This week, Imagine Hope is going over the different ingredients that are needed to have a healthy relationship-- whether it's with a spouse, co-worker, friend, or family member. Have you recognized any of the items from this week that might be missing in your relationships?
Respect: This is another big one! Respect is basically treating the other person as though they have value. Many times, the individuals and couples I see in my office have allowed their relationship dynamics to become disrespectful. Often, we give ourselves permission to let our feelings take over and treat the people around us disrespectfully. Remember, it's okay to have feelings about the things that go on in your relationships and to share those feelings with the person you are in relationship with. It's NOT okay, however, to allow those feelings to come out in a way that is disrespectful to others!
Personal Integrity: Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. If we don't have integrity, we can become dishonest with those around us, or not allow them to see who we really are and what we believe in. Having strong morals and being honest is what allows others to trust us in our relationships and become close to us (intimacy). If you don't have good personal integrity, you aren't protecting yourself OR the people you are in relationship with.
Understanding: One of the things I work on with the couples and individuals I see in counseling is what we call "dismissive statements". These would sound like "Whatever...", "Oh well"..., "It is what it is"..., "Anyway...", "Sorry" (said sarcastically or without feeling or meaning). These dismissive statements are killers to understanding. In order to get resolution to conflict or to repair a rupture in a relationship, we need to have understanding of the other person and where they are coming from. Do you understand what the other person means by what he/she says or does? Dismissive statements stop this process from happening. Other things that prevent understanding: defensiveness, reactivity, non-verbal behavior (eye-rolling, crossing your arms, not looking at another person when they are speaking to you or not having eye to eye contact, etc.), not asking questions or gaining more information from them or not asking for clarification, jumping to conclusions or making assumptions, just to name a few. Do you seek understanding in your relationships?
As we stated earlier, to have good relationships, it's important to have all of the components we have listed in our blog this week. If any one of them is missing, a healthy relationship won't be able to be maintained. If you didn't get a chance to check out the earlier blogs from this week, we encourage you to read through them-- you might just catch something that could help your relationships become healthier!
Joleen Watson, MS, LMFTA, NCC, is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. She enjoys doing marriage counseling, relationship counseling, couples counseling, and individual counseling. Imagine Hope also specializes in family, child and adolescent counseling and serves Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield, and Fishers.