How can I assess my relationships?

Dr. Stan Tatkin, MFT, PsyD
Marriage & Family Therapy Specialist

To assess whether your relationship is set for the long-term, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is your relationship secure functioning? In other words, is it fully collaborative, cooperative, fair, just and sensitive?
  • Do you have a shared vision of what the relationship should be and where you’re going?
  • Have you created shared principles that would govern each other’s behavior?
Dr. Charles J. Sophy, MD
Adolescent Medicine Specialist

Write down a list of your current relationships, define what you want and need from these relationships, assess and rate each relationship against the following, using a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being the least and 10 being the optimum):

  • Does the relationship inspire me and vice versa?
  • Does the relationship bring out the very best in me and vice versa?
  • What kind of role does the relationship play in my life and vice versa?
  • What level of trust and confidence do I have in the relationship and vice versa? 
  • What expectations do I have from the relationship and vice versa?
  • What boundaries have I established in the relationship and vice versa?
  • How comfortable do I feel about the relationship and vice versa?
  • How effective am I in my communication in the relationship and vice versa?
  • Can the relationship be a close confidant to me and vice versa?
Mia Redrick
Healthcare Specialist

You can begin to assess your relationships by asking yourself what a good relationship looks like for you. Often when people create relationships with others, they don't ask that question. They just say that they are friends, but they never look closely at the relationship as a whole. When you know what a good relationship looks like, then you can begin to define what you want and what you need to get out of it.

Start by looking at the quality of the relationship and examine what needs improvement. Do you need help with communication? Is the lack of quality time an issue? When you understand what you truly want from the other people in your life, you can assess what kind of role they all play. 

Not everyone in your life is going to be a close confidant. You may have relationships with some people only because of certain situations, like if your children share an activity. Just spend some time figuring out what you need and want from each of your relationships and then communicate that clearly to those in your life. If you don't communicate your wants and needs, then the relationship will suffer, but you have to understand your own needs and wants before you can begin to communicate them.

Lisa Oz
Health Education Specialist

You cannot grow if you do not acknowledge where you are. Examine each of your primary relationships and make an honest assessment of their quality at this moment. "They're okay" is not an acceptable answer. What that really means is, "They are not good, but I am not willing to work on them. " This lack of commitment to the most significant areas of your life both leads to, and is a result of, the addictive behavior most of us engage in. We feel empty and unfilled without a real purpose or passion. We do not like the feeling, so we eat, watch TV, shop, talk on the phone, take antidepressants, or browse the Internet to numb the gnawing anxiety that haunts us each day. Although these activities mask the pain, they also prevent us from actually making the effort to lead a joy-filled, connected, meaningful life.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.