By Thomas Cazneau
January and February have different emphases. January is mainly focused on improving yourself while February is a time for cultivating healthy relationships with others.
In January, my New Year’s resolution was to lose weight and eat healthier, and as far as the mirror and scale tell me, I am doing great. To insure this, I have a very reliable Kaiser Permanente Health Insurance Plan. They have member programs to support me in my current health goals. If you would like more information about Kaiser Permanente member benefits, click Health Insurance Plans.
It’s February now, and Valentine’s Day is around the corner. It’s time to look at my relational health. Ahha! Stop the presses everyone while we delve deeper into what can improve healthy relationships before February 14th! No matter how you celebrate this holiday, communication is important. It has the potential to make or break relationships, as well as the power to enhance existing connections. During the course of the next two weeks, I will be sharing a total of 10 tips on how to improve and maintain healthy communication for any type of social interaction. Here are the first five.
1. Balance Openness with Caution
In general, every healthy relationship has degrees of openness and caution.
2. Develop Trust
In healthy relationships, trust should be developed. Trusting too much, too soon can cause social strife, while trusting too little or too late can provoke relational regret. Healthy communication is key.
3. Plan for Quality Time
Imagine getting a 50-question pop quiz about someone you have only met 10 minutes ago, and being told that you would be given $1000 if you got every question right. Though most of us would do our best, none of us would likely receive the tempting prize based on our short conversation with a complete stranger. Setting aside quality time where both individuals can have a chance to get acquainted through healthy communication is helpful in building common ground and unity.
4. Share Likes and Dislikes
Let’s pretend you are meeting someone for the first time. What makes this individual unique? What makes you unique? Establishing an idea of what makes both communicators personally interesting from the get-go can be informative and enlightening for the healthy relationship as a whole. Chatting about likes and dislikes, hopes and aspirations, favorites and least favorites, can be great conversation starters. Even if the two individuals are the best of friends, there is always something new to learn about somebody. Sharing about likes and dislikes is a conversation that can continue day by day in any healthy relationship.
5. Appreciate Similarities and Opposites
Learning to appreciate both social similarities and opposites in a healthy relationship can bring a pleasing well-roundedness to any interaction.
Stay tuned for five other helpful healthy relationship tips on my next blog. Until then, I welcome you to try these simple healthy communication tips with a spouse, friend, or coworker. Practice makes perfect!