doesn’t mean you can’t get along. It’s much healthier to realize this than hold on to every conflict. When you start to feel frustrated, just repeat this mantra: “It takes all kinds of people. A solution is always possible.”

 

Decide what’s important. When people treat us poorly, we sometimes tend to hang onto these feelings of disappointment and resentment towards people. I’ve experienced people constantly hanging onto every word I say or decision I make, looking for a way to discover my faults and point it out. Sometimes, I’ve learned people say things out of concern or just want to help give direction. Sometimes I’ve found this kind of treatment comes from a different place, it’s one of envy. Jealousy is no one’s friend and the only way to combat others who feel this way about you is to decide their opinions aren’t important and continue to strengthen your skills. Rather than spend your energy on what others think of you, it’s much better to do what you do best and focus on your own self-improvement. In the end, you can’t make people feel better about themselves, which is why it’s better to focus on what you’re doing.

Save the venting for your journal. It can be very easy to fall into the habit of venting on every single situation that happened at work or with an acquaintance, but does it actually solve anything? I am definitely guilty of venting, and although I have made comments to a select group of friends I trust, I’ve changed my approach to venting. Since stating my affirmation for this month, I’ve decided complaining isn’t worth it. Venting doesn’t make the problem any better. I may have small moments where I share my thoughts, but I’ve determined to make my comments more positive or present a solution. I’ve found it’s also helpful to write down my frustrations, then tear them up. I use a journal to write down solutions and potential statements to make when I’m confronted by someone I’d rather not deal with. These statements aren’t rude, but assertive and make their point.

 

Always show genuine appreciation. This one is hard for me because I’ve known so many people who “suck up” to the boss by showering them with praise or socializing, but they don’t follow through on their work. Still, there is a way to show people you appreciate them. I’ve found that by setting phone dates with friends far away, planning to volunteer at a local organization, and making small gifts for friends and classmates during holidays, I can find a way to show I appreciate their involvement in my life. Whether or not we always agree, it doesn’t mean that the people in my life don’t enrich my experience.

 

What matters in the end is how you feel and the relationship you have with yourself. It sounds cliché, but it is 100% true. How you treat yourself matters more than anything. I’ve found that having a more positive relationship with myself develops more positive relationships with others. I don’t have to be everyone’s best friend, but can I get along with people? Absolutely. And what better way to do this than by making sure I treat myself well and take time out when I need it. Whether this means I take a monthly bubble bath or save homework for another day so I can read or cross-stitch, taking care of myself is a priority for sustaining all kinds of healthy relationships.

Since relationships are complex, there’s no doubt in my mind that there are many more suggestions out there for maintaining a healthy connection with those around you. No matter how others treat you or what they think of you, there are more important aspects to focus on. Where you go from here, I hope you always remember to connect with yourself and sustain that relationship first.

What suggestions do you have for sustaining healthy and positive relationships?

Cover Image Credit: Congerdesign on Pixabay.

This post is a part of Practical Mondays hosted by Practical Mom.

4 Comments

  1. annette @afrenchcollection

    Thanks for your thought provoking post. Taking a breather every now and again to do something for yourself that you value and enjoy is so important. Great idea to include your insta photos in your post!

    • brooklyntvlasich

      Taking time out for myself has not always been my strong suit, but I found making it an affirmation and using my Instagram account to do it helped me focus and remind me to relax. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

  2. Mary-The Boondocks Blog

    Great post Brooke. What surprised me was that we should ask others why they feel a certain way if it is different from our opinions. Now that is a good way to defuse a situation and it can also enlighten us a bit.

    • brooklyntvlasich

      It’s interesting you mentioned that point. I have been learning in my graduate school classes about conflict resolution, and one of the best ways to diffuse the tension is to ask people for their specific POV. In most cases misunderstandings come from not seeing the other person’s side. Thanks for sharing your insights on my post!

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