Communication is an essential part of healthy relationships. As humans, we have a need for attention and the desire to be liked by others. Healthy relationships make us feel a sense of security and contribute to our mental and physical health.
Adults who are more socially connected are healthier and live longer than their isolated peers, according to the article “Social Relationships and Health: A Flashpoint for Health Policy” in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.
Relationship stress contributes to psychological distress and physical complications like increased heart rate and blood pressure. Stress is associated with more alcohol consumption in young adulthood and greater weight gain in midlife.
Stress in relationships can undermine a sense of personal control. Clinical Counselor Dr. Jonathan Lindsey of Bloomington Counseling Services said certain characteristics are important when it comes to having strong romantic relationships.
“One characteristic would be the ability to express and receive love in a way that both I and my partner understand,” Lindsey said.
He said healthy romantic relationships include openness to the experience of thoughts and emotions of your partner. The ability to express difficult situations, security and safety both physically, sexually and emotionally are other characteristics of a healthy relationship.
People stay in abusive relationships for a number of different reasons. Some people have the fear that things will be worse if they tell someone, as they feel they are under the control of their abuser.
“Sometimes people stay in relationships because they confused that desire to be with someone else with love. Sometimes they will say it’s a really bad relationship, but ‘I love them, so I’m going to stay,’” Lindsey said.
Loneliness also plays a role in staying in abusive relationships. For instance, if a woman or man is not being treated right by their partner, they may feel no one else is going to want to be with them, which often leads to people settling for what they have during the moment.
Long distance relationships can be hard to maintain. Many couples in these relationships separate due to a lack of communication and the inability to feel fulfilled. When a couple stops communicating with each other, they may have found someone else to give them the attention they need or other qualities that were not present in their current relationship.
Friendships may influence a person’s well-being because they allow people to have a wider social niche. Personal needs such as hanging out and spending time with others are sometimes easier met through friendships instead of partner relationships.
People in good relationships communicate their needs to each other. Sometimes they can do this bluntly by saying “I need a hug,” which shows a bit for attention.
“If I walk over, I sit down in front of them and go, ‘augh,’ that’s a bit for attention. In a successful relationship, friendship or otherwise, we consistently respond positively to these bits for attention,” Lindsey said.
Instead of getting annoyed with a friend for having a bad day, this leads to rewarding the fact they need the attention. People who do not do this may have a crippled relationship as a result.
Communication is vital to a healthy relationship, whether it be friendly, romantic or professional. People who listen to one another can minimize conflict and create a satisfying environment in their relationships.