Five Characteristics of a Healthy Relationship

by Frank

Holding Hands

“The glory of friendship is not in the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionships; it is in the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

As a husband and father I strive to have solid relationships with the people who mean the most to me. These people, who occupy the majority of my time, have the ability to build me or break me. Many people often fail to realize how much impact your relationships, family or other, have on your life. A healthy relationship grows you and makes you better. They are not always about telling you what you want to hear and bailing you out in your time of need. Instead they tell you what you need to hear and challenge you to take on your own responsibilities.

A healthy relationship saved my life and helped me get back on track when I was off course. My wife challenged me. My kids matured and changed me. My co-workers inspire me. My church family encourages and grows me. I want us all to have relationships that are healthy and beneficial.

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Below are five characteristics of a healthy relationship that will help you choose the right people to have in your life. These are the basis of how you should build your relationships.

1. Trust

“To be trusted is a better compliment than being loved.” – George Macdonald

Without trust there is no relationship. Do you believe the other party in this relationship has the best intentions for you? Do you trust that their actions are not meant to hurt but to help? A relationship without trust is not a relationship. If you always suspect something is going wrong it’s time to have a crucial conversation to determine the reason why.

2. Respect

“Respect for ourselves guides our morals; respect for other guides our manners.” -Laurence Sterne

Respect is earned before it is given. In order to earn someone’s respect you have to be willing to overcome times of adversity that may arise in the relationship. When you show you are willing to fight for what’s important it shows that you are invested deeply and care about what is at stake. Respect is not a feeling; it is an action that can be displayed when difficult circumstances are present.

Be present, honest, helpful, sensitive, and loyal. That is how you earn someone’s respect.

3. Give & Take

“Relationships that continue to be one sided will not remain solid.” John C. Maxwell

Relationships require give and take. They require balance in order to continue to be beneficial. You don’t want to be in a relationship where people only come to you when they are in need but fail to be found in the midst of your struggle. Each relationship may be different in their balance but balance is necessary. Long lasting beneficial relationships are win-win scenarios. My children require a lot of my time and energy but they give me joy, satisfaction, and teach me life lessons I may have never learned if they weren’t in my life.

4. Quantity Time/Quality Time

One of my favorite characteristics of a healthy relationship is based on the simple premise of time. People in healthy relationships spend a lot of time together. This may be as simple as running errands together to watching a movie every Friday. If you want to have a strong relationship, you have to spend time with the other person. You can’t have quality time if you don’t have a quantity of time together.

5. Adds Value

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions.” Mark Twain

People often achieve the level of success that the most influential person in their life believe they can reach. In healthy relationships, the other person should have a high vision of who you are and what you are capable of. This is because we accept the thoughts of the people we are closest to because we assume they know us the best. People who want what’s best for you will bring the best out of you. They will speak positively into your life, inspire you, and lift you up when you fall. Make sure in your relationship that you are adding value to others and they do the same for you.

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Now I challenge you to make some tough decisions. Evaluate the relationships you have and see if they have these five characteristics. If they do, continue to grow and enhance them as they will pay major dividends in your life. If your relationships are lacking in any area its time to grow or go. Why is this so important?

Relationships have the potential to impact your life in positive or negative way. The impact is so drastic that the wrong relationships could leave you on the streets while the right relationships can lead you to the palace. Relationships can define you in a positive or negative way. It’s time to make a decision.