Whether you’re an introvert, extrovert, or something in between, a major part of our happiness and satisfaction with life is derived from our interpersonal relationships, whether it be with family, friends, or a significant other.

At a young age, many of us sought to emulate a family member or adult role model in our lives – perhaps a parent, aunt, uncle, grandparent, sibling, cousin, or family friend. Although we love the people that raised us, as we grow up we realize that they aren’t as perfect as we envisioned in our minds. Developing an identity that is separate from the adult figures in our lives is very important for development as an individual, but it can also be extremely challenging. This is especially true since our friends and romantic interests are also influential in making us into the people that we are. To quote this age old mantra, “we are products of the people we surround ourselves with.”

There is not a secret formula for managing relationships, although many agree that they take a lot of hard work. Still, the people we choose to keep in our lives should generally respect us, lift us up, and reciprocate our efforts. Although most of us have experienced (and possibly contributed to) a toxic relationship of some sort, the eventual goal is to develop the social maturity to set necessary boundaries to ensure our happiness and maintain our identity.

This page is designed to share ideas about how to be deliberate with the relationships in your life, and how to make sure that your social interactions are meeting YOUR needs (while being the best son/daughter, friend, and partner you can be). This area of adult development has been particularly challenging for me, so I am excited to use this page as a learning tool as well!

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