While some people develop healthy relationships naturally and spontaneously, others need to work at it. Healthy relationships are characterized by a willingness to give, good humor, flexibility and empathy. Romantic relationships are central to most people's lives, but the health of other relationships, including those with siblings, friends and coworkers, can be worked on and improved as well.
A relationship that isn't built on a foundation of respect will have difficulty remaining healthy. Whether it is a relationship between lovers, friends or coworkers, if there is contempt and derision where there should be respect, something is very wrong. Healthy relationships are based on each person admiring the other's qualities and respecting his or her choices in life. This doesn't mean that the other person is seen as perfect; only that a feeling of respect for his existence constitutes the basis of the relationship. With this basis, arguments and disagreements can be more easily dealt with and used for personal growth.
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