An 85-year study conducted by researchers at Harvard shows that positive relationships are the key to happiness. The comprehensive study points out that close relationships play a greater role in our well-being – both psychologically and physically – than, for example, social position, IQ, or genes.

An important point from the study is that positive relationships make a big difference. So how do you go about building healthy relationships? Here are some tips:

  1. Get to know yourself better

In order to build healthy relationships, it is important that you know yourself well. Being aware of your own feelings makes it easier for you to express yourself clearly and effectively. On the other hand, if you have trouble controlling your emotions or expressing them in a healthy way, it can negatively impact your mental health.

      2. Work on the relationship

Healthy relationships don’t come out of anywhere – they are created. Building positive relationships requires commitment and a willingness to meet each other’s needs.

      3. Set (and respect) boundaries

Think about your limits and communicate them clearly. This can make a lot of things easier in relationships – not least because it reduces the risk of unrealistic expectations.

Setting healthy boundaries means:

  • Saying no to things you don’t want to do
  • Express your feelings responsibly
  • Speak openly and honestly about your experiences
  • Dealing with problems with the data subject and not with a third party.
  • Be clear about your expectations instead of assuming people can read your mind.

      4. Learn to listen

Conflicts are inevitable in relationships. What matters is how you listen to each other: listen to the other person to try to understand, rather than respond to speech.

Equally important is expressing your own feelings and vulnerabilities to people you trust.

       5. Release the controller

You have no control over the actions of other people. Keeping this in mind will save you time and stress.

      6. Reflect

Being able to express emotions in a healthy way also makes it easier to deal with the emotions of others. Anger, for example, is often rooted in hurt or upset feelings – if you can recognize this, you can also communicate it and thus build stronger relationships with others.

Think of the most successful relationships in your life. What properties do these relationships have and how can you introduce properties into other relationships?