Healthy Relationship

How many of the following attitudes and behaviors are present in your relationship?

  • Communication is open and spontaneous.
  • Rules/boundaries are clean and explicit, yet allow flexibility.
  • Individuality, freedom and personal identity is enhanced.
  • Each enjoys doing things for self, as well as for each other.
  • Play, humor, and having fun together is common place.
  • Each does not attempt to “fix” or control the other.
  • Acceptance of self and other (for real selves).
  • Assertiveness: feelings and needs are expressed.
  • Humility: able to let go of need to “be right.”
  • Self-confidence and security in won worth.
  • Conflict is faced directly and resolved.
  • Openness to constructive feedback.
  • Each is trustful of the other.
  • Balance of giving and receiving.
  • Negotiations are fair and democratic.
  • Tolerance: forgiveness of self and other.
  • Mistakes are accepted and learned from.
  • Willingness to take risks and be vulnerable.
  • Other meaningful relationships and interests exist.
  • Each can enjoy being alone and privacy is respected.
  • Personal growth, change and exploration are encouraged.
  • Continuity and consistency are present in the commitment.
  • Balance of oneness (closeness) and separation from each other.
  • Responsibility for own behaviors and happiness (not blaming other).

Characteristics of an Unhealthy Family

    • Members are not respected as unique individuals of equal value with other family members.
    • Family members are discouraged from being unique or different from others in the family. Conformity is often required.
    • Parents do not follow through and are inconsistent. They are not good role models.
    • Family members are denied their individual feelings, perceptions, and needs.
    • When problems develop, they are kept secret, and the member with the problem is shamed into silence.
    • Family members need to unmet in the family. Asking for favors or to have needs met is discouraged.
    • Family roles are frigid and inflexible.
    • Mistakes are severely criticized. Family members are always expected to be “right” or “perfect.”
    • The Family is overly open in members’ internal interactions and overly closed in the outside world.
    • The family inconsistently supports individual members; however, individual support of the family is always expected.
    • Parents are infallible and all-powerful. They teach their children that they are always in control and are not to be questioned or challenged.

Children do not have the right to an opinion.

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