Healthy relationships help each person to grow personally and interpersonally. Unhealthy relationships do not allow for the growth of each individual. Yet it can sometimes be difficult to identify a healthy relationship, or to know how to foster one. Here are some general guidelines:
In a healthy relationship, each person is committed to being:
1. COACHABLE: Being coachable is like providing good soil for a seed to flourish. A person who is coachable demonstrates that he/she wants to keep growing. Coachable people are open to all three types of coaching (1. Lead coaching, or learning from someone who is considered to have more information, authority, or experience; 2. Peer coaching, or taking turns giving and receiving information and ideas from other people; 3. Self-coaching, or using a variety of strategies to manage his/her own emotions, stay organized, be productive, meet others’ expectations, and continue growing personally and interpersonally). A person who is coachable is committed to identifying his/her personal strengths and challenges and developing strategies to keep growing both personally and interpersonally.
2. RESPECTFUL: People in a healthy relationship are respectful to each other in the way they interact while they are together and when they are apart. Respect is used to foster personal and interpersonal growth (social, emotional, mental, spiritual, financial, physical, etc.), not to get something for one person. Respect is consistently evident in a person’s words and actions.
3. BALANCED: People in a balanced relationship recognize that they are “equal,” and continue to work toward a healthy balance in their relationship. While one person might have more information, authority, or experience than another, every effort is made to create an environment where continued growth is encouraged and fostered.
4. HONEST/TRANSPARENT: In order to maintain a healthy relationship, each person needs to be honest and transparent, as these qualities build trust and are one way to show respect for each other and to build a balanced relationship.
Overall, are you engaged in healthy relationships? How can you continue to nurture and celebrate those? Do you have some unhealthy relationships in your life? How can you work to improve those, or are there some that are beyond repair at this time?
What will you do to promote healthy relationships this week?
**NOTE: Trudy Ludwig has written several beautiful children's books to help teach children about healthy relationships, including, My Secret Bully.