Relationships are an important and often rewarding part of our lives. They exist on many levels, meet many needs, and can provide meaning to our life pursuits. They can also cause us frustration, distress, worry, and heartache. How we recognize and strengthen the healthy ones is not always easy. Resolving conflict or dissolving the bad ones can be even more difficult.
Relationships exist on a continuum. Healthy relationships are respectful, inclusive, and mutually rewarding. They provide space as well as togetherness. They include shared interests and open communication. Mutual respect, a sense of equality, acceptance, appreciation of differences, and safety all combine to characterize rewarding, growth-enhancing relationships. Unhealthy relationships lack one or more of these reciprocal qualities and may be, as well, abusive, possessive, controlling, or exclusive.
Each party in a relationship has rights
A Relationship Bill of Rights:
I have the right to an equal relationship with another.
I have the right to be respected.
I have the right to change my mind.
I have the right to reject unwanted attention.
I have the right to be myself as long as I am respectful of others.
I have the right to terminate a relationship when my feelings change.
I have the right to choose not to have physical closeness.
I have the right to say NO.
The other person is entitled to the same rights!