There are a number of relationships that you may have in your life: family relationships, friendships, romantic relationships, or professional relationships.
A good relationship can make you feel great, but a bad relationship can cause you to be stressed, anxious and upset.
The key ingredients to good relationships are to:
- Talk and listen to each other
- Be honest with yourself about how you feel
- Try to speak up if something is bothering you
- Respect what each of you have to say – that might mean sometimes agreeing to disagree
- Try to understand each other’s point of view
- Avoid insults or put downs
- Be supportive of the other’s goals or dreams.
Remember! A positive relationship is based on open and honest communication, trust, respect and compassion. It has healthy boundaries that allow you to be who you are, do what you like and spend time with your friends and family.
Pay attention to unhealthy behaviours in your relationship such as power and control, disrespect and the use of physical force and ask for help if needed.
Always remember that a relationship should make you happy and everyone deserves to have positive relationships.
An unhealthy relationship might be based on power and control, rather than equality and respect.
In an unhealthy relationship you might:
- Feel pressured to do things that you don’t want to do
- Feel that you can’t do the things that you used to enjoy
- Feel that you can’t be with some of your friends or family because your friend or romantic partner is being jealous.
Signs of disrespect:
- Making fun of the other person’s opinions and interests
- Destroying something that belongs to the other person
- Making the other person feel bad about themselves
- Shouting at the other person.
Use of physical force:
Physical force is never acceptable in any relationship.
It is never OK for anyone to hurt you, with or without intent. If you feel unsafe please speak to someone; your parent or carer, a relative, a friend, your teacher, your School Nurse or someone you trust.
It’s great to enjoy being with each other but if one of you feels that you “cannot live without” the other or threatens to do something extreme if the relationship ends, this a sign of an unhealthy relationship.
You should try to keep some time for yourself to cultivate your own interests and friendships, even if you are in a romantic relationship.
Have a look at this video for recognising the signs of unhealthy relationships.
- Think you know
- Childline or call them on 0800 111
- Samaritans or call them on 116 123
- If you're in danger or being sexually abused or being forced to do things that are illegal call the police on 101 or 999
- Your sexual health matters: sex and relationships