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Healthy Relationships

Given that the month of February carries with it an emphasis on interpersonal relationships, be they romantic or otherwise, we at Health 1st got to thinking: What is it that defines a worthwhile relationship? Or in other words, what makes a relationship “healthy?”


Though my relationship with my lovely wife, Becca, looks very different than my relationship with my very good friend, Jackson; I pinpointed just four characteristics that I deemed absolutely essential to consistent interactions with virtually anyone we consider close to us:


  1. Honesty: Can my wife, siblings, parents, and friends rely on me to do what I say that I’m going to do? Every. Single. Time? I remember a period of time in my later college years when I would make plans and then rely on rescheduling them instead of saying, “No,” from the beginning. This was not only ‘stringing’ someone out for a let-down later, but it was incredibly selfish. I recognized the need for my “yes (to) be yes and my no, no,” (Matthew 5:37). I made a commitment from that point on, that if I was either promising to come play hoops or attending a buddy’s wedding, it was going to happen. Granted, there are situations that may come up that we deem more important; but I was living under the false presumption that those cases were the rule, not the exception. In a marriage, honesty becomes even more important as the vows that we make at the altar are ‘for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer…’. To all my married guys reading this, I’m issuing you a challenge to ONLY have eyes for your wife, no matter what. I know you know what I’m saying. Moving on…

  3. Accountability: Relatedly, if we fail on what we say that we are going to do (or anything else, for that matter), I want people in my corner who will call me out. Now, I understand that some relationships have a much-needed level of respect where the inferior is not permitted to call out the superior (3-year-old daughter to mother, Candidate to Drill Instructor, etc.). Yet, if parameters are not put in place that allow us to check and balance one another, we are setting each other up for a massive downfall. In addition to my wife, I have a couple of men in my life whom hold me accountable in nearly every category. Caveat: we ought not to run around calling out acquaintances and people whom we hardly know. But, if we seek to not lower our personal, ethical, and/or moral standard (let alone, raise it), I’d argue that it’s imperative to have a few select men or women helping us ‘stay on the path.’

  5. Communication: Do you know the people in your life that when you meet in person, one or both of you remarks, “We should do this more often!”? How many of us actually do that? Personally, though there are some relationships that I possess that it feels like we can pick up where we left off every time; I also recognize my negligence in not communicating with him/her as much as I should. I’m not talking about engaging in gossip or necessarily even small-talk every two weeks. I’m talking about a genuine interest in this other individual and his/her life. Additionally (looking at “communication” in another light), I deem it invaluable to be able to work through would-be hurdles in specific relationships. I know that you know ‘friendships’ where what comes out of person A’s mouth is far from what needs to be said to person B. Flattery, avoiding conflict, or just not being able to articulate your heart can leave something to be desired in any interaction. Healthy relationships communicate effectively.

  7. Self-sacrificial: This last one is my favorite. Who’s your “Loyalty” pick of the Year? Man, I’m going to use my buddy, Josh, as an example. It doesn’t matter what he has on his schedule, he chooses to make time for your boy. Be it phone call, meeting in person, or sending letter by pigeon; he will put all aside to check in on me or answer the call if I find myself in an unexpected predicament, seeking some friendly counsel. I believe that this characteristic of selflessness can be seen in many different forms, but those worth my time ALL possess it. When Bec and I wed, our goal was to out serve the other day-in and day-out. I couldn’t tell you who’s winning, but this vow has been one of the greatest unforeseen blessings in our young marriage. When I think of this trait, I think of moms waking up at 2 am to nurse their crying infant, I think of Dr. Gina adjusting her life schedule (without complaining, mind you) in order to accommodate a patient who’s work hours required otherwise unavailable time slots. I think of my older cousin, Caleb, whom gave up his successful business career with Target Corp. in order to become an officer in the United States Marines Corps in order to sacrifice for his family and his country. I could go on and on, but we could use a little more sacrifice in 2021, I reckon.

Are there more characteristics that contribute to healthy and wholesome relationships? I think so. Yet, I also feel that if the people you know possess these four, it sounds like your time investing in these types of individuals is well spent.

What do you think? Do you think I got the biggest traits needed for healthy relationships? What would you add, if not?


Until next time,

-Brock Baumgarn CA, Nutrition Consultant, Health 1st Chiropractic

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