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6 Differences Between Healthy and Unhealthy Relationships

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6 Differences Between Healthy and Unhealthy Relationships

Healthy relationships involve sincerity while unhealthy relationships involve manipulation. Do you believe a person truly loves you? Before even giving a nod to a serious relationship, it would be wise to analyze whether the thing you are getting into is worthwhile. He who says he loves you can even be a victim of his own feelings or desires. For all you know he might be confused with his own feelings. So, it’s good to do a thorough analysis before making this big decision in an area of your life that is super sensitive.

1. Real giving vs. giving to get

A healthy relationship gives without expecting anything in return. It freely gives. One can aptly call this a true gift of love. An unhealthy relationship gives in order to get something in return. In a healthy relationship, trust is the main force in operation. By hook or by crook you got each other’s back. Your best interest is always at the forefront. If what you have is true love, both of you are willing to say to the other, “I’ve got you covered.” You totally trust each other. You can relax and not worry about the relationship, because you know your partner will never betray you. On the contrary, an unhealthy relationship rarely gives without expecting a return on investment; there’s always a price to pay for something that is given. When it gives, it expects a boomerang of benefits.

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2. Accepting vs. wanting to change the partner

A healthy relationship involves accepting the other person, wholeheartedly. It works hard to discover who the other person really is, so she can love that person in an all encompassing way. An unhealthy relationship, in contrast, seeks to change the opposite end of the relationship. It wants the other person to conform to his wants and needs. It is the kind of relationship where controlling is the main purpose, and it controls in order to get the satisfaction it seeks.

3. Genuine desire vs. pushing your partner

An unhealthy relationship uses guilt to get what it wants. It pushes you to feel guilt. That way, it can demand things it wants from you. In this kind of relationship you don’t give freely. You give because you need to. In a healthy relationship, you give because you genuinely desire to take care of your partner’s needs. You have a genuine desire to satisfy your partner.

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4. Exposure vs. protecting privacy

In a healthy relationship, you go the extra mile to cover for your partners weaknesses. You treat your partner’s dark areas as sacred matters, not to be divulged for any reason and to anybody. Here, private aspects of the intimate partnership are deliberately created in order to strengthen the relationship; you don’t reveal private details to anyone, even if they are family, or very close friends. What you possess as a couple is only for you two. You treat those moments and details like governments treat classified or top secret documents. You treasure each other’s contributions to the relationship. In a tainted love, negative attributes of a partner become a source of nasty jokes — even intimate moments like kissing are shared to any person willing to listen.

5. Revenge vs. restoration

Arguments and lovers’ quarrels are a way to strengthen a relationship. How? By using the fights to get to know the other person more intimately, you gain insight into how the other partner can be served much better, rather than use the fights as a way to gather ammunition to control or hurt the other person in future. By getting to know the other person, you will gain knowledge on how to restore your bond. In comparison, an unhealthy relationship is vengeful and fights will manufacture rejection, blaming, or even oppression.

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6. Self-centeredness vs. shared dreams

True love transforms two individuals into one real union. Upon forming a relationship, they make dreams together — the fruit of which, as a natural consequence, is the creation of fresh goals that are unified and that aim for one another’s well being. The unhealthy relationship, on the contrary, demands that you give up your personal dreams. It will not help you make them a reality; this kind of relationship doesn’t give — rather, it steals.

Sources:

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How to Diagnose an Unhealthy Relationship by Kevin D. Arnold via Psychology Today

The Difference Between Healthy Love and Unhealthy Love by John Kim via Mind body Green

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Featured photo credit: Couple on a bench – Two lovers sitting on a bench in a park and holding themselves by hands – Concepts of autumn,love,togethe rness,relationship via shutterstock.com

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Anthony Dejolde

TV/Radio personality who educates his audience on entrepreneurship, productivity, and leadership.

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Last Updated on November 18, 2021

10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

  • honest
  • reliable
  • competent
  • kind and compassionate
  • capable of taking the blame
  • able to persevere
  • modest and humble
  • pacific and can control anger.

The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

Abigail Van Buren

3. How does this person take the blame?

Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

5. Read their emails.

Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

  • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
  • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
  • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
  • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
  • Too many question marks can show anger
  • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

6. Watch out for the show offs.

Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

8. Their empathy score is high.

Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

“One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

Stendhal

 10. Avoid toxic people.

These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

  • Envy or jealousy
  • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
  • Complaining about their own lack of success
  • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
  • Obsession with themselves and their problems

Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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