Creating Healthy Online Relationships
Long gone are the days of warning against talking to internet strangers. From platforms like Twitch, Tumblr, and even Facebook, I regularly communicate with people I haven’t met in real life.
So let’s talk about it, how do we know for sure that we are making good decisions in these online relationships. Here are a few tips to navigate that:
In all healthy relationships, you are able to say no. “No I don’t feel comfortable with that” “No I won’t be able to do this for you today”. Having a relationship where you can speak up and advocate for yourself is the sign of a good and healthy relationship.
Give and Take, the “See-Saw Effect”
Just like a see-saw there are moments where one person is high and another is low. It switches from time to time. Try not to get stuck in one role. The importance of any relationship is that all members are equipped to support each other as well as be supported. Embrace this dynamic.
You have to talk. Yes, you’re already talking. But sometimes when a subject is difficult, or we need to say no (see above for Drawing Boundaries) we shut down. Communication is especially important for those of us who come from families that do not talk to each other or who do not do it in a constructive way.
It’s important to note that all feelings are valid, it’s how they are expressed that are a problem. In a healthy relationship, it’s okay to be mad, and it’s ok to be frustrated. What is NOT okay is name calling, guilt tripping etc..
Get Therapy For Yourself
Everyone doesn’t have the right tools or knows the right things to say because they aren’t a trained therapist.
TalkSpace is a great resource. Building yourself up in therapy not only helps you to identify good, healthy online relationships, it also helps YOU to be a good, healthy part of that relationship.
What do you guys thing of these tips? Have any online horror stories to share? Leave us a comment below and tell us what you think.