Written by Carol N., Erie City School District Student Assistance Program, Sprout Contributor
When the staff of SPROUT was brainstorming at our monthly meeting for ideas to publish, someone mentioned “how about a story on healthy relationships”. What a hard story that would be to write I thought to myself, so I didn’t volunteer to write it. Then as I was writing another article for an upcoming issue I started to think HOW do people have healthy relationships these days when it seems like everyday life is crazy and sometimes you don’t even know which end is up.
Well, of course one runs to the internet when you don’t have an answer so that is what I did and I was very surprised to see HOW you can have a healthy relationship if you follow some basic tips the counselors at Kansas State University Counseling Services has to offer.
Ten Tips For Healthy Relationships
Healthy relationships bring happiness and health to our lives. Studies show that people with healthy relationships really do have more happiness and less stress. There are basic ways to make relationships healthy, even though each one is different…parents, siblings, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, professors, roommates, and classmates. Here are Ten Tips for Healthy Relationships!
Keep expectations realistic. No one can be everything we might want him or her to be. Sometimes people disappoint us. It’s not all-or-nothing, though. Healthy relationships mean accepting people as they are and not trying to change them!
Talk with each other. It can’t be said enough: communication is essential in healthy relationships!
Be flexible. Most of us try to keep people and situations just the way we like them to be. It’s natural to feel apprehensive, even sad or angry, when people or things change and we’re not ready for it. Healthy relationships mean change and growth are allowed!
Take care of you. You probably hope those around you like you so you may try to please them. Don’t forget to please yourself. Healthy relationships are mutual!
Be dependable. If you make plans with someone, follow through. If you have an assignment deadline, meet it. If you take on a responsibility, complete it. Healthy relationships are trustworthy!
Fight fair. Most relationships have some conflict. It only means you disagree about something, it doesn’t have to mean you don’t like each other!
Show your warmth. Studies tell us warmth is highly valued by most people in their relationships. Healthy relationships show emotional warmth!
Keep your life balanced. Other people help make our lives satisfying but they can’t create that satisfaction for us. Only you can fill your life. Don’t overload on activities, but do use your time at college to try new things—clubs, volunteering, lectures, projects. You’ll have more opportunities to meet people and more to share with them. Healthy relationships aren’t dependent!
It’s a process. Sometimes it looks like everyone else on campus is confident and connected. Actually, most people feel just like you feel, wondering how to fit in and have good relationships. It takes time to meet people and get to know them…so, make "small talk"…respond to others…smile…keep trying. Healthy relationships can be learned and practiced and keep getting better!
Be yourself! It’s much easier and much more fun to be you than to pretend to be something or someone else. Sooner or later, it catches up anyway. Healthy relationships are made of real people, not images!