Relationship Issues

Throughout our lifespan we experience countless relationships of all shapes and sizes. Child, friend, student, sibling, mentor, co-worker, partner or roommate. The list goes on and on. Each of these relationships is unique in its structure and dynamic. As we grow and mature our relationships also change. In college, being a significant other or roommate may feel more important than being a sibling or child. Vital for all healthy relationships are honesty, direct communication and compromise. It is also important to recognize when relationships become unhealthy or negative. Below are some characteristics of both healthy and unhealthy relationships. If you feel that any of your relationships are unhealthy or not satisfying it may be beneficial to talk to someone outside the relationship for perspective.

Characteristics of Healthy Relationships

  • Each person maintains individual rights and uniqueness
  • Each person feels free to express thoughts and feelings
  • Mutual respect and trust
  • Shared decision making
  • Respect for personal and sexual boundaries
  • Willingness to express needs and honestly discuss conflicts
  • Understanding that conflict and anger are O.K.
  • Non-violent approach to conflict
  • Taking responsibility for own feelings and mistakes
  • Allowing each other to have outside interests and relationships

Characteristics of Unhealthy Relationships

  • A climate of negativity or an increase in negative comments
  • Hurtful behavior or a tolerance for bad behavior
  • Using intimidation or emotional abuse
  • Blaming, avoiding or burying conflict
  • Using isolation and control or any physical expressions of anger