Building new and healthy relationships

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Health Assured team

10 January 2023

Relationships can be a source of joy and connection, but they can also be a source of stress at times. Throughout our lives, we’ll all experience unique connections with those around us, and knowing how to handle varying relationship interactions can be a challenge.

But you can develop skills to build and maintain healthy relationships. It isn’t a case of being born with these abilities—it’s something we can develop over time.

In this article, we’re going to look at the key components of a healthy relationship, and tips to help you put these factors into practice in your daily life.

How to build a healthy relationship

Healthy relationships have communication at their core. With solid communication, you can understand each other, be there for one another and overcome issues together.

To build a healthy relationship, asking questions is one of the ways you can offer the other person to express their feelings. Try to opt for open questions that don’t require a simple yes or no response.

Take the time to really listen to what the other person has to say. This means picking up on their body language and being fully in the moment when you listen to them.

Hold realistic expectations

Sometimes we can hold high expectations of others in our lives. Yet others have their own needs and expectations too. If you can be more flexible in your expectations and accept others as they are, you’ll likely find that your relationship will improve. You’ll experience fewer disappointments—and hopefully fewer arguments as a result.

Take care of yourself 

The relationship you have with yourself will impact how you interact in all other relationships. Looking after yourself first will create ripple effects that benefit every relationship in your life. Take care of your physical and mental health by eating well, getting into a good sleeping routine and drinking enough water. It’s also important to prioritise taking time for yourself and things that you enjoy too; this way you’ll have the energy to show up in your relationships in a positive way.

Handle conflict well 

Remember that most relationships will encounter conflict at some point. This is natural, as we all have differing opinions, views, and beliefs. The key is to know how to handle conflict well. 

When disagreements or confrontation arises, try to talk without blaming. Explain how you feel about what’s happened. Putting the focus on your feelings can come across less like an attack and more like an open discussion.

If the conversation gets heated, remove yourself from the situation and take some time to calm down before you try to resolve things. This pause will help you to let emotions settle and reduce the chance that you might say something you’ll later regret.

Spend quality time together 

Healthy relationships thrive when you spend time together doing something you both enjoy. When you devote time to your relationships without distraction, you can be fully present with the other person. These interactions will boost connection and strengthen the bond between you both.

Watch our podcast episode on building healthy relationships

In this episode our Head of Clinical Support, Kayleigh Frost talks to to counsellor Kristian Parsons about relationships.

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