Sometimes it can be hard to tell if your relationship is healthy or unhealthy. All relationships have “ups and downs”, but how can you tell if you are going through a “rough patch” or if it’s unhealthy?

We will be discussing different types of relationships:

1. Emotional Honesty vs. Manipulation
2. Supportive and Trusting vs. Control
3. Respect vs. Intimidation.

This infographic shows the overall characteristics of a safe and healthy relationship versus an abusive relationship.

The first step to building a relationship is making sure you both understand each other’s needs and expectations. It is important to be on the same page as each other. This means you have to talk to each other!

Another important step in creating and maintaining a healthy relationship is to create boundaries with one another. You will both have a deeper understanding of the type of relationship you want. Don’t think of this as a sign of distrust or feeling trapped, but rather an expression of what makes you feel comfortable around each other.

Please see the infographic for even more characteristics!

What to look for

Emotional Honesty vs. Manipulation

Emotional Honesty:

We both feel safe being honest about our feelings and insecurities.
We don’t go through each other’s phones.
We own up to our actions and don’t blame one another for them.

Emotional Manipulation:

They use jealousy or stress to justify doing bad things.
They go through my phone or look who is calling me.
They make me feel like their actions are my fault.


These can occur in family, friend, or intimate relationships!

What to look for

Supportive & Trusting vs. Control

Support and Trust Mean:

We listen to each other.
We understand each other.
We validate each other’s feelings as important.

Control Means:

They call me names and make me feel like I’m crazy.
They make me feel bad for wanting to hang out with family and friends.
They make me feel like I’m worthless.

These can occur family, friend, or intimate relationships!

What to look for

Respect vs. Intimidation

Respect Means:

We have the right to feel differently from each other.
We can hang out with different friends and do different things from each other.
We support each other’s goals and activities.

Intimidation Means:

They are nice to me in public, but mean to me in private.
They say I’m too sensitive or that I’m “being a baby”.
They don’t take my feelings seriously.

These can occur in family, friend, or intimate relationships!