Categories: Community2.8 min read

by Stephen Luther, M.D.


Life is meant to be shared.

Our hearts long for genuine, harmonious, caring, and fun companionship. Our body functions better with less stress from positive connections. Our brains release surges of mood-boosting hormones from feelings of love.

So, while Symbios encourages healthy relationships that can contribute to wellness, so many of us search high and low and cannot find companionship that fulfills our desires. How do real relationships work? The answer is found in the common thread woven through your relationships with family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, God, and spouses: YOU.

Relationships and old sayings go hand in hand! The following tips can enhance your connections with the people you share life with.

Put on your oxygen mask first before helping others.

Self-reflection looks inward to understand your behavior and attitudes toward others. Are you glued to past experiences’ shadows and challenged to see brightness ahead? Do you feel alone in a room full of people, avoiding engaging because of fear of rejection? Before pointing fingers, reflect on your past and present feelings and identify potential relationship challenges and ways to overcome them. 

While you can’t control other’s actions, you control your reactions.

The reality is that our spouses, family, co-workers, and friends will fall short of perfection. Instead of trying to change others, focus on adapting your responses and expectations. (Note: this does not refer to physically or mentally abusive relationships.)

Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future.

Personal growth flourishes when you surround yourself with like-minded individuals in a supportive atmosphere. You can cultivate meaningful and lasting social circles with people who share similar values and aspirations. Join a fitness center such as SymbiosFIT that encourages friendships in group classes.

You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

Communicate effectively, as your words (spoken or unspoken) and nonverbal signs are the cornerstone of building good relationships. A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs anger (Proverbs 15: 1). Focus on your nonverbal stance and how you express yourself as much as the words you speak when discussing concerns.

Are you on the set-up or clean-up crew?

1 Thessalonians 5:11 tells us to “encourage one another and build each other up.” Debbie Luther simplifies it: “We can patiently foster relationships and build others up with kind words and understanding, or we can clean up messy relationships after harshly tearing people down.” Be a good role model and source of positivity in others’ lives. Set them up with encouragement and support to help them grow.

Anger corrodes the vessel that contains it.

Apologize and forgive; holding onto grudges can strain relationships, and built-up anger can erupt. Acknowledge mistakes and be quick to apologize. Similarly, forgive others for their shortcomings. 

Set boundaries.

It’s essential to communicate your needs and respect the boundaries of others. While all relationships require effort, it’s crucial to recognize when a relationship becomes detrimental to your well-being or abusive. Establish clear boundaries to maintain a healthy balance in relationships. If you find yourself in a toxic situation, prioritize your safety and seek help. In Beaufort, contact Hopeful Horizons 24/7 for support at 843-770-1070.

The effort you invest will undoubtedly lead to a more harmonious and enriching life for yourself and those around you. Kickstart70 offers guidance and support for healthy relationships and a higher quality of life. Take ownership of your actions and your future by joining today.


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