3 Easy Ways for Main Liners to Build Healthy Relationships

Building a supportive social network is the key to healthy relationships and feeling seen for Main Line residents.

We all thrive when we have reciprocal, emotionally supportive relationships that meet our needs for attention, affection and care. These sorts of relationships offer reassurance, renewal and positive energy. We feel respected, not judged—and the affection and care provided is unconditional.

Conversely, there’s emotional neglect—a consistent pattern of behavior that fails to meet the above needs. Such toxic relationships can be more difficult to grasp, as they often involve a failure to act, versus overt actions like criticizing or yelling. Indeed, not everyone is aware that they’re neglecting a partner, friend, family member or colleague. Many experienced the same thing as a child.

Examples of emotional neglect include consistently ignoring another’s emotional needs, dismissing their feelings and failing to provide comfort, affection or positive reinforcement during distressing situations. In more intimate relationships, it can manifest as an absence of communication, indifference toward a partner’s emotional wellbeing and/or consistently disregarding feelings and concerns. In friendships, it might involve unresponsiveness or lack of availability during a difficult time.

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Here are some easy first steps in transforming an emotionally neglectful relationship into a supportive one around the Main Line:

  1. Become an active listener. One of the hallmarks of a supportive relationship is a mutual desire to truly understand the other person—especially when they’re going through a difficult time or transition. When we’re engaged and actively listening to partners, friends, family members and coworkers, we’re proving that they matter to us.
  2. Keep lines of communication open. We’re not mind readers. Misunderstandings, grudges and neglect can arise when hurt feelings aren’t discussed. Open communication is a crucial ingredient for creating supportive networks.
  3. Be reliable and consistent. Knowing we can depend on others during our highs and lows is the glue that binds secure relationships.

Related: Margaret Andrzejewski Focuses on Health and Wellness in Phoenixville

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