Healthy Friendships

Healthy relationships have been shown to increase our happiness, improve health and reduce stress.

Studies show that people with healthy relationships have more happiness and less stress. There are basic ways to make relationships healthy, even though each relationship is different. These tips apply to all kinds of relationships: friendships, work and family relationships, and romantic partnerships.

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1. Keep expectations realistic. No one can be everything we might want them to be. Healthy relationships mean accepting people as they are and not trying to change them.

2. Talk with each other. It can’t be said enough: communication is essential to healthy relationships.

Take the time. Really be there.

Genuinely listen. Do not interrupt or plan what you’re going to say next. Try to fully understand their perspective.

Ask questions. Show you are interested. Ask about their experiences, feelings, opinions, and interests.

Share information. Studies show that sharing information helps relationships begin. Let people know who you are, but don’t overwhelm with too much personal information too soon.

3. Be flexible. It is natural to feel uneasy about changes. Healthy relationships allow for change and growth.

4. Take care of yourself, too. Healthy relationships are mutual, with room for both people’s needs.

5. Be dependable. If you make plans with someone, follow through. If you take on a responsibility, complete it. Healthy relationships are trustworthy.