Relationships are daily connections that we have with people that can make us or break us; fulfill us or leave us feeling empty; add substance to our life or drain us. As a counselor in Boca Raton I serve a diverse population. Although all my clients differ in age, race, and status-most of them desire the same goal. That common goal is healthy relationships. Learning how to build and maintain healthy relationships is one of the cornerstones of mental health. Below are some tools you can incorporate in your connection with others.
- Recognizing and avoiding toxic interactions– Certain relationships that you have can be toxic. Recognizing these toxic relationships and taking steps to avoid them could be an important step towards healthy relationships. It is not uncommon for an individual to repeat the same patterns in their relationships and select a certain type of person as a significant other or a friend. For example, an empath or a people-pleaser may gravitate towards a narcissist. Another example is you may choose a partner that has similar traits as an ex or a parent- some of these traits may add to your emotional turmoil. You can learn how to recognize and avoid toxic patterns by speaking to one of our experienced counselors at the Heart Connection Centre in Boca Raton. Once you learn to identify the toxic interactions you are engaging in, you can practice strategies to avoid them or change their course. Plans of action can be: creating boundaries; building positive conflict resolution skills; and learning how and when to temporarily or permanently remove yourself from the interaction.
- Loving yourself- There is a strong link between loving yourself and healthy relationships. Sometimes the relationships we have are images of the relationship we have with ourselves. For example, your level of self-worth can affect a lot of your behaviors which in turn affects your connections with others. Learning how to love yourself can be a life long process and starting the journey down that road is paramount to maintaining and building healthy relationships.
- Being present- People remember how you make them feel more than anything else. There are times that we may want to help someone and thus offer advice or keep speaking in order to maintain the conversation. However, being present with the others -listening to them, gong with the flow of their conversation, and offering a non-judgmental stance- can offer healthier results.
- Reciprocity- Relationships are given and take- Whether what you are reciprocating is emotional or physical-it needs to be present. Reciprocity exists when you provide support to someone and when you`re in need, that person meets you at an equal level to provide you with support. It`s important to learn to maintain and build mutually beneficial relationships with balanced levels of giving and take.
Dr. Yiolanta Sofiali-Brunvert, LMHC, Ph.D