“You can’t create strong, thriving relationships if you’re not relational in them. Be relational and hold others accountable to do the same.” ~LMB
The best relationships have genuine respect, compassion, and mutual warm-regard. There is a bottom-line feeling of goodwill between all parties involved, even in the toughest of times. In the best of relationships, individuals make mistakes, learning takes place, and growth is ongoing. Great relationships feel good to come home to.
At their core, thriving relationships minimally require:
- A foundational commitment to do no harm.
- Courageous accountability that includes repairing any hurts caused—regardless of intent.
- Mutuality: both people sharing in the give and take within the relationship.
- Love and warm regard for each person’s welfare.
- Safety: any person in your inner circle should be emotionally and physically safe to be around. If they are not, they should not be in your inner circle. If you are not safe to them, you should not have the privilege of being in their inner circle.
If you’re struggling in your relationships, look over the list above and see what is missing. First, humbly ask yourself if you are adhering to the core requirements above. Second, ask yourself if others in your life are honoring these core prerequisites in their interactions with you. Too many people lower the bar regarding their expectations in relationships. Don’t lower the bar—on you or others. When you stand up for what you will and will not accept in relationships, others will step up more often than not. Stand up. And if you’re the one who is off, start showing up.
Challenge: Healthy relationships start with you being healthy in them. Hold yourself and others accountable for being relational. Set limits when necessary. Be kind always. And don’t ever lower the bar on the basics—for yourself or others.
NOTE: This pandemic has increased the stress of many couples and has also left those in abusive relationships at greater risk of harm. if you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship or think you might be, here is a resource to help: https://www.mymove.com/moving/guides/domestic-violence-resources/