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Relationships and health - for teens

relationships; ;

Everyday you mix with people. You might hang out with them because you want to or because you don’t have any choice. You might really like them, or not think much of them at all.

Relationships are not just about who you are "going with" or "getting it on with". They are about the interactions you have with people every day. Your relationships might be close, supportive, stressful or they may really not matter to you much.

On the Reachout site there are many topics that explore relationships and the effects that they have on your health and wellbeing

Contents

Relationships! What are they and what have they got to do with health? Read on to find out more.

Relationships and you

Everyday you mix with people. You might hang out with them because you want to or because you don’t have any choice. You might really like them, or not think much of them at all.

Relationships are not just about who you are "going with" or "getting it on with". They are about the interactions you have with people every day. Your relationships might be close, supportive, stressful or they may really not matter to you much.

Here are some examples:

  • Family - you may or may not live with them; you may get along with them or have massive fights; you may never have met them, or they may be your best friends.
  • Your child or children. Probably the people you care most about, but caring for children is a lot of work and can be exhausting. 
  • Peers - some might be your closest mates; others might be people you don’t like at all.
  • People at school or work - you might not hang out with them were it not for school or work.
  • Your love partner - he or she could be your best mate, or the person who gets to you most!
  • Your neighbour, your doctor, your postie, your local politician - you might meet regularly or never meet – we have a relationship with our community, whether we feel a part of it or separate from it.

What relationships can do for you

Think of all the people in your life. All of these relationships have an effect (positive or negative) in your life. This effect can be tiny, huge or anywhere in between!

Here are some of the great things that relationships can do for you:

  • make you feel like you belong and are valued.
  • increase your confidence.
  • provide understanding, respect, trust and care.
  • support you to try out ideas and new things, or to discuss your opinions.
  • provide a safe place to be and learn about yourself.

What do you think makes a good relationship?

How does a positive relationship help you?

How do you choose your relationships and why?

How do you cope with relationships that you don’t really want anything to do with?

Relationships and health

Positive relationships are important for good health. If you have supportive, loving relationships you are more likely to feel funky, happy and satisfied with your life.

Relationships affect how you feel about yourself and how you cope with things that happen in everyday life. Being aware of the way relationships affect you can help you make choices about your health.

Try this!

Think of a person you know. Close your eyes and think about time you spend with her or him.

  • How do you feel when you are around her or him?
  • What happens in the relationship for you to feel that way?
  • What does he or she tell you about yourself? (this might not be in words – the messages we get about ourselves in relationships can be very subtle).

A hard thing about relationships is that you do not have control of what the other person or people do. Sometimes relationships can contribute to things like stress, depression, loss of self-esteem or confidence, and even physical illness. It is important to think about the things that you can do to protect or care for yourself and your health.

Healthy relationships

Here are some things to look out for in healthy relationships.

  • Respect - no put-downs, each of you having the right to have an opinion, to be listened to, and being able to voice what you think and feel.
  • Trust
  • Honesty - openness and honesty about what you think, feel and do.
  • Safety - feeling safe from physical, emotional, sexual or other forms of harm.
  • Equality - look out for power in relationships and who holds it – feeling powerless or more powerful than another person can affect your health.
  • Consistency - you know where you and others stand.
  • Value - you feel valued and you value the other person.
  • Security and loyalty - you feel safe that both parties value the relationship.
  • Empathy - listening and understanding each other - putting yourself in the other person’s shoes.
  • Genuineness – it is a human, natural and honest relationship.

Family violence

Sometimes there can be violence within families which can severely affect the health of family members. Parenting SA has developed a guide for people who are in violent relationships or families.

Bec says:

“Close relationships take a lot of work if they are going to be successful. That goes for the kind of relationships that you can’t avoid, like your family, as well as for the boy friend / girl friend relationships. Relationships should be a two way street – so if you are putting in all the effort and nothing is coming back, maybe you need to talk through the list above".

Resources

Australia

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The information on this site should not be used as an alternative to professional care. If you have a particular problem, see a doctor or other health professional.
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