Covid-19: A Time for Healthy Relationship Skills

A Time for Healthy Relationship Skills
NOW is the Time for Healthy Relationship Skills

At the time of this writing there are about 66,900 Google search results for the term “Healthy Relationship Skills.” That means Healthy Relationship Skills, although not in the millions, has a good number of sources referencing that term.

If there’s ever a time when our healthy relationship skills are being tested, that time is now.

What exactly are “healthy relationship skills?” Consider four cornerstones:

  1. Communicating Effectively – Active listening, mutual clarification and both/all sides working to best understand each other.
  2. Acceptance of Differences – Working towards acceptance of differences is more effective than who’s “right” and who’s “wrong.”
  3. Emotional Regulation – Recognizing our and others’ emotions; not overreacting or underreacting.
  4. Validation and Empathy – Validating means you can understand deeply where the other person/people are coming from, and empathy means putting yourself in the other’s shoes.

When you put these four cornerstones together, you can quickly see the extreme value and importance of utilizing healthy relationship skills, because we’re all in relationships, and affected by relationships. Even if you’re completely isolated, you’re still in a relationship with yourself.

Looking at the graphic that accompanies this post, you’ll notice that the cornerstone skills are sorely lacking. The two animals fighting with each other don’t need an explanation.

However, let’s talk about the eagle. The eagle represents us. You, me and all of us here in the U.S. The eagle can withstand both the weight and the intensity of the fighting, disagreeing and unhealthy relationship dynamics that are occurring.

That’s where you and I come in. We’re going to survive in spite of the fighting that’s going on around us. We’ll even thrive if we stand together, connect with each other and support each other. That’s what happens when healthy relationship skills are practiced and put into action.

We may ebb and flow, and wax and wane, as that’s all part of our humanness, but if we all commit to practicing what it takes to build relationships, rather than destroying them, we’ll be stronger, wiser and better prepared for future challenges.

We’re resilient. It’s in our nature. And perhaps that’s the starting point for all of us to remind ourselves of.

We’re not just survivors; we’re thrivers. Let’s all begin by practicing these basic healthy relationship skills. Let’s help the eagle soar and overcome any and all challenges, obstacles and, yes, even viruses, that may come our way.

I believe in us. Do you?

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