The Keys to Healthy Relationships
Relationships can be tricky. Many of us didn’t grow up with the best role models when it comes to healthy relationships.
On this episode of Calm, Cool and Connected, Dr. Fedrick is going to reveal the keys to having healthy and happy relationships.
Key Takeaways from Liz:
• Hear how a feeling of “safety” can tell you whether or not you’re in a healthy relationship
• Find out how boundaries actually make relationships more healthy
• Learn how “respect” can change from person to person, and how disrespect in a relationship is a red flag
• Hear how trust can make or break relationships
• Find out how communication and compromise are integral to healthy relationships
All of this and more, on this episode of Calm, Cool and Connected.
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Dr. Fedrick: Hello and welcome to Colin. Colin connected. I'm your host, Dr.
Elizabeth. Relationships can be a tricky thing. Many of us did not grow up with the best role models or the best environments that really gave us a healthy template for how to navigate relationships or even how to choose the healthiest people to be in relationship with. And when we are taught something or shown something, it makes it that much more difficult to be good at it.
And that [00:01:00] really goes for anything. When trying to figure out healthy relationships, trying to choose a healthy partner or trying to determine if you're engaging in healthy ways. There's some key components that you can consider. It's important to keep in mind that social media is not therapy. And there is a lot of buzzwords.
There's a lot of influence on social media about toxic relationships and narcissism and codependency and unhealthy versus healthy. And while all of that stuff is really helpful and informative, it is not necessarily what we should be using to determine if we're in a healthy relationship or if we're engaging in healthy behaviors in that relationship.
Some things to really contemplate when assessing, am I in a healthy relationship or is this person that I'm considering maybe a healthy partner or a good compatible fit would be first starting with safety. So does this relationship feel safe to you? Not only physically, which is where a [00:02:00] lot of people go with that thought process, but also mentally and emotionally.
Do you feel that you can be yourself and you can be open, you can express your own opinions. You can have your own thought process without any fear of physical or emotional repercussions. Do you feel that you can communicate and you can disagree without it turning into something combative or conflictual?
Something else to consider is boundaries. So, are you willing to set boundaries in this relationship? Are you willing to say no to things that make you feel unsafe or uncomfortable? And also is that other person setting boundaries with you? Are they willing to express what they're also comfortable? When we think of boundaries, boundaries are, are physical.
They're about time. They're about space that they're sexual they're about anything that takes place within a relationship. And so having the willingness to tell somebody when you're not comfortable or when something doesn't work for you [00:03:00] is a really important part of a healthy relationship. Respect is also another key component and respect is such a broad, vague term.
It can be really hard to determine what does respect look like? And this might be a little subjective for a lot of people. What is disrespectful to one maybe is not disrespectful to another, but a good way to determine this is even to have a healthy, open dialogue about what feels disrespectful to you.
What feels triggering to you when it takes place and then vice versa. But what's really important here is that once this respect is determined, once you guys identify what is respectful or disrespectful in this dynamic, it's also crucial to determine are you each respecting those areas of respect and disrespect?
Are you choosing not to engage in the behaviors that are hurtful to your partner? And is your partner choosing not to engage in behaviors that are hurtful to you? Another aspect of this would be trust. So are you [00:04:00] able to believe that what your partner tells you is true? Do their actions align with their words?
Are they consistent? Do they have followed through or are there a lot of broken promises? Are there a lot of words that are used to describe, describe how they feel out you or things they're going to do for you or do for the relationship? But then it's really lacking follow through. That's something to be aware of because that is something that can really go under the radar for a long time.
Somebody's not following through and then apologizing. Oh my goodness. I'm so sorry. It won't happen again. These are my plans, X, Y, and Z, but then maybe another couple of weeks pass. And those plans don't take place is so important to be aware of that. And at some point to identify that as a package, There are certainly going to be times in relationships where potentially we let each other down, or we don't follow through on something we said we would do, and that's understandable, that's human, [00:05:00] but when it becomes a pattern, that's another issue.
And that's something to really process through and consider how much of that you're willing to tolerate. Another aspect of healthy relationships are communication and compromise. So, are you both willing to compromise to ensure that you feel good about a situation? Are you willing to consider each other's perspectives?
Are you willing to be kind and patient and understanding when you're communicating and maybe neither one of you have the best communication skills going into this relationship? And so are each of you willing to seek out the help that is needed to improve your communication skills to improve your interpersonal?
What work are you willing to do? What resources are you willing to obtain to really process through in order to become better at communicating and in order to become better at compromising. And the last part would be fun. Do you enjoy your partner's company? Do you have fun [00:06:00] together? Do you share common interests?
Do you, and do you share and enjoy hobbies? That when we think about a relationship, the most healthy relationship is based on interdependence. So co-dependence is this inmeshed overly involved. Hyper independence is where you are maybe more avoidant. Withdrawn. You have very separate lights. But interdependence is this in-between it's, it's the gray area.
It's the Goldilocks of healthy relationships. It's where you each going to have your own hobbies, your own friends, your own social lives, and you each going to be you, but then you come together and you're a week. And so there's also things that you enjoy and that you have fun doing. And a lot of Sheraton.
It's crucial to keep in mind that relationships have the power to do just as much harm as they have the power to do. Good. If we're not careful. So engaging in regular self reflection and relational, check-ins such as asking [00:07:00] yourself the questions that we just talked through. Even making that a conversation point between you and your partner weekly check-ins or, or monthly check-ins are a really good way to.
Really assess these areas, determine if you're on the same page, determine if you both feel good about the direction of the relationship and then figure out how you're going to move forward. And how are you going to work on continuing to strengthen and improve the relationship? Thank you all for tuning in to this episode of calm, cooling connection.
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