Social interaction is an important part of life. The way we relate to others speaks volumes about who we are and what we are seeking in life. All too often I’ve seen damaging friendships occur because one person is lonely and the other person is willing to take advantage of the lonely person. This isn’t healthy for either party. It can ruin the way both people view the world and cause long term physiological issues.

With that being said, healthy relationships can have the opposite effect. Where there are true friendships and relationships, happiness and mental well being bloom. We all feel the need to have people in our lives, but it’s important to pick the right kind of people. Here are few tips for creating positive relationships.

Where One Takes, They Should Also Give

Healthy relationships should be about balance. Never should one person be sacrificing all of their time or resources to the other person. Both parties should be giving and taking and trying to make up for whatever was taken. If this balance doesn’t exist in your relationship then you should get out of it as fast as you can. Being taken advantage of is never worth the friendship or relationship. Those who give and take equally in a relationship will find the unconditional love needed for happiness in life.

Cling to the Positive

The best part about relationships is having someone you can laugh with. It doesn’t hurt to have a shoulder to cry on either. But the one thing that shouldn’t be in a relationship is negativity. If one person in the relationship is always talking about how annoying so-and -so is, or what they hate about every person they cross in the street, you can be certain they are saying the same things about you when you aren’t listening. Surround yourself with people who care about other people. You’ll know you’ve found a good friend when they don’t gossip about other people and they are always working to put a smile on your face. Positivity can be the glue that keep friendships and relationships together for years to come.

Make Sure the Other Person Understands You

I had a friend in high school that I thought would always be there for me. We had different interest and personalities but it felt like our friendship was strong enough to overcome our differences. It wasn’t. I believe there can be friendship that transcend the boundaries of having things in common, but this friend wasn’t willing to accept that I had chosen a different path than her in life. I got married young, she’s still single. Her focus is on music theater and I focus on being a mom and writer. I tried for several years to keep our friendship together but she wanted nothing to do with me. She didn’t understand that my choice to marry young and start a family wasn’t a slight to her choice to purse a theater career, but she took it that way. True friendship doesn’t care about things like who you choose to marry or what you want out of life. True friendship understand that two different people can support each other no matter their choices.

Whatever relationships you have in your life should be positive and supportive. Don’t let one side in the relationship drag you down. True happiness comes from surrounding yourself with people you can depend on. Never forget to not only find good friends, but to be a good friend.

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