Do you get on well with others? Relationships and health
relationships; health; friends; parents; getting; along; confidence;
Think about the relationships you have with others in your life. There are many kinds of relationships. The way we interact with others can have a big effect on our health. They can help to protect us by being supportive or can undermine our confidence,
- Family – your family is not just your parents or carers and your brothers and sisters it is also all your ‘rellies’ [relatives] - like grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. 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.
- Peers - some might be your closest mates; others might be people you don’t like at all.
- People at school, or maybe work - you might not want to hang out with them but they are there.
- Your best friend - he or she could be your best mate, or sometimes the person who gets to you most!
- Your neighbour, your doctor, your postie, your sports coach - you might meet regularly or never meet – we all have a relationship with others in our community.
- People in your interest groups - sports teams, music, drama, art or youth groups. You all share an interest but that doesn’t mean you will be “Besties”.
Think of all these 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.
- share your special interests
- provide a safe place to be and learn about yourself.
- help you to relate to others.
Positive relationships are important for good health. If you have supportive, loving relationships you are more likely to feel relaxed, 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.
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 lead to 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, and how you can care for others.
Here are some things for healthy relationships – things that benefit both you and the important people in your life.
- 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 – neither of you would gossip about the other and you don’t tell lies to or about each other.
- 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 and theirs.
- 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.
“A relationship can begin by asking other children about work and what to do next. Always show that you appreciate the help by saying thank you and helping them when they need it.”
“The future lies before you
Like a path of driven snow
But, be careful how you tread
For your step will surely show.”
“Best friends come in all shapes and sizes.”
“Being different is okay! Don’t let others bring you down just because you’re not like them. Be yourself!”
“Your family are the most important relationships, not just when you are a kid but all through your life.’
“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 friends, peers, team and work mates 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. But if things are not working well you also need to think about whether you are putting in enough effort yourself."
If you have trouble with relationships then talk to your trusted adults.
Some of the topics on the list of Related topics may be useful for you.
Need more help?
If you have problems and you need more help then these people may be useful to you.
Australia -Kids Helpline - telephone 1800 55 1800:
- Your school counsellor.
- Your school or local library is likely to have books about friendships and relationships.
We've provided this information to help you to understand important things about staying healthy and happy. However, if you feel sick or unhappy, it is important to tell your mum or dad, a teacher or another grown-up.