By Keegan Ellis & Hedy Tenia
What is your philosophy of life and are the relationships in your life healthy based on your philosophy? Is a healthy relationship defined by no disagreements or by no anger?
Whether we are aware or not our lives are full of relationships; between boyfriend and girlfriend, husband and wife, in friendships and family relations. Sometimes behaviours create an unhealthy environment in which to grow, where problems and disagreements are never solved but instead swept under the rug and hidden behind gifts, a nice date and sometimes even acts of intimacy. These temporary solutions soon fail and the issues make a comeback worse than the first time they occurred.
Some relationships are more healthy and nurturing and will allow the individual to become the best version of him/herself, the person that God wishes that individual to be. No real relationship can exist without opposing opinions, however, when these disputes are resolved in a civil manner and persons can come to an agreement or even an agreement to disagree without it leading to physical, verbal and emotional violence and abuse, then it can be considered a healthy relationship.
In this time of COVID, family members are now forced to spend more time with each other and because of this, they now must deal with a lot of unresolved issues of the past. A loud and sometimes violent, verbal and or physical exchange is usually how these issues are addressed in our culture and this just raises the toxicity of the environment hence the rise in domestic violence and other similar cases of relationship problems. Persons simply are not used to being around each other this much and now that they have no choice, they must confront each other.
How do we change this confrontation even beyond COVID 19? As with everything start looking at yourself first to see if you are a toxic or healthy individual that is in the relationship, familial or not.
In order for a change from toxic to healthy to take place in relationships it requires both or all persons in the relationship to do some intrapersonal work (meaning within the mind) and make the decision that they are not going to lash-out but instead remain as calm as possible and talk things out. Once one person has this mindset it creates a stepping stone for others to follow.
Man or woman, you love the person(s) yet for you that love may mean feeling and showing jealousy, expecting the other to like the same things and if the relationship is intimate expecting that the other person to only focus on you. More than that, you may believe that if you feel love for another, the other person(s) should know it and you believe that you do not need to say the words. Additionally, persons may think that past friendships should be discontinued, because he/she believes him/herself to be the highlight of that person’s existence. This type of insecurity is at the base, along with a lack of trust, for a toxic relationship (an unhealthy one.)
If you see these in yourself and recognize it in the other person(s), don’t dismiss it by making excuses such as: it is only seen when the individual drinks or under stress or with certain individuals or groups or for whatever justification that will allow you to feel good about the relationship. Instead, make a choice as to how you should proceed with that awareness and knowledge. We don’t choose the family we are born into however we can choose who we will consider family even if a biological connection is not present and we also choose who we want to have more than a familial relationship with.
“Communication is key”. When considering how all issues can be solved or avoided it all comes down to good communication. Remember we are all humans and we make mistakes but we need to be careful because the same mistakes may be repeated in different circumstances. Then it will no longer be considered a mistake but a habit that has developed as a part of that individual. Habits can be good or bad. Bad habits are easy to acquire and hard to get rid of.