Beronica Salazar, PhD, LCPC, ACS
At the core, we are all social beings. Because of this reality, we often work relentlessly at finding and securing connections with others around us. Mastering the art of forming and maintaining relationships is necessary for all of us.
In my work in serving others, I have learned that relationships are critical at home, school, work and in our communities to be successful. We all yearn for relationships but most of us struggle with identifying, forming and maintaining healthy relationships. Rather than focusing on what does not work, I want to share the key ingredients to building and keeping healthy relationships.
- Foremost, focus on those relationships important to you and work toward improving them. Invest the time and energy to build relationships that matter to you.
- Healthy relationships are mutually beneficial for all parties. A relationship that gives more importance to a specific party over others can lead to unhealthy patterns of behaviors and feelings of low self-worth.
- Respect is essential in good relationships. We do not always have to agree with each other, rather we want to make room for everyone to feel heard and understood.
- Trust and honesty are joined traits needed to help individuals be vulnerable with each other while also being supportive through the process.
- Honor each other’s boundaries (i.e. physical, emotional, personal, professional, etc.) by trusting the individual’s reasons for having them. Boundaries are beneficial for relationships and individuals overall wellbeing.
- Communication is the cornerstone, hence, be slow to form opinions and quick to seek to understand others.
Healthy relationships require effort yet can be rewarding to self and others. Relationships should help us thrive and never be painful. If you find you are in a relationship that hurts–emotionally or physically–I would urge you to seek out support or reach the WCA hotline.
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