How Do I Spot Healthy Relationships?

Posted on April 7, 2011

Let’s face it, we’re all social creatures. Regardless of our personalities, we need ongoing, dedicated relationships with others.  But merely being connected is not enough. Human attachments have a huge impact on us for better or worse; some are healthier than others. Some are even downright draining.

How would you describe most of your relationships? Could you spot those that are nourishing? As you reflect on people you are closely connected to, consider the following questions:

  • Do his/her actions (not just words) typically show that he/she respects and cares about my preferences and best interests?
  • Overall, does he/she give as much as he/she takes?
  • Does he/she normally show acceptance when listening to my fears, failures, and dreams?
  • Are my secrets safe with him/her?
  • Do I usually feel renewed after spending time with him/her?
  • When we have conflict, does he/she want to work it out?

If you have at least 2-3 people in your life who merit mostly “yes” answers, you are fortunate! These connections probably are healthy and refreshing. I hope you will devote time cultivating—and enjoying—these precious bonds.

On the other hand, people who merit mostly “no” answers to the questions above may be sapping your energy. So…do you ditch these “drainers?” Barring extreme cases, I’d say no way! We need to be in relationships where we can offer the very gifts we desire…love, respect and commitment. When carried out with appropriate boundaries, these bonds build our character and give us opportunities to serve others. But it’s essential that we also have attachments that sustain us; if not, we’ll likely end up running on fumes.

You wouldn’t try to perform your daily tasks for days on end without taking time to eat, drink, or rest, would you?  Similarly, your soul needs to be re-fueled through nurturing relationships, not only for your own well-being but also for refreshing others.

Written by: Susan Daniels, NCC

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NzE6Imh0dHA6Ly9ncm9mZmFuZGFzc29jaWF0ZXMuY29tL3dwLWNvbnRlbnQvd29vX3VwbG9hZHMvMy1ncm9mZl9oZWFkZXIucG5nIjt9PC9saT48L3VsPg==