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  • Susan Fletcher, Ph.D.

Healthy vs. Unhealthy Relationships (Part 2 in a 4 Part Series)

Welcome to Part Two. This week we are digging deeper and getting more specific with skills that you need to keep your relationships healthy. Because of last week’s post, you now know that it is not the relationship that needs to be evaluated for healthy vs. unhealthy. It is whether or not you are healthy in your relationships.

If you need to review Part One, click here.

Now that we have established that you need to ask yourself if you are healthy in your relationships, let’s get specific about what skills you need to monitor and manage.

Remember, you can’t manage what you don’t measure.

For this second installment to help you stay healthy in relationships, here is what you need to put on your own self-monitoring radar. Ask yourself how well you manage your own:

• Anxiety, • Reactivity, • Distractibility, and • Adaptability

Yes, it is your responsibility to manage yourself, not micromanage others in relationships. Too many times I witness finger pointing when it comes to any of these four potential relationship derailers.

People can point out poor abilities when they see them in others but they are slow to see where they fail to manage them for themselves.

So when it comes to Anxiety, can you self-soothe and manage your own anxiety or do you need something from someone else before you calm down?

When it comes to Reactivity, can you stay engaged in the conversation even though you are emotionally loaded or do you tend to erupt or shut down and stonewall because you are freaking out inside or out?

When it comes to Distractibility, can you stay focused despite strong emotions or do you tend to wait for the other person to finish so you can butt in with your own ideas?

Finally, when it comes to Adaptability, can you manage change and go with the flow or do you resist when things go different than planned?

Here is your checklist for managing your own ability to stay healthy in your relationships:

1. Self-soothe and manage your own anxiety. 2. Stay engaged in the conversation instead of being reactive and disengaging. 3. Stay focused to minimize distractibility despite strong emotions. 4. Manage change and go with the flow to increase your ability to be adaptable.

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