Humans are social creatures ー it’s part of our nature. Yet although we are intrinsically wired to seek out, thrive, and live in community, that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to manage the different relationships in our lives. Even when we have created social circles and communities that primarily involve relationships of our choosing, it can still be challenging to navigate through them from time to time, be that romantic relationships; our relationships with our families (including the various different types or definition of family that may involve); our friendships; our work relationships such as those with our colleagues, clients, juniors, or professional superiors; our relationship with our faith and belief systems; and equally as importantly, our relationships with ourselves.
Relationships come in all different forms, and some come and go through the different chapters of life, while others are more enduring. The family we’re born with, for instance, can be tricky to navigate ー yet it can have an enormous effect on influencing and shaping who we become.
Ultimately, it all boils down to connection. The bonds we build can teach us respect, perspective, empathy, emotional intelligence, and how we show up in the world. It's a core human need that can truly impact our quality of life.
There is something to be said about the honeymoon phase of a relationship. It happens once, and once only ー that special time when you simply cannot get enough of each other, when the future looks bright and anything feels possible, as long as you are together. But what happens when the novelty wears off and you exit the honeymoon phase to settle into more of a routine? Will time eventually dull your relationship enough to lead to its demise?
With at least one in four people globally expected to suffer from a mental disorder, there’s a good chance that many of us will experience mental health challenges at some point in life. This also means that our friends, partners, family members, co-workers, and other people in our sphere will likely experience them at some point too – and it can be really tough to witness the people we care about struggle. It can be even harder to know how to help them – sometimes it can feel like we’re doing all the wrong things. Here are some tips for anyone who is trying to be supportive for someone going through difficult times with their mental health.
Many of us can identify at least one person who made an extraordinary impact on our lives. We are all, in many ways, ultimately shaped by all of our relationships – from the family we grow up with and the friends we make along the way, to the many people that come in and out of our orbit as we evolve. Some relationships are short-lived and some are with us for the long-haul, but even the briefest ones can have a profound effect on who we are and where we end up – whether that person knows it or not. Some inspire and encourage us, while others teach us how we don’t want to be – and that can be a blessing too. Here are some of the relationships that can’t be underestimated when it comes to informing who we are.
What makes something a relationship 一 and what defines a good one? What type of relationship is it? There are nuances to this in every realm of our lives, from our careers to our romantic relationships, friendships, and family. What are the different types of relationships we tend to encounter at work, and what are the most important work relationships? How do we make new friends, how do we ensure our friendships are genuine, and how do we maintain friendships that last? What makes us attractive to other people, how do we know who we’re compatible with 一 and how do we find them? Once you’ve found a partner (or partners) who makes your heart sing, how do you keep them 一 what drives someone away, why do people cheat, and how do you make a relationship last? If matrimony is on the cards, then what makes a marriage work? How can we be better partners ourselves? Whatever yours may look like, family can have the power to shape who we are. What defines a family, and how can we build better relationships with our families? And last but certainly not least: How do we learn to truly accept ourselves for who we are, and love ourselves more? The quality of these relationships can have a huge impact on our health, and our ability to have a longer, happier, and more fulfilled life.
Join our newsletter
Sign up to receive our top articles and latest updates delivered directly to your inbox.