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10 Signs You’re In A Healthy Relationship

10 Signs You’re In A Healthy Relationship

Relationships are tricky. And there are no shortage of unhealthy ones out there. Check out the cover of any gossip magazine if you want proof of that.

All relationships, however, are filled with ups, downs, and in-betweens. So how do you know you’re in a healthy relationship? Find out here.

1. You give each other personal space.

Healthy couples naturally spend a lot of time together. But they also recognize the importance of doing things separately. Personal space is important in any relationship. We all need time to explore, reflect, and express ourselves individually.

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2. You trust each other.

Great relationships are built on a foundation of trust. Think about a bad relationship you or a friend has been in. Chances are, there were trust issues. Trusting your partner is vital, and it takes time to build. And this just happen to coincide with our next sign you’re in a healthy relationship:

3. You don’t rush milestones.

Couples in healthy relationships recognize that the best things in life are worth waiting for. That’s why they don’t rush important life milestones. They savor every moment of building a life together and take the time to celebrate the important occasions in life.

4. You can talk about anything.

Healthy couples tell each other everything. Speaking your mind can be incredibly difficult at times, but people in healthy relationships don’t hold back–even when the truth hurts.

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5. You inspire each other to be better.

Healthy relationships are also built on mutual motivation and inspiration. Your partner should inspire you to be your best self, to face difficult challenges, and to change the world. Those in unhealthy relationships are content with mediocrity.

6. You appreciate the little things.

Life’s most beautiful moments often sneak up on us and catch us off-guard. Healthy couples recognize and appreciate these moments when they occur. They know the small, seemingly insignificant moments are what makes life worth sharing.

7. You accept each other for who you are.

People in healthy relationships accept each other, flaws and all. This doesn’t mean you should encourage your significant other to accept mediocrity. It does, however, mean you should accept who your partner chooses to be. Remember, there are cracks in everything, but that’s how the light gets in.

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8. You hold each other up during tough times.

Life will throw you lemons every now and then. It’s inevitable. A tell-tale sign of a healthy relationship is how you support each other during these trying times. Don’t be afraid to cry together and experience pain and suffering. Tragic events often take our breath away and make us feel like the world around us is caving in. But the fact that you’re still here means you have a 100 percent success rate with overcoming tough times.

9. You’re able to let go of the past.

People in healthy relationships know that failure and mistakes are nothing but pathways to attainment. They don’t let past stumbles dictate their current relationship. We can be hurtful creatures at times. But as long as we use these moments to grow and learn, our relationships can become stronger. This leads into our final sign you’re in a healthy relationship:

10. Your relationship has gotten stronger over time.

The ultimate sign of a relationship that’s sustainable for the long-term is that it slowly builds, developing deeper roots with each passing year. There are lots of things that help make this happen (see above). I think most importantly, people in healthy relationships take the time to say (and mean) the following words often:

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  1. I love you.
  2. Thank you.
  3. I’m sorry.

I’ll leave you to ponder this quote from the late, great David Foster Wallace.

The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day.

More by this author

Scott Christ

Scott Christ is a writer, entrepreneur, and founder of Pure Food Company.

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Last Updated on October 14, 2020

The Art of Humble Confidence

The Art of Humble Confidence

To be confident or not to be confident, that is the question. I’m not sure about you, but I’ve been a bit confused about all this discussion about the subject of confidence. Do you really need to be more confident or should you try to be more humble? I think the answer is both – you just have to know where to use it.

East VS West – Confidence, It’s a Cultural Thing

In typical Western countries, the answer to the confidence debate is obvious – more is better. Our heros are rebellious, independent and shoot first, ask questions later. I think this snippet of dialog from The Matrix sums it up best:

Agent Smith – “We’re willing to wipe the slate clean, give you a fresh start. All that we’re asking in return is your cooperation in bringing a known terrorist to justice.”
Neo – “Yeah. Well, that sounds like a pretty good deal. But I think I may have a better one. How about, I give you the finger”
[He does]
Neo -“ …and you give me my phone call.”

In Eastern countries, the tone is often considerably different. Elders are supposed to be revered not dismissed. The words ‘guru,’ meaning a teacher, and the philosophy of dharma, loosely translated to mean ‘duty,’ come from here. In Eastern cultures humility and respect are more important than confidence.

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These perspectives are generalizations, but it shows how the confidence debate goes back deep into our culture. I think that both extremes of pure confidence or pure humility are misguided. Instead of rectifying this situation by simply blending the two: becoming somewhat humble, somewhat confident all the time, I believe the answer is to know when to be confident and when to be humble.

Humble Confidence – Know When to Use It

I’m going to make another broad generalization. I believe that virtually every relationship you are going to have is going to fit into one of two major archetypes, either master or student. In peer relationships this master/student role may switch frequently, but it is extremely rare that the relationship never leans to one side.

In the master role, you are displaying confidence to get what you want. This is public speaker, leader or seducer. Being the master has advantages. You have more control and ability to influence from this role.

The student role is the opposite. You are intentionally displaying humility. This is the student, disciple or follower. Being the student has advantages too. You can learn a lot more in this role and are more likely to win the trust of the other person.

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Know When to Shut Up and Learn

If you are a typical Westerner, you are probably already thinking about which role you prefer. Being the leader is great. You get respect and a higher status. Most of all you get a greater degree of control.

But the problem is that you can’t and shouldn’t always try to be the leader. Trying to assume that role without the skills, resources or status to back it up will lead to conflict. More importantly, there are many times when you purposely want to display humility. Some of the benefits to the student role include:

  • You learn more.
  • Smooths relationships.
  • Makes others more willing to lend a helping hand.

Knowing when taking the humble route is to your advantage. It is far easier to get mentors and advisors if you use humility rather than arrogance. A small sacrifice to your ego can open up the potential to learn a lot.

Confidence to Persuade, Humility to Learn

In reality almost no relationship is as clearly defined as master/student. Within our connections, people have overlapping areas of expertise. I might be an expert in blogging to a non-blogger, but they might be an expert in finance. In each area there are different roles to take.

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Before any interaction ask yourself what the purpose is. Are you trying to learn or persuade?

Persuasion requires confidence. If you are trying to sell, instruct or lead you need to display the confidence to match your message. But learning requires humility. You won’t learn anything if you are constantly arguing with your professors, mentors or employers. Taking a dose of humility and temporarily making yourself a student gives you the opportunity to absorb.

Persuade Less, Learn More

Persuasion is great for immediate effect, but learning matters over the long-haul. Instead of washing over all your communication with pure confidence, look for opportunities to learn. Persuading someone to follow you may give you an immediate boost of satisfaction, but it doesn’t last. Learning, however, is an investment for the future.

Whenever I make a connection with someone and realize they have a skill or understanding I want, I am careful to express humility in that area. That means listening with what they say even if I don’t immediately agree and being patient with their response. This method often drastically cuts down the time I need to spend on trial and error to learn by myself.

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Confidence/Humility Doesn’t Replace Communication Skills

This approach of selectively using confidence and humility for different purposes doesn’t replace communication skills. Humility isn’t going to work if the other person thinks you’re an irritating whiner. Confidence won’t work if the entire room thinks you are an arrogant jerk. Knowing how to display these two qualities takes practice.

The next time you are about to enter into an interaction ask yourself why you are doing it. Are you trying to persuade or learn? Depending on which you can take a completely different tact for far better results.

Featured photo credit: BBH Singapore via unsplash.com

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