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Healthy relationships

Blog post

Ana Marie Zipagan
Prevention Program Intern

At a South Bay Womyn’s Conference workshop called, “Expect Respect: A Conversation on Relationships,” the characteristics of a healthy relationship, and establishing boundaries, were discussed.

The facilitator of the workshop was Zephira Derblich-Milea, Youth Program Coordinator at Shalom Bayit. She started the workshop by asking the participants to think about close relationships they have with their peers, either close friends or boyfriends or girlfriends.

Then Zephira started asking participants what they think consists of a healthy relationship. She then created a list of things participants came up with, which were:

Trust                           Investment Good communication
Acceptance Balance Loyalty
Honesty Flexibility Authenticity
Compromise Fairness Commitment
Equity Consistency Caring
Common goals/values/interests Compassion Reliability
Responsibility Ability/openness to growth Respect
Compatibility Forgiveness Listening
Understanding Independence Openness
Intimacy Affection Emotional and physical safety
Fun Love/like Consensual consent
Humor/laughter Needs/expectations met Equality
Generosity Self-awareness  

 The issue of consent was then brought up, and the definition of consent, which Zephira gave several forms of. The definition Zephira likes to use is true consent, which is consent of the mind, body, and soul. Then she shared a definition a 10th grade intern at the organization came up with, which is when someone says, “yes, please.”

Then Zephira discussed the issue of abuse in relationships, and gave a definition of abuse, a pattern of one person exercising power and control.
The workshop ended with the discussion of setting healthy boundaries. Participants were given a handout and were given time to list personal bottom lines, in friendships or intimate relationships, as well as professional bottom lines. We then got into groups and shared.

Overall, the workshop was a very educational experience for me. I never really thought about characteristics of a healthy relationship before, and boundary setting. By sharing thoughts and ideas about the subjects with others, I was able to analyze the different relationships I am in, and give some serious thought about whether they are in fact healthy or not.

What are the different peer relationships you are in, and do you think they are healthy? Feel free to comment!

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