5 Smart Strategies for a Healthy Relationship
Healthy relationships can increase your happiness, improve your health, and reduce stress. Studies show that people with healthy relationships have more joy and less stress. Here are five smart strategies to make your relationship healthy.
1. Communication is Key
Communication is so important in a relationship but is often one of the hardest things to do well. Here are five ways you can improve your communication skills to bolster your relationship’s health:
1. Ask open-ended questions
2. Listen to understand, not respond
3. Pay attention to non-verbal cues
4. Don’t try to read your partner’s mind
5. Make time to talk
Remember, communication takes practice and won’t be perfect.
2. Listen to Understand
A healthy relationship of any kind involves active listening. It’s good to ask questions to make sure you comprehend what your partner or friend is communicating, and make sure you’re listening to understand, not to respond.
It’s easy to listen and only think about how you’ll respond to the other person. Today, practice listening to understand instead and notice how it changes your interactions.
3. Set Boundaries
The health of every relationship depends significantly on the strength of your boundaries.
Boundaries help protect you and also establish the identity of both people in the relationship. What’s important to you? What are your values? What is a non-negotiable for you?
It’s important to communicate these things to make sure you’re on the same page and can respect each other. You shouldn’t stay in a relationship where you aren’t respected and loved.
4. Disagreements Are Okay
In fact, disagreements can be healthy!
They’re a way to make sure both partners can voice their opinions. As long as you vocalize your thoughts in a way that respects your partner, disagreement can help you both come to a better understanding of each other. Disagreements can also reveal weaknesses in the relationship and ultimately help you understand if you should be together. Approach disagreements with openness and see what you learn.
5. Emotional Connection Matters
It can be a sign of deterioration in your relationship if you aren’t emotionally connected to your partner. Worse, it can be a sign of emotional manipulation. Pay attention to your interactions, and make sure your emotional connection is strong and healthy.