Relationships Bring Value To Our Lives
The Power in Relationships
The pandemic brought many things to the forefront, like how we often take relationships for granted. The power of human connection became abundantly clear when we could no longer surround ourselves with people, we’d grown accustomed to seeing regularly.
Human beings are social creatures wired to connect with others. Although the intensity of the connection may vary, relationships are vital to our emotional, mental, and physical well-being. Our relationships evolve as we venture through life. Here are four common relationships that bring unique value to our lives.
Healthy Family Relationships
The definition of “family” has changed over time. Generally, a family is a group of people who live together or are related. Our family plays an essential role in who we are today.
The family bond gives us a sense of belonging and unconditional love—these are the people we can depend on more than anyone else. Moreover, unlike other relationships, family relationships often stand the test of time.
Of course, all families have their ups and downs, but generally, a stress-free family can be a source of comfort, strength, and guidance—a place of trust, respect, support, commitment.
As valuable as a healthy family relationship may be, the impact of an unhealthy family relationship can be detrimental to a person’s emotional, mental, and physical health.
There are several reasons a family may be considered dysfunctional or toxic: Lack of communication or empathy, excessive criticism, power struggles, and unrealistic expectations are a few. Although these issues can occur in any relationship, we tend to tolerate toxic behaviors from family members because we want to share due to the unconditional love and maintain connections within the family. Unfortunately, this can cause ongoing issues and stress that undermine a person’s mental health.
Reevaluating Family Relationships
When your family relationship is toxic, it’s time to reevaluate what’s at stake. Communication is crucial when an issue or concern arises. You must verbally express your feelings because there is a chance the family member who upsets you doesn’t know how they make you feel.
Hiring a counselor or therapist to facilitate the conversation with family members may help you work through the emotions. Connect2Heal is a virtual safe space where you can find counselors and therapists who specialize in family therapy.
If the relationship continues to be a strain even after expressing your feelings, you may have to set boundaries and distance yourself. Creating healthy boundaries lets people know how they can and cannot treat you. If your relationship continues to bring strife, you may have to consider ending the relationship.
Ending a relationship with a family member is difficult and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Families operate as a unit and ending one relationship can impact the entire family dynamic. Family functions may become uncomfortable, and family members may get upset with you. When deciding to cut ties, it’s important to ask yourself what your peace is worth.
The Value of Friendships
Friends are the family we choose. Usually, we have something in common with friends and enjoy spending time with them. Although friendships often take effort to maintain, having friendships outside of family is healthy.
Healthy friendships have intimacy, support, equality, and an emotional bond. People often share intimate things with friends about their life that they do not share with family. Social interaction motivates people to keep in touch. However, friendships do not take the place of the family bond. In most instances, the family bond remains stronger than friendships.
Friends provide a different substance to the relationship than family. Friends often increase your sense of belonging and purpose, improve your self-confidence and self-worth. Although you may get these things from your family, relationships with friends can change throughout your life.
Sometimes, disagreements cause a friendship to end on bad terms. Some friends grow apart and lose contact, while others remain friends for a lifetime. No matter how long friendships last, you usually learn something from them.
What are Acquaintanceships?
People you communicate with outside of family and friends are considered an acquaintance. Although these relationships may not seem significant, the relationship positively impacts your life. Many overlook interactions with acquaintances, but they matter.
Exchanges with someone on social media, conversations with the stranger in the store, chats with co-workers or the person in the elevator might be only on the surface, but these interactions are important.
How Romantic Relationships Nourish our Lives
A romantic relationship usually involves an attraction and a strong connection with someone. Having an emotional connection or passion usually plays a part in a romantic relationship.
Romantic relationships can give us that “cloud nine feeling” that many associate with being in love. When in love, our hormones change, and dopamine and oxytocin are released. As time goes on, our hormones settle down but are still impacted.
Romantic relationships take work. It’s important to understand your partner’s love language to increase the chance of meeting your partner’s needs. As time goes on, your partner’s needs and desires may change. To keep the relationship strong, you must adapt to your partner’s feelings, moods, and flaws.
When a romantic relationship is healthy, it can be a major stress relief—a place of peace, trust, and comfort. But, just like any relationship, when a romantic relationship is healthy it’s great, but when it’s unhealthy, it can cause mental and physical health problems.
Recognizing the impact of unhealthy behaviors is critical. If you’re having issues or concerns in your romantic relationship, seeking couples or marriage counseling may be beneficial. At Connect2Heal, you can find a therapist who focuses on helping couples improve their romantic relationship. Finding a therapist who is compatible with you and your significant other can help you explore issues, work on communication, resolve conflict, and improve interactions with each other.
The Most Important Relationship
The most important relationship we will ever have is the one with ourselves. Knowing your worth, values, core beliefs, goals, and deal-breakers makes a world of difference in healthy relationships. When you hold yourself in high esteem, you are more likely to stay in relationships that nurture your well-being and happiness. You have a greater chance of sacrificing your happiness to please others when you don’t.
As humans, we are inherently social creatures. We have all experienced challenging relationships, but overall, the human connection boosts mental health, increases lifespan, improves the quality of life, and increases fulfillment.