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Healthy vs Unhealthy Interpersonal Relationships

What is an interpersonal relationship?

An interpersonal relationship is an interaction between two or more people whether it is anonymously or face-to-face, for example. Such relationships occur among those who may fill each other’s explicit/implicit physical or emotional needs. It can be with a romantic partner, friend, co-worker, classmate, family, parent, sibling, daughter, or a son.

It is important to take in mind though, that just like many other things, interpersonal relationships have their highs and lows. However, it is also important to distinguish whether a relationship is “healthy” or if it has passed over to being “unhealth” possibly.

What is a “healthy” interpersonal relationship?

It is honest, there is respect, support, equality among you and your loved one, you are your own self, meaning you are independent, you compromise with each other and you communicate. In a healthy relationship it is important for both of you to not be afraid of being yourself or afraid to make decisions because of what the other may say. You simply accept each other for who you are. Also, you are truthful to one another and have no fear for rejection, for example. One is aware that it does not matter where we come from or we are going because our loved ones will accept us the way we are. Additionally, in a “healthy” relationship there is support, and encouragement for one another so that one can be a better person, there is respect for each other’s values, and most importantly, one is willing to give and take.

What is an “unhealthy” interpersonal relationship?

Often, in an unhealthy relationship, the individual may be dependent of the other or one another. For example, they may avoid certain topics for fear of their reactions and may then believe that they may deserve to be hurt by their actions. Occasionally, individuals may even feel helpless and unvalued. There is often disrespect; they humiliate you, yell at you, put you down and criticize you or they may hide things from you because there is no trust, or they have the intention of hurting you. Additionally, one, the other, or both, may be constantly checking up on you because they want to know where you are at all the time and sometimes become jealous of others who surround you. In an unhealthy relationship, one may also find pressure and an individual pushing the other to do things they do not want to do. It is also important to take in mind that there is violence, but not just physical violence. Such violence includes both verbal and emotional violence. An individual may hit you, but if they are verbally attacking you, that is violence as well and is unhealthy for the relationship.

What can I do for myself if I am in an “unhealthy” interpersonal relationship?

Seek help. Don’t be afraid. It is often easier to say something than to get it done however, it is important for you to first recognize that there is a problem in order to continue to the solution. You are not alone. Talk to someone about your current situation. Try to talk to the person you are in conflict with to attempt to reach a solution or agreement.

If you want to learn more about unhealthy and healthy interpersonal relationships and how to manage them, learn more about our upcoming support group at