Healthy social relationships are critical while growing up. It’s important that you feel able to talk to and relate to people as you grow up, this allows you to share experiences, develop your confidence and know that you are not alone.
Respect is an important part of healthy relationships, and everyone has the right to be respected.
A respectful relationship is characterised by the following:
- Allowing everyone to make their own choices and form their own views
- Listening and respecting each other’s points of view – even if they are different to your own
- Respecting everyone’s right to be safe, valued and cared for
- Allow each other to disagree at times and say what they think or feel without being put down or hurt in anyway
- Allowing each other to speak and make sure we are listening
- Everyone can make mistakes and still be accepted and respected
Did you know if you experience disrespectful behaviours such as bullying from your peers, the effects can be serious? Including the following:
- Poor sleep habits
- Nausea or headaches
- Depression or anxiety
- Low self-confidence or esteem
- Change in eating habits (under or overeating)
- Lack of trust in friends
Remember you can disagree with each other without being aggressive. It is healthy and very normal to have different ideas and opinions, you can remain friends and agree to disagree.
Abusive friends may attempt to control aspects of your life. Dictating what clothes you wear, telling you what you think and what to say, and who you can be friends with. They may try and separate you from other people, so you become isolated and dependent on them. This is not a good or healthy relationship, and you should avoid anyone that tries to control you in this way.
Healthy relationships are built on trust and openness. Good relationships help young people to get through tough times and enable them to feel confident, competent, and creative.
Any form of violence in a relationship or friendship is unacceptable and should never be allowed. If anyone is violent or threatening towards you, tell a trusted adult immediately.
Following are some examples of ways that can help you create healthy relationships with your peers.
Understanding and empathy – This is the ability to feel for others, how would you feel if you were them in this situation? Try to put yourself in their shoes and understand others point of view.
Good listening – This is the ability to listen without interrupting. Try to listen to others’ ideas or problems.
Anger management – Think first before speaking and try to stay calm. Try counting up to ten or take deep breaths. Taking responsibility for managing your own anger will help you to avoid impulsive acts that are potentially destructive to yourself or others.
Resolving Conflict – Disagreements are very normal in all relationships, however there are ways to respond to, minimise and resolve conflict. It is helpful to try to understand and consider the other person’s point of view. Winning an argument is not good if it makes the other person feel hurt or embarrassed. A win-win situation, where give and take on both sides is involved, this is always preferred.
Honesty – Be honest with yourself and true to your own feelings. Allow your friends and peers to be honest with you without fear that you will react angrily.