There are seven habits for healthy relationships positive people live by. And they can make all the difference in your life.
The world of social interaction can be tricky.
In our daily life, every person we interact with is an intricate web of experiences and expectations that contend with our own equally complex composition.
It is a delicate dance to appreciate the needs of others while honoring our own. Sometimes, it can feel downright impossible. But, this dance is intrinsically, profoundly human.
We humans are social beings—albeit to varying degrees and in different capacities. And not only does it feel good to be valued by the people around us, it is essential for our health.
Studies suggest that the quality of our social relationships can have a positive, or negative, effect on our psychological and physiological well-being.
If you are interested in making the most of your social ties, use these habits for health relationships. They will support meaningful moments and healthy environments that encourage growth in the relationships you cherish.
The 7 Habits For Healthy Relationships That We Can All Benefit From
1. Focus on something you love in your relationships
When someone is pushing your buttons, do your best to look at them like they are the greatest person on Earth, even if you can’t see it at that moment (loving kindness will help with this).
Every interaction you have is an opportunity to practice living with an open heart. But challenging interactions can be significantly more impactful.
Whether your relationship with someone is difficult or easy, bumpy moments are inevitable. Positive people know that one of the key habits for healthy relationships is to use these challenging moments as an opportunity to practice compassion.
After all, you can’t underestimate the importance of compassion in life.
Here’s how to practice this habit for healthy relationships:
- If a certain person is getting on your nerves and you begin to feel your agitation rising, draw yourself back to something that you like about them.
- Pick a pleasant memory, a nice personality trait or something unique about them. Is this person profoundly generous? Do they have an infectious laugh? Have they ever picked you up when you were feeling down?Recognize these things and keep them near to your heart.
- Evoke the warm feelings they give you when you need an extra dose of patience.
- Remember, it’s more important to preserve your relationship for its beautiful qualities than it is to damage it over a passing frustration.
- Having difficulty finding the good in the person across from you? Keep practicing! It will get easier every time.
2. Acknowledge the Good in the Bad in relationships
This is one of the top habits of positive people.
Every person is a combination of strengths and weaknesses. Learn to observe how the negative traits are intrinsically connected to the positive ones.
Seek the ways in which the things that you love about someone are reflected in the things that drive you nuts.
Here’s how to practice this habit for healthy relationships:
- Think of someone who has both positive and negative aspects. For instance, think of someone who gives you their utmost attention when the two of you are together but is impossible to reach otherwise or never returns your calls.
- Instead of isolating the negative and writing this person off as inconsiderate, consider how it may be connected to the positive. Most likely, they are busy devoting that hundred percent attention to something else in the world, not actively ignoring you.
- Remembering this can help you approach the people in your life a way that helps you both to grow and understand one another.
When you look to truly see someone as the sum of all their parts, you are able to more objectively determine the best way to address an issue or irritation.
3. When the Thought Strikes–ACT!
How often does something remind you of a person you love, or you’re stuck with a random thought or memory of them? Share it!
Call them up or shoot them a quick email and let them know they’re on your mind.
Stop what you’re doing and reach out before you forget. The longer you wait to do something the less likely you are to do it—life is busy and things come up—so when the thought strikes, ACT!
Healthy, positive relationships are built upon simple gestures that show you care.
It’s good for you, too!
Studies show that expressing positive emotions has a number of beneficial side effects. Articulating your affection for the people in your life has been shown to lower stress hormones, lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure and support a stronger immune system.
4. Channel the Yin and Yang
Seek balance in times of discord.
If a disagreement arises take note of the other person’s reaction and respond in a way that levels out the energy in the relationship.
Balance is key.
Much of the pain or discomfort we experience in life occurs when the energy of a given situation is out of equilibrium.
While we can’t control how others act, we can control our emotions.
We can control the way we react (or, more effectively, respond).
Seek to bring balance to all of your interactions – in balanced spaces, people feel safer to communicate openly and be genuine.
Here’s how to practice this habit for healthy relationships
- If your friend or loved one becomes aggravated or combative, resist the urge to match their anger with your own.
- Give them a moment of silence.
- Let the energy diffuse.
- If a loved one’s defense mechanism is to shut down and internalize their frustration, take a breath, and vocalize your own with compassion and understanding.
- Invite them to the middle ground where conflicts can be resolved and relationships can grow positively.
5. Be vulnerable
There is an implicit authenticity in vulnerability, in greeting the world with a raw and open heart.
When you accept yourself as you are, and allow yourself to process your environment and experiences in a healthy and objective way, you give others permission to do the same.
A healthy relationship is built on a foundation of openness and understanding. With openness and understanding we can weather rocky times.
Unhealthy relationships are built on ego and expectations. In these types of relationships, people are far more likely to fall victim to reactive behavior that is damaging to the wellbeing of everyone involved.
Vulnerability is a radical act in a disconnected world. It is potentially the most important tool you have to connect with and empower yourself and those around you. Wield it wisely.
6. Keep positive, even when they’re not around.
The words we say and the thoughts we think shape our reality. This applies to relationships, too!
Quantum physics aside, your thoughts infect your actions. So, keep your words warm and think positive even when the subject of a conversation (or the person you are thinking about) isn’t around.
One of the key habits for healthy relationships is to value pleasant thoughts over negative ones.
Can you reframe your frustrations in a more positive way? It is remarkable how influential our own perception is to the way we experience the world around us.
Choose your words.
Check your energy.
Never feel the need to lie or sugar coat.
But, understand that “working on things and growing” is an acceptable and promising place to be!
By consciously choosing to see the people in your life in the best, most realistic light, even when they’re not around, you are able to approach your time with them in person in a loving and charitable way.
7. Look Inward
Perhaps the most important habit for healthy relationships is to improve our relationship with ourselves.
When we take the time to look inward and accept ourselves as we are, it becomes second-nature to accept others as they are too.
When we take the time to practice self-love and awareness, we are less prone to lashing out at others in anger or resentment.
Learn to treat yourself with compassion and you will treat other people with that same compassion.
The ability to recognize and accept your own faults permits you to do the same for others.
Practice awareness and gratitude every day.
You reflect back at others what you carry with yourself. Commit to carrying happiness and positivity within, and happiness and positivity will manifest in the relationships around you.
[bctt tweet=”All you can change is yourself, but sometimes that changes everything! – Gary W Goldstein” username=”t_d_meditation”]
What’s your top habit for healthy relationships?
Nurturing these simple habits can dramatically affect the way you interact in your existing relationships, and help you create rewarding new relationships in the future.
Do you have a helpful tip for positive relationships not listed above? Share it in the comments section below.
Together we can build healthy, meaningful connections!
Author: Marley Flueger
Marley Flueger is a freelance writer possessing a very well-worn passport. Marley combines her education in journalism, a knack for brand identity and an eye for the little things to create compelling stories that stick. Curiosity has pulled her across the world, lending to a diverse body of work spanning content creation, marketing and advertising copy, editorial, prose and creative non-fiction.
Marley has two rules: do what you’re good at, and strive to do the most good. This has compelled her to use her talents to help small businesses get their message heard, and to elevate and encourage others through the power of creative writing.
Read more of Marley on her blog Little Things Up Close