At some point, nearly every single adult has experienced a wonderful, close relationship with someone whom they love to be around. Many have also experienced a highly contentious, hostile, or distant relationship with a person they gradually come to dread being near.
Any relationship with a person that you must interact with frequently can impact your wellbeing if you let it go unresolved. While sometimes there are unfortunate situations that you can do nothing about, more often your actions and responses can shape and change every single relationship that you have.
Good relationships improve your health across many areas including heart health, insulin regulation, and immune system function, reducing your risk of many significant health problems such as depression, high blood pressure, diabetes, cognitive decline, and dementia (1). Healthy relationships can even help you to live longer (2).
Luckily, we know some key behaviors that can improve your relationships, emotional wellbeing, and even your physical health.