Dr Adaeze Ifezulike

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The Art of Building Strong Relationships: Tips for Social Wellbeing
Problem in relationships

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Master the art of building strong relationships with our expert tips. Enhance your social wellbeing and connect deeply with others.

The value of strong, healthy relationships in one’s life is immeasurable. Our bonds with family, friends, neighbours, and colleagues significantly impact our mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing. The Art of Building Strong Relationships is not a skill we are born with. It requires conscious effort, understanding, and time. However, the benefits it reap are worth every bit of the effort.

In this article, we delve into understanding the dynamics of relationships, the significance of social ties, and offer tips for social wellbeing to help you build stronger, healthier relationships.

The Power of Relationships

Interactions with others can have a profound effect on our wellbeing. As Dr. Valerie Maholmes, a renowned psychologist, puts it, “We can’t underestimate the power of a relationship in promoting well-being.”

Research indicates a direct correlation between strong social ties and stress reduction, heart-related risk reduction, and longevity. On the flip side, loneliness and social isolation have been linked to poorer health, depression, and increased risk of premature death.

Defining Healthy Relationships

Just like everything else, relationships, too, exist on a spectrum ranging from healthy to unhealthy to abusive. A healthy relationship is one where you feel valued and safe and can freely express your emotions. Mutual respect, trust, and open communication form the foundation of a strong relationship.

In case of disagreements, which are inevitable, it is essential to handle conflicts without resorting to personal attacks. You should be able to make decisions together without hurting each other’s sentiments or undermining each other’s confidence.

Recognising Unhealthy Relationships

Understanding the difference between a healthy and an unhealthy relationship is crucial. In an unhealthy or abusive relationship, there may be physical, sexual, or emotional abuse.

In such scenarios, your partner may blame you for their mistakes, make you feel insignificant, or control you. They may isolate you from your social network, thereby gaining more control over you. It is important to recognise these signs and seek help.

Building Social Ties

Research suggests that certain factors protect people from forming unhealthy relationships. These protective factors start early in life. The quality of the emotional bond between a parent and an infant can have long-lasting effects on the child’s ability to form healthy relationships in the future.

A well-functioning family plays a central role in a child’s development. Parents are the primary teachers who help children learn to listen, set boundaries, and resolve conflicts. They set examples for the children, teaching them how to consider other’s feelings and act for the benefit of others.

Healthy Friendships and Activities

Healthy friendships and participation in activities outside of home or school can also play protective roles during childhood. Good role models in the community can help children develop healthy connections.

Seeking and Offering Help

In any unhealthy or abusive relationship, seeking help is crucial. You may be advised to leave the relationship or work on it, depending on the severity. There are resources available, such as the National Domestic Violence Hotline and the Child Welfare Information Gateway, which can provide help and guidance.

Tips for Building Strong Relationships

In this section, we offer some expert tips to enhance your social wellbeing and master the art of building strong relationships.

  1. Self-Love: The first step to building healthy relationships with others is to love and respect yourself. Understand what makes you happy and strive to maintain your happiness.
  2. Communication: Open, honest, and respectful communication is the key to any strong relationship. Share your feelings and thoughts with your partner and listen to them when they share theirs.
  3. Trust and Honesty: Trust is the foundation of any relationship. Be honest with your partner and expect the same from them.
  4. Conflict Resolution: Disagreements are inevitable. However, it is important to resolve conflicts in a healthy way. Avoid personal attacks and aim for a resolution that is acceptable to both parties.
  5. Quality Time: Spend quality time with your partner. Shared experiences and memories strengthen the bond and enhance understanding.
  6. Respect Boundaries: Every individual has their boundaries. It’s important to respect these boundaries to maintain a healthy relationship.
  7. Support Each Other: Be there for your partner during their highs and lows. Your support can make a significant difference to them.

In conclusion, building strong relationships is an art that can be mastered with conscious effort and time. By adopting these tips for social wellbeing, you can enhance your relationships and lead a happier, fuller life.

References:

  1. Maholmes V. (2017). Federal research priorities in child abuse and neglect research: A commentary on multi-site research networks. Child Abuse Negl.
  2. Noll JG, Shenk CE, Barnes JE, Haralson KJ. (2013). Association of maltreatment with high-risk internet behaviours and offline encounters. Pediatrics.
  3. Noll JG, Haralson KJ, Butler EM, Shenk CE. (2011). Childhood maltreatment, psychological dysregulation, and risky sexual behaviours in female adolescents. J Pediatr Psychol.
  4. Goffin K.C., Boldt L.J., Kochanska, G. (2017). A Secure Base from which to Cooperate: Security, Child and Parent Willing Stance, and Adaptive and Maladaptive Outcomes in two Longitudinal Studies. J Abnorm Child Psychol.

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