Goals for 2018: Healthy Relationships

Would you like to have better relationships with your friends, parents, or your significant other in 2018? Relationships are hard work — it takes two people being willing to value each other, be open and honest, and learn to grow together and forgive. You can't control what the other person does, but you can control your own actions. Try these tips for improving the way you relate to others this year.

1. Objectively evaluate your current relationships.

Working at a healthy relationship is one thing, but if you find yourself in an unhealthy relationship, that's a whole diffrent ball game. Even though all relationships have conflict and go through hardship, healthy relationships will ultimately help you be your best self — they're full of mutual respect and understanding. Unhealthy relationships bring different levels of fear — fear of being yourself, fear of conflict, constant fear of losing the relationship. Take this year to focus on relationships that are healthy, and detangle yourself from some of the toxic people in your life.

2. Practice open communication.

Communication is hard. Expressing yourself in ways that are accurate and help others deepen their understanding of who you are is something you have to learn to do, then practice often. Be willing to be vulnerable. If someone hurts your feelings, try being open and honest about it. Most times, if you're willing to tell someone that they hurt you in a respectful and vulnerable way, they'll respond positively and it will improve your relationship. Being passive aggressive (or just plain aggressive), playing games, or giving the silent treatment until the other person figures out why you're upset never helps people grow closer together, it drives them further apart.

3. Listen up.

Learning to effectively communicate your feelings is important, but equally important is learning to listen. Try to listen to understand, not listen to respond. If the other person is speaking, and all you're thinking about is how you want them to be done so that you can respond, then you're not listening. Have a sincere interest in what the other person is saying, and allow them to express themselves without fear of judgement.

4. Be willing to change your perspective and respect differences.

Make a sincere effort to see things from another point of view. You might not always agree, but at least you'll be able to understandThat will take you a long way. 

5. Be willing to admit you were wrong.

Offering a sincere apology is hard to do, but try to always apologize when you've done something wrong. Saying you're sorry and taking active steps to make things better, or to avoid making the same mistake again, will do wonders for any relationship.

WRITTEN BY RespectTeam