What Are the Keys to a Happy Relationship?
Relationships play a key role in helping youth define who they are. A strong family or caring adult can provide the foundation of a support system, and friends and significant others can offer encouragement and support. These important people should be supportive, honest, attentive, and trustworthy. Every youth should know how to recognize the characteristics of a healthy relationship and how to get out of a bad one. At the end of the day, it’s not the quantity but the quality of a person’s relationships that makes the real difference in life. Here are the keys to look for when evaluating a relationship:
Does this person bring something to the table? We all know people who are takers and only interested in what a relationship can do for them. These people are often terrible listeners, on the look-out for better opportunities, and no where to be found when you’re in a jam. Invest time in people who are interested in a reciprocal relationship i.e. give and take.
Do they value your self-worth? When a person values themselves, then they know what they deserve. Everyone should expect love and respect from the people in their lives. Your wants, needs, and personal beliefs matter. Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself.
- Do they know how to communicate? Talking and not yelling is how two people should speak with each other during a disagreement. Are you able to do this in your relationship? Or does this person talk about you behind your back, post negative things on social media, or get other people to dislike you too? How someone handles conflict says a lot about their personality, so pay attention.
- Can they apologize? Whether it’s a parent, coach, friend, or romantic partner everyone should know how to say “I’m sorry”. Apologizing is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of maturity. This shows respect of the other person’s feeling and the desire to set things right.
- Do they let jealousy take over? The green-eyed monster can be terrible for relationships. The key to fighting this monster is trust. People who resort to spying on texts, checking up on someone’s whereabouts, or making someone feel guilty for spending time with someone else make being in their life difficult..
- Do they take an interest in your life? Relationships grow as people get to know each other. Having someone take interest in your hopes and dreams is amazing. Conversations with people let you share the best of times and help you get through life’s hardest moments.
“Your friendships with other people say a lot about your self-identity. If you are self-confident, you are more apt to spend time with supportive, loyal, and trustworthy people. You seek out relationships with people who share your same interests and values. You may have a shared history, or could become brand-new friends.”
-Patricia Wooster, Ignite Your Spark: Discovering Who You Are From the Inside Out
Key Relationship Topics
Friendships and relationships help people to form their identity. Who you are as a person is shaped by those around you. Youth don’t always get to choose the people who are involved in their daily life. They are with teachers, coaches, and fellow students at school. At home they may spend their time with family and neighbors. Knowing how to handle different situations and relationships is a key part of growing up, and can make a significant impact on their self-image. Ignite Your Image answers the following questions:
Related Books and Media
The Road To Character, by David Brooks
Bully: An Action Plan For Teachers, Parents, And Communities To Combat The Bully Project, by Lee Hirsch, Cynthia Lowen, & Dina Santorelli
Popular: Vintage Wisdom For A Modern Geek, by Maya Van Wagenen