Bhave Institute of Mental Health

Bhave Institute of Mental Health




Every once in a while, we all come across some great relationships, be it a couple, parent- child relationship, siblings, friendship etc. These people seem to have a great ‘chemistry’ or deep meaningful relationships which seem effortless. But in reality, all good relationships are always a work in progress. They consist of people who are willing to learn from the past and from each other and work hard at making the relationship flourish.

So how to take a step in the right direction to make your relationship flourish?

  • Communication- Communication is a key aspect of making relationships tick. Active or non-judgemental listening is a very important part of this. Being invested in any conversation and giving your undivided attention to the other person is a challenge in todays world of distractions (e.g., phones/social media) but highly rewarding. It also allows the other person to open up more with you and develop closeness. A very valuable dictum of communication is ‘praise in public, scold in private’. This refers to the fact that keeping negative communication private helps towards a more constructive conversation which can easily turn into resentment or humiliation if done in presence of others.


  • Conflict management- It is important to give feedback only when anger dies down. Take time out or put some physical distance between you two (e.g., leave the room) if conversation gets too heated. Its easy for such conversations to spiral into negativity. Apologize sincerely (if at fault). This is a mark of humility and a show of respect for the other person, regardless of the age of people involved.

Don’t fight when hungry, before sleeping or drunk. Do not nag/shout/curse in a conflict situation. It is essential to not generalize in a fight; “you always/you never” statements. Stick only to the grievance at hand. Abstain from issuing empty threats (this is especially true between parents and children.)


  • Mutual respect – Being mindful of each other’s choices or commitments is crucial. It is especially valuable for partners or spouses for personal or career growth while enjoying a stable relationship. Take feedback/advise or involve them in important decision making. This makes the other person feel they hold value in your life.


  • Boundary setting – It is vital to respect each other’s personal space and privacy. Behaviours like checking each other’s phones or listening in on conversations is a no-no. It makes the other person feel violated or untrustworthy.


  • Honesty- Honesty is a key element without which no relationship can survive. If you cannot trust the other persons words or actions you cannot have a meaningful or stable relationship with them. It is important to communicate openly and honestly while maintaining a respectful tone of conversation. The way words are conveyed affect their impact greatly.


  • Managing your expectations- Most often, the biggest source of sorrow in a relationship is when the other person isn’t able to match your expectations, be it emotional, physical, time commitment etc. Rather than trying to change the other person, it is worthwhile to reevaluate and redefine our expectations in the relationship to avoid unnecessary disappointments.


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