HEALTHY VS. UNHEALTHY
Healthy relationships can play a prominent role in a teen’s life. Everyone wants to love and feel loved.
How do we determine if a relationship is healthy or unhealthy? If we are in an unhealthy relationship—how do we get out?
CHARACTERISTICS OF A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP
- Open communication
- Shared responsibility and equal power
- Support and trust
- Negotiation and fairness
CHARACTERISTICS OF AN UNHEALTHY RELATIONSHIP
- Physical Abuse
- Emotional/Verbal Abuse
- Sexual Abuse
- Financial Abuse
- Digital Abuse
SO HOW DO WE FIND HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS?
The Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalition created a “Relationship Bill of Rights” which accurately explains everything you should expect in a relationship:
- To be treated with dignity and respect
- To follow my own values and standards
- To say no and not feel guilty
- To experience and express my feelings
- To feel safe
- To take time for myself
- To change my mind
- To ask for what I want
- To ask for information
- To make mistakes
- To do less than I am humanly capable of doing
- To be me and feel good about myself
- To leave conversations with people who make me feel put down or humiliated
- To act only in ways that will promote my dignity and self-respect
- To feel scared and say “I’m afraid”
- To end the relationship
- To not be responsible for others’ behavior, actions, feelings or problems
- To expect honesty from others
- To all of my feelings
- To make decisions based on my feelings, my judgments or any reason that I choose
- To change and grow
- To be happy
- To make friends and be myself around people
- To be angry at someone I love
- To both experience and let go of fear, guilt and shame
GETTING OUT OF AN UNHEALTHY RELATIONSHIP
Breaking up can be hard. However, if you are in a relationship that is harmful to your physical or psychological health, you need to get help! If you are in an unhealthy relationship:
- Tell someone. Talk to a trusted adult or close friend about your situation.
- Plan your break up. If you decide to break up with this person, make sure you feel safe doing so. If you don’t feel safe breaking up in person, do it over the phone. If you do break up in person, do so in a public place. Bring family or friends along as back up.
- Do not try and explain your reasons for breaking up more than once. No answer is going to make your ex happy.
- Understand that it’s normal to miss your ex—even if they were abusive, you still probably spent a lot of time with them. It is totally normal to miss this person. If you are struggling with this, create a list of reasons of why you broke up and review it.
- If your partner was controlling and jealous, it is likely that they made the majority of your decisions. It can be overwhelming to choose again. If you are feeling stressed out, talk to people in your support network such as your family and friends.
- Let the people that care about you know about your break up. They can find ways to help you feel safer.
- Save any threatening or harassing messages your ex sends. Set your profile to private on social networking sites and ask friends to do the same.
- If your ex shows up at your home, school or workplace and tries to confront you, do not answer the door. Seek safety immediately.
- Trust your instincts. If you feel afraid, you probably have a good reason.
- If you feel like you are in immediate danger, call 911.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
Check out loveisrespect.org for 24-hour online, text and phone support.
Talk to a trusted adult such as a parent, physician or counselor.