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Maintaining Healthy Relationships - by Shradha Sangeeta

"People inspire you or they drain you".

I came across this quote in tumblr. This made me think and re-think about many things. Every person in this world is somehow connected to another person. While you’re reading this blog, there exists a relationship between you and me. But this not the kind of relationship I’m talking about right now. This blog is about the relationship we generally acknowledge in our daily lives, for example the relationship with our family, friends, colleagues, seniors, neighbors, etc.

Relationships aren’t something that is easily built. It takes years of mutual trust, respect, love, commitment, and most importantly communication. All the positive efforts put in will lead to a very healthy relationship. A healthy relationship has higher chances of surviving the ups and downs that it might come across.

But what is a healthy relationship?

1. Defining Relationship

In my opinion, a relationship involves people in their space helping each other physically and emotionally to grow and become better as a person. They love, support, and encourage. The love in this context doesn’t necessarily infers a romantic angle. Traditionally speaking, a relationship must not exceed more than two people. But the times have changed. People nowadays involve as many persons as they want. But of course, the one that is consensual and is NOT cheating.

A. What role it plays in our everyday life?

Who doesn’t want to feel good about themselves? A relationship that helps you grow will tell you about your rights and wrongs. That way you learn things about yourself which you never noticed before. You will gain an immense amount of confidence. If you are with the right person you will definitely feel the sense of belonging and realize your worth. Satisfaction will follow. So will happiness. It is said that people who are happier tend to live longer. What a bonus!

B. Why is it an important topic to discuss?

Maintaining a healthy relationship is as important as nutrition is to physical well-being. As and how a relationship with a person evolves it becomes all the more important to maintain strong networks. The network created will remain healthy as long as we equally give and receive tangible and emotional support. At times, It’s the “click” that helps in establishing a relationship. It never a free-size, one kind for all. Everyone has their views and understanding about relationships. A sound and solid communication is essential for everybody to understand a person. Only that way a relationship can flourish.

C. Why does it matters to us?

If we never maintain relationships, we will end up alone. It’s not really a bad thing until it starts affecting one’s physical and mental health. A team has to work together towards a common goal and if one of them fails it further leads to the downfall of everybody in the group. Similarly, a relationship is a two-way path. If you want respect, respect your partner too. If want them to trust you, you have to trust the partner too. If all sorts of efforts in relationship comes from only one side, the foundation weakens and the relationship eventually crumbles.

2. Relationships in Covid Scenario

They say that love can withstand any obstacle. I think the pandemic making everybody think again. It is overwhelming people to stay with or without their partners, friends, and family for such a long time with no connection to the outside world. Space is creating troubles for them. If they’re with people around them, they have no personal space or no room to be themselves even for a short period of time. If they live all by themselves, they are having more space than required. This is making them question everything they are doing or have done so far. With no one around, they might also feel unwanted or having other thoughts which they never had before.

A. How is it affecting relationships?

B. Needless to say, relationships are fragile. One wrong move and years of respect and trust earned turns to dust. Thanks to covid, there has been a serious change in the lifestyle and too suddenly that it is making people suffer from emotional distress. All of a sudden they have become too anxious and depressed and it causing to be a bigger issue. Basically time and togetherness in the equation of relationship has been wrecked. Whether it is increased or removed, it is causing damage to a certain extent. In some cases it is even worse. On the top of it, handling the daily household work and their jobs from home has led to grave unbalance in both their personal and professional life. But being shut inside four walls is that bad? Is it not proving to be any good? Think again.

C. How people are coming closer?

Yes, the pandemic is also bringing people closer. Those who never got to spend time with their family just because they were too busy earning are now earning and spending time with family at the same time. Those who were living far from their homes are at home not and leading their lives the new normal way. They are having opportunities to have time for themselves. People are indulging into new hobbies or going back to doing things they once had to leave. In my case, I have always liked being locked in a room with no interaction with anybody. I’m still an introvert but by helping my family in the daily household chores has really taught me things. Now I can even cook for myself if I want to. Though I can’t be that confident about how it will taste. If the pandemic remains for another year, I’ll become a chef for sure! Anyway, back to the topic, this pandemic can also be seen as a blessing in disguise. Not only we have time for ourselves, we have time for our loved ones too. Besides, being in a lockdown is helping mother nature to heal. All those years of pleas to save the environment has been falling into deaf ears. The pandemic is detrimental to our health but it sure is making our planet healthy.

D. How is technology helping us in staying connected?

Technology has been saving the mankind for quite a long time. In this pandemic, again it is the technology being our saviour. There was a time when having a telephone was luxury. One phone call was expensive. And now? We’re living in the era of 5G. We have more way of communicating, telephones are now replaced with smart phones. Broadband has been replaced with Wi-Fi. There are numerous applications which we can use to make calls to people globally. Now we can even make a video call. Those who can’t go back home due to the pandemic, aren’t actually alone. Their family is one call away. Teachers can teach, people can do their jobs, follow their hobbies, and make something for their beloved, with just a little help from the technology. Yes, it is true that it can’t replace the feeling of human touch but something is better than nothing. Don’t you agree?

3. Healthy Relationships

Unconditional love support is what keeps a relationship healthy. At least when the support goes both ways. Of course, when we meet and greet a person, there lies an intention behind, be it something as simple being friends, or something wicked as gaining some profits. There is absolutely no intention behind building up a relationship with a person in this selfish world sounds like a fantasy. Becoming a friend is an intention. Falling in love is an intention. Caring for someone is an intention. Wanting to earn extra credits is an intention. Wanting that promotion is an intention. It is absolutely fine to have such intentions. What is not fine is using people like tissues and tossing them away once your purpose is served. Because it will be seen as an unfair trade. It wouldn’t be viewed as a relationship at all.

A. Positive side of a healthy relationship

Everybody wants to be surrounded with people who support them and help them become a better person. And that’s a given. When a person is in a healthy relationship, one can tell that they receive the respect they desire, the trust they deserve. Of course, there are conflicts but they are resolved maturely. They make compromises too but their partners are making it up to them in some way. There is honesty in the way they communicate. They are vocal and understand each other’s feelings. All this makes a person ten times more confident and a hundred times happier. And I have already mentioned, happier people live longer. Such kind of relationship is a role model. They inspire each other and support each other. When you spend time with a person who can help you forget all the pain you were in, you heal quicker. They get ready for your battle when you know they have your back. Even when you fall down they will help you up.

B. Negative side of a unhealthy relationship

People pay so much attention to their diet and fitness but often forget that unhealthy relationships are as harmful to them as fast food or pollution is. A person’s over-the-top behaviour is can get violent. And wherever there is violence involved, it is never good. One can easily find out about an unhealthy relationship. People in such relationships are easily manipulated. If your partner is belittling or sabotaging you, you might want to reconsider the path your relationship is going on. Because such a behaviour can easily lead to stress and angst in a person. And there is not need to explain how badly it can deteriorate one’s mental health.

4. Types of Relationships

The entire blog talks about relationship. To make it very clear: relationship is a close association between individuals. So no need to think that this is only applicable on the romantic couples. Close association with parents is also a kind of relationship. SO is the same with our colleagues, teachers and employers. Come to think of it, have we ever thought how many kinds of relationship we take care of on an average?

A. Personal Relationships

The bond that we enjoy with our family, friends, and beloved is understood as personal relationships. There is a connection present. Love is in the centre in these kind of relationships. This because whatever happens in this sphere, remains in this sphere. One shows complete transparency and vulnerability in front of such people. These are the people with whom you are in your realest form. You don’t have pretend anything. This your comfort zone. Any conflicts arising between such individuals is solved by them only. No outer interference is advised or appreciated. Of course, if you’re being scolded your parents, you wouldn’t like it if the neighbors come in between and say something. If you’re having issues with your friend, you’d rather talk it out yourself than to make an announcement over the radio. When couples fight we all have been taught to stay out of it. If it’s your birthday, you will want to spend it with the ones you love. How would it feel like if people whom you’ve never met suddenly come to celebrate your birthday? Awkward.

B. Professional Relationships

This is the kind of bond we have with our teachers, colleagues, and our employers. The individuals take exactly how much they want out of it. There is respect and trust here too so in this way, it doesn’t sound any different than a personal relationship. What makes it different is the presence of love. Love is not the centre in these kind of relationships. Work is. You build relationships with people by working with them or for them. You earn credibility in their point of view. Through those people, you meet even more such kind of people who would appreciate your work ethics and credibility. If you work harder, you will get that job, you can get that promotion, get that project finished, get that degree. Your work culture represents you in this sphere. Conflicts are resolved professionally. It becomes an example for everybody. Celebrations are professional. This ain’t your regular party. There is no noise or mad dancing in the background. You might want to make sure that you don’t make any chewing noise.

5. Practical Understanding of Relationships

Personal and professional relationship are similar to certain extent. But things at stake are massively different. While in personal relationship you will be afraid of letting down your people. The fear is of disappointing them. On the other hand in professional relationship your reputation is at stake. You might have been the topper of your batch for years, one time you lose your first place, people will start thinking that you’ve been some bad company and that your scores might degrade even further down. If you’ve working with dedication for years, one mistake will immediately make people doubt your work ethics. But be it a personal relationship or a professional one, relationship is a relationship. Following are some questions you might want to ask yourself when you feel conflicted.

A. How healthy is your relationship?

[Score 1 (extremely unhealthy) to 10 (extremely healthy)]

B. Do you feel safe with your partner?

[Score 1 (extremely unsafe) to 10 (extremely safe)]

C. How much can you trust your partner?

[Score 1 (extremely untrustworthy) to 10 (extremely trustworthy)]

D. Do you feel safe in sharing your secrets with them?

[Score 1 (extremely unsafe) to 10 (extremely safe)]

E. Do you feel seen and heard?

[Score 1 (extremely unappreciated) to 10 (extremely appreciated)]

Time for self-assessment:

  • Score 1-2: You do not want to or are unwilling to understand each other. Such relationships are only draining you emotionally. You might want start communicating to save the relationship.

  • Score 3-4: Major compatibility issues, lack of proper communication, relationship at jeopardy. You can put in a little more effort and save your relationship.

  • Score 5-6: You are valuing the relationship to the extent it feels necessary to you. You are not maintaining any sort of relationship but you aren’t also disregarding others presence. Basic relationship etiquette.

  • Score 7-8: Mutual respect is there. You are compatible with others to a great extent. Even when conflicts occur, you can sit down, talk about it and solve it maturely.

  • Score 9-10: You are highly understanding. You are sure that you aren’t putting your trust in the wrong person. Respect for each other is massive.

Relationships are all about supporting each other through every thick and thin. It is never easy, but giving up isn’t a solution. Establishing a relationship isn’t easy. But now that it has been established, it is up to you to nurture it in order to make it stronger. Of course, this isn’t the only way. You’re free to make your own choices and leave when you think you should. Draining yourself emotionally isn’t really going to save your relationship. At times, letting go is also a way to save it. You have the choice to walk away, your partner has the choice to walk away. You have the choice to stop, to stop them. Yes, some conflicts are just too much to handle. Everyone has a bottom line. Remember why you started. Learn which way takes you to the solution you require. It might be difficult, but who knows? Maybe this is what you want.

6. Sources:

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