We all have relationship problems. That’s a given. Unless you live a solitary life on top of a mountain, you will inevitably need to deal with people. But if you are experiencing relationship problems with many different people in your life, you might need to re-think the kind of people you are allowing into your life. Here are 8 keys to attracting healthy relationships:

1. Know who you are.

How self-aware are you? What kind of behavior do you have in relationships? It’s so easy to blame others for relationship problems, but take a look in the mirror. Are you perfect? Of course not! No one is. So be honest with yourself about what you bring to your relationships. Some is good, some is bad. But be realistic while looking at yourself. Once you are aware of who you are, you can work on your “shortcomings” and bring your best self to every relationship.

2. Know what you want.

What everyone should want is to be treat with kindness and respect. However, there are many relationships where these qualities don’t even exist. If you’re looking for a romantic partner, write down the qualities of the person you want to attract. If you don’t know what you want, write down what you DON’T want. Then just flip that list around and write the opposite. For example, if you don’t want someone who doesn’t show affection, then you want someone who is affectionate. Even with friends, what kind of people do you want in your life? Do you want to be connected to them 24/7 or do you want your space? Do you want a party friend, or do you want a shy “let’s go for coffee once in a while” friend? Get clear on what you want.

3. Know you’re lovable and worthy.

One of the reasons that people find themselves in bad relationships is because they don’t think they deserve love and respect. If you have low self-esteem, you will literally put out a slow vibration that will attract other people with low self-esteem. And those people might not treat you very well. So you need to start loving yourself as much as possible. Know that you deserve happy, strong, loving, respectful relationships.

4. Teach people how to treat you.

If someone is treating you badly and you don’t stop them, then they will keep doing it. You need to set your boundaries about what kind of behavior you allow into your life from others. Even if a friend you really like is constantly an hour late whenever you get together, you need to have a talk and tell them that their behavior has a negative effect on you. If they frustrate and exhaust you, don’t put up with it. You can explicitly or implicitly send a message to people about what kind of behavior you will and will not allow in your life.

5. Love your own company.

You need to love yourself enough that you prefer being alone than in a bad relationship. Whether it’s a romantic relationship or a friendship, if you feel drained by being with someone, then it’s probably better to be alone. Even if you are an extrovert, you have to realize that it’s okay to be alone. If you love yourself, you will find being with yourself is more enjoyable than being with people who you don’t treat you well.

6. Be aware of how you feel in other people’s company.

Do you have a lot of “energy vampires” in your life? Many people do. An energy vampire is someone who is a taker. You give, and they do nothing but take. When you’re with them, you feel bad.  When you leave their presence, you still feel bad — almost like you want to shake off their negative energy. You feel like they suck the life out of you. If you know people like that, then why are you still hanging out with them? Decide right here and right now that you will only surround yourself with people who lift you higher, not drag you down.

7. See people for who they really are.

Sometimes we fool ourselves. We have our “rose-colored glasses” on way too often. We see the “outer” person, but not who they are on the inside. They may have been the funniest, nicest, coolest, most awesome person when you first met them, but maybe that’s just their facade and not their true selves. Look at their behaviors, not their words. Do they treat you kindly? If not, then there is more to them than meets the eye. Be on the lookout for inconsistencies in their personality.

8. Don’t settle.

Many people think they have to settle or else they won’t have anyone in their lives. But when you settle – either in a romantic relationship or a friendship – you will undoubtedly end up disappointed. I’m not saying that any relationship is perfect, but you need to define your standards. Define them, enforce them, and live up to them! Don’t lower them for anyone.

Having healthy relationships starts with you. You need to decide that you won’t allow anything BUT healthy relationships. Even if your patterns in the past say otherwise, remember that you have the power to change that.

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