Looks like my Master’s Degree is paying off already! One of my millions of assignments for Theories of Human Communication this week was to read the chapter over “Relationships” and teach it to the class.
Ironic because I am probably the last person on Earth that should be teaching others about relationships.
Anyway, as I was reading I came across a list that Carl Rodgers (a 20th century psychologist) theoretically constructed about what a healthy relationship possesses:
- Communicators are perceived by one another as trustworthy, or consistently dependable.
- They express themselves unambiguously (AKA clearly)
- They possess positive attitudes of warmth and caring for the other.
- A partner in a relationship keeps a separate identity.
- A partner permits the other to do the same.
- The partner accepts the various facets of the others’ experience as communicated by the other person. (AKA they aren’t disapproving of the others past)
- The relationship is marked by empathy, in which each attempts to understand the feelings of the other.
- The partners respond with sufficient sensitivity to create a safe environment for personal change.
- Communicators are able to free themselves from the threat of evaluation from the other. (AKA they feel free to say anything without being judged)
- Each communicator recognizes that the other is changing and is flexible enough to permit the other to change.
The relationships that I view as “healthy” in my life have EVERY single one of these qualities. I think about my best friend and how much both of us have experienced and changed over the years. We are so different from each other and instead of growing apart, we have embraced these qualities and have created a friendship that will literally last forever.
If you are in a relationship, whether it be a family member, your girlfriend, your boyfriend, etc. and none of these qualities are present– get out of it! Everyone deserves healthy, happy relationships because in the end– that’s all that we have!