Our life experiences and relationships with others can, at times, feel confusing, complex and painful. This can have an impact on our well-being and perhaps even the relationship we have with ourselves. Intimate relationships are part of our human experiences, from our early attachments to those formed later in life. Some relationships are there for a short-while and some are established for longer periods of time.
The important question is whether this relationship is one of CHOICE and gratification, which offers a healthy dynamic between those involved? Or is it one of neediness, expectations, one-sided, or offering a sense of confusion or a lack of honest communication. So, are these relationships HEALTHY or UNHEALTHY?
Here are some signs of a HEALTHY relationship:
- Authentic communication
- Acceptance of all of you
- Trust and honesty
- Respect of each other’s differences
- Feeling safe to share your feelings
- Allowing your feelings to have a space and trying to understand them
- Being able to have healthy conflicts and resolve them
- Taking responsibility
- Keeping your own identity
- Spending quality time together and quality time apart from one another
Here are some signs of an UNHEALTHY relationship:
- Isolating you from others in an attempt to have you all to themselves
- Pointing out your flaws and making you feel ‘less than’
- Not being able to turn to them for emotional support
- The relationship is based on meeting their needs and not yours
- Lack of safety and security
- Dismissive of your emotions
- Unsupportive, unreliable and inconsistent
- Lies and deceit
- Encouraging of negative behaviours
Early childhood experiences can form a basis for self-functioning in adult life and the quality of relationships later on in life too. Though these can be related, the good news is that it can also change! Therefore, not all bad experiences have to control or interrupt your contact with others.
These relationships can be a direct result of our early attachment experiences. The early attunement of our caregivers or lack of, can significantly impact on the relationships we form later in life. Our expectations, needs and wants are established and understood through a secure attachment base within early relationships. If this is not the case, then our own desires can remain unknown, not met and we form ways of being in the world that correlate an unconscious belief that perhaps these can never be met, or holding a fear of perhaps having them met.
Once we figure out whether the relationships we have are good for us or not, ultimately tell us a lot about the beliefs we have about ourselves, including; how we expect to be treated, how much respect we have for ourselves, the dependency we may have on others to form our self-worth and the insecurities we hold of ourselves.
If you are realising that this is sounding all too familiar, I want you to know that…IT CAN improve and IT CAN change!
The power of the therapeutic relationship helps you to understand yourself better and I believe to be a transformative part of the work. I help to make you aware of the relationship you have with others, the one you have with yourself, and work to offer a new attachment experience that assists towards your personal development and creating healthier attachment patterns with others. I help to try and bring you the security and safety you may never have had in previous relationships. I help you to see what it feels like to be fully accepted for all of who you are!
Your relationships are a reflection of the relationship you have with yourself!