Are You Emotionally Healthy Enough to Have Good Relationships?

Some people generally have successful, happy, and healthy relationships, while others seem frequently to struggle in this.

image by Joanna Nix from

If occasionally, you experience challenges in your relations with others, this is normal. Close connections with other human beings will, to a degree and at times, involve some challenge and navigation of difficulty. We all make mistakes and have bad moments. Thus, even great relationships can have tough times here and there.

If, however, you find yourself often going through challenges with others, and frequently experiencing relationships as dramatic, strained, unhappy, or even ending altogether (you’ve gone through many different friends over the years, and have had turbulent romances), this may signify a need to more closely examine your own behavior and emotional health since you are the constant in that equation.

We all know at least one person, and maybe a few like this. The person who routinely has troubles in a few or many of their relationships. The one who dates a succession of people with whom it just never seems to work out, with whom the relationship is a letdown, and who exhibited various red flags. The person who tends to cause drama in their connections with others, as well as, who chooses others to relate with who are not so emotionally healthy, of good character, or even all that nice.

This is because we tend to be attracted to, as well as attract, people like ourselves.

Healthy people are not generally attracted to, at least for any enduring period of time, unhealthy people.

They figure it out and then run the other way, back toward people who are emotionally healthy, like themselves.

And, unhealthy people tend to struggle in connecting with healthy people. This is because they do not know how to relate to others in healthy ways. They are used to disconnection, drama, emotional unhealthiness, and dysfunctional patterns, so they will have difficulty in finding common ground, relating to, communicating with, and feeling comfortable with those who are emotionally on an even keel.

With regards to the above several paragraphs, these are the people not likely at a place of emotional health themselves to have great relationships with others.

So, to speak to the opposite side of the coin, what are some signs of a person who is emotionally healthy and able to have good relationships with others?

They have a strong degree of insight into themselves. Their strengths and high points, as well as their weaknesses, mistakes, and bad behaviors. Why does this matter? Because people with this degree of insight are able to see themselves and their decisions more clearly, and thus, are more able to learn from their mistakes and then grow as a result. People without this degree of insight tend to make the same mistakes over and over.

They have a sense of personal responsibility for themselves, both in good times and in bad. Again, people with this trait are so not proud as to be unable to admit when they screwed up, and badly. They are also not so proud as to never apologize to others whom they’ve wronged. They are able to see where they’ve done well, and when they’ve messed up or even failed. People with this ability and who choose personal responsibility (because it is both, a skill and a choice) have much better relationships with others and will go way further in their lives as a result of choosing to take a hard, clear, honest look at themselves in the mirror in varying situations.

They have empathy and compassion for others. People without these are going to struggle to have loving, kind, emotionally healthy relationships with others. Instead, they will more often have shallow connections with others. Ones with poor communication and avoidance. They will probably come across to others as disconnected or even hard-hearted and as a result, will repel a lot of great-hearted individuals.

They listen carefully (for the most part) and choose to be focused and present when with others. People who do this create meaningful, quality connections with other human beings. They engage fully in their interactions and relationships, and thus, these relationships flourish. This shows their companions that they value and respect them. People who, instead, choose to be half present, who are distracted, who half listen, who are often texting or looking at their phones when with other people, or who are thinking about other things while friends and loved ones are speaking to them? These people are going to struggle much more in relationships, will likely feel as though something is missing from their interpersonal connections, and will tend to have more shallow relations with others.

They are humble. Humble people are open to learning. They are well aware that they have many flaws and can always, in many ways, stand to grow. And they have a strong interest in doing so. Being humble does not mean they lack confidence or think of themselves as a loser. On the contrary, humble does not mean a lack of self-worth. Humble people are far more confident than arrogant ones because they can stand to hear and are brave enough to look closely and see when they are wrong, to examine their own flaws, and to address their weaknesses. Arrogant people cannot bear to do this. It scares them too much. It threatens their pride. Arrogance is a sign of lacking confidence, defensiveness, and weakness, despite that it’s an attempt to exude the opposite. Those who are humble are truly confident ones.

They are able to, and do so frequently, apologize when they are wrong, have made a mistake, or have hurt someone else. Obligatory apologies don’t count here, because they are not coming from the heart, nor from real insight to the self. Apologies to win favor and get what one wants, same deal, not real. Heartfelt apology, however, is the glue that holds healthy and quality relationships together. An apology says, your feelings matter to me. An apology also says, I see clearly where I did wrong, and I want to own and make amends for it so that we can hopefully move forward and have a good relationship. A genuine apology is brave. A real apology says, I value you and I respect you. People who refuse to apologize in their relationships are going to create enduring resentment and hurt in others, as well as, may even lose relationships that they value.

They are honest and kind. Sorry, but without these two traits, a person is going to have trouble in relationships. Either, they will choose and have close connections with people like themselves (unkind, dishonest, and with crappy values and personalities) (because we tend to attract people like ourselves) in which case, they will never really learn or experience healthy, good relationships with others. Or, they will not really have any meaningful relationships because bad personalities tend to repel good people.

They have a solid sense of self. You know the people who are miserable and aching without a romantic partner in their life. Who yearn and need a romantic focus to feel happy and “whole.” The ones who are desperate for attention, for others to find them attractive, worthwhile, and “good enough.” These are also, often, people who settle and will make many a bad choice in romantic relationships, because when you harbor some semblance of desperation and when you operate as though you are not happy and whole on your own, you are not as able to wait patiently, to be as discerning, or to have high standards. Because you “need” a partner, you are far more likely to settle.

Also, people with a solid sense of self tend to have good boundaries with others, they feel confident and whole in time with themselves, generally have good mental health, and they are ready to walk away from a relationship that is no longer right for them (rather than cling, make excuses, rationalize, and stay for far too long, like many of us make the mistake of doing).

They treat others, for the most part, with fairness and goodness. This might mean, at times, extending themselves for someone who they don’t particularly want to, though they do so anyway. They operate with the feelings and thoughts of others in mind. They care for the emotional and physical welfare of others, and their actions make this obvious.

They would be joyed to take steps toward repairing a relationship with someone they value and love. Walking away from someone who is bad for them or toxic to their mental health is another thing, which is a good, valid, and healthy thing to do for oneself. This point is different from a scenario like that. If there is a person they love and with whom, in theory, they would be thrilled to have a great relationship with again, they would not be too proud or lacking in empathy or lacking in bravery to take this chance and try to make it happen. Instead, they would put aside their pride, their fear, and would go for it. People who do not do this tend to lose relationships they value, which would otherwise have added to their life.

The above are a handful of qualities that people who have emotionally healthy and happy relationships with others tend to possess. There are, of course, more qualities of an emotionally healthy individual. These were a few key ones for consideration that, if adopted and learned, can result in far more joyous, successful, emotionally close, and wonderful relationships in your life.

Check out more about Brooke at

Fervent writer. Ravenous reader. Impassioned with words. Relationship researcher. Social Scientist. Social Justice Advocate. Author.

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