Positive Relationships

Young adults who have high quality, positive relationships with peers and adults tend to have better psychological health, improved academic performance, and greater success with relationships. Building positive relationships is essential to feeling and being healthy. To do this, you will need to strike a balance between using effective communication tools, having healthy boundaries in place, and managing existing relationships.

Most people know that good communication has a major impact on building and maintaining good relationships. Effective communication is achieved through active listening, as well as having thoughts and comments clearly understood by everyone involved.

Tools to communicate:

  • Be clear with your statements and, if needed, ask for clarification.
  • Actively listen by paying attention, questioning, and minimizing judgments.
  • Use ‘I’ statements, not ‘You’ statements, when expressing feelings.
  • Make eye contact.
  • Be aware of your body language.


Boundaries help define your emotional and physical space. Imagine a “boundary” as a wall that should move up and down at your discretion. The wall should not be so thin that it’s transparent, but not so thick that no one can see you. So, how do you set up healthy boundaries?

Suggestions to set up healthy boundaries:

  • Earn trust and have your trust earned.
  • Share personal information gradually and mutually.
  • Protect your boundaries from intrusion.

Managing relationships with family

Families can be central to your support and success in college; however, this is not always true for everyone. You can’t choose your parents or siblings, nor can you force a good relationship with them. What you can choose is how you respond to family members and friends and how you deal with your emotions.

Try these approaches to maintain a good relationship with family members:

  • Keep them involved in your activities and share feelings.
  • Let go of your sense of over-responsibility for others.
  • Set aside time to spend with your loved ones.


Feeling disconnected? Take a personal inventory and ask if you have isolated yourself, avoided people or feel others have avoided you, or you have not spent enough time with friends and family. If so, it may be time to ‘hang out’ with a supportive circle that can help lift your mood, make you feel better, and encourage your goals.

For further information or help, visit the suggested websites and read through the material. Or visit the Student Health Center, Bldg. 67B and request personal counseling.


Love is Respect: www.loveisrespect.org/
Online Chat w/Peer Advocates available 24/7
Text loveis to 77054

Healthy Place: www.healthyplace.com/relationships/

Info for Teens: www.plannedparenthood.org/info-for-teens/

Ulifeline: www.ulifeline.org/

Ace's Space: http://space.collegecounseling.org/

Mt. San Antonio College

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