• Donna Bird Bsc (Psych), MSc (ForenPsych), Research & Support Manager

The Relationship Toolbox

Whether we like it or not, relationships are a core part of life!


From the Behaviourist and Psychodynamic approach to today’s Interactionist approach, from Bowlby’s attachment theory to the Freudian theory, there are numerous ways of looking at relationships, how they are formed, how they are maintained, the importance of them and the science behind them.


But what really makes a good relationship? Whether it’s romantic, family or working relationships… every relationship is unique, and they all play a huge part in our lives that impact our day to day! It’s been shown that people experiencing healthy relationships tend to communicate openly with others, they tend to trust more, prioritise better and engage in healthier activities all round.


Quality time, positive communication, teamwork, appreciation, generosity, gratitude, eye contact, tone of voice, acknowledging differences, acknowledging strengths, the list is endless and so so important in building those healthy relationships which have such an influence on our lives.


As children, having that secure relationship with our parents/caregivers influences some really important factors such as confidence, self-worth, empathy and education.


As we grow through adolescence and into adulthood, these factors influence how our romantic relationships may be formed, how they develop. The strength of a good, solid romantic relationship brings less stress and the opportunity to share our problems with someone. We gain more confidence, as we have someone who believes in us at times when we may be struggling to believe in ourselves. We experience better healing – both mentally and physically and we have a sense of purpose! Remember, we are all animals after all and innately driven to partner and reproduce.


Indeed, these relationships with family, parents, caregivers and romantic partners are all important but what about the importance of our working relationships? We spend an average of 8 hours a day working alongside people we probably haven’t chosen to… Now, using the skills and simple steps we have already discussed, can improve our working relationships hugely, encouraging a healthier and more successful relationship all round. We’re likely to see improved teamwork, higher morale, higher retention rate and higher productivity! Now who doesn’t want all of that hey?!


A few extra tips on how we can improve relationships… Be aware of where your attention is, speak less and listen more, be aware of your body language and remind people that you care – a compliment costs absolutely nothing.


These simple but fundamental actions will have such a positive impact – just watch those relationships grow!



PREVENT. PRACTICE. PROGRESS.

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