This past week, I was invited to be a guest on a popular national radio breakfast show.
The topic they wanted me to talk about was healthy relationships. Based on the tremendous feedback I have gotten since the interview, I believe it went well. Therefore, I decided to tell you one of the questions and answer it here in case you missed that.
What is a healthy relationship and how is it cultivated?In a healthy relationship there is trust, open communication, ability to resolve conflict peacefully, spend regular quality time together, support one another - not jealous of the other’s success, compliment and build each other up, mutual respect, and general partnership in doing life together.
There are no short cuts to a healthy relationship. You must work on it! Initially, everyone loves to be in a relationship. The “honeymoon” phase is where everyone just sees good. Your heart is beating faster and you overlook many faults. However, as time passes and you feel more comfortable with the person the stars eventually fade from your eyes so you start to see more clearly. This is the stage where problems arise. After all, you are two different people. You are bound to have differences of opinions. This is where most relationships make it or break it. The ones who make it have learned how to effectively resolve conflict! Honestly, resolving conflict is NOT fun but if two people want to have a healthy relationship, they need to learn to be honest about how they feel and learn to communicate peacefully to solve issues.
We have been blessed to do a couple of family building campaigns around the country based on our TV show, Talking with the Thabas, and our subsequent relationship book, Making Marriages Fun. (This book can be bought on our website – www.ashleythaba.com) During these family building campaigns, we get to interact with hundreds of people as we teach the principles of our TV show and book, and we get to hear about everyone’s relationships. We are humbled to get to have this trusted role. One of the constant things we hear when we work with couples is that no one ever taught them how to resolve conflict. It seems in schools children are usually not encouraged to analyse, problem solve and speak freely. In fact, those children who do ask questions and express their opinions are generally labelled as
From our experience interacting with thousands of people in these family building campaigns around the country, we have found many are raised being taught that the respectful thing is to avoid talking about things that can make you feel uncomfortable or seem confrontational. This leads many people to either completely lack the skills to talk about their true feelings, or feel like it is actually more desirable to not express your true emotions for fear that actually could be seen as confrontational or disrespectful.
This might be one of the reasons domestic abuse (Gender Based Violence) is so high. You can only hide your true feelings and avoid discussing problems for so long before you snap! In our campaigns, as we teach through our book, one of the reoccurring focal points is practical communication and conflict resolution skills. We have found as we teach people how to better communicate and give them practical tips on how to resolve conflict and talk about their issues – Gender Based Violence rates are dropping everywhere we are doing these campaigns! Our belief is that if we can strengthen the families we are tackling the root cause of many of the unhealthy social ills our society is plagued with. If we can help people have healthy relationships, healthy people don’t abuse others! If we can strengthen enough families, we can strengthen the nation.
*Ashley Thaba is a popular motivational speaker, family building facilitator, author and the Producer of a hit TV show offering practical advice to strengthen families and improve marriages! Episodes of her show can be downloaded from her website – www.ashleythaba.com.You can view some of her work on her YouTube channel: Ashley Thaba. You can buy three of her books, Dive In, Making Marriages Fun, and Conquering the Giants, on her website. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Facebook at: Talking with the Thabas