Happy relationships during the teen years lead to a sense of personal fulfillment and a positive, engaged perspective on life. When teens experience the positive and fulfilling aspects of good relationships, they are much more confident and satisfied with their lives. We see happy teens all the time. They are going about their lives with the hopes, desires, and dreams you would expect.

Happy and Unhappy Relationships

However, many teens struggle with relationships and end up in unhealthy and unhappy relationships. Healthy relationships are very much alike, but unhealthy relationships manifest in different ways. Some teens end up in controlling relationships, others in gangs. Still other kids become isolated and never seem to fully engage and live up to their potential. Understanding problem relationships and how to move past them is a central issue for teens who want to live happy and healthy lives.

There are a lot of events in early childhood and adolescence that can create relationship problems for teens. Some teens experience trauma in their childhoods due to various forms of abuse from the adults in their lives. Others end up victims of bullying and mean spirited peers. But, whatever the reason for a teen’s inability for form positive healthy relationship, the problem needs to be solved in the present. Teens need good tools and strategies to move away from negative relationships into more healthy productive relationships.

Good Relationships

  • Mutual respect
  • Trust
  • Honesty
  • Support
  • Fairness
  • Separate Identities
  • Good Communication

Bad Relationships

  • Controlling Behavior
  • Distrust
  • Dishonesty
  • Abandonment (Lack of Support)
  • Unfairness
  • Blended Identities
  • Bad Communication

Bad relationships tend to have the opposite qualities of good relationships. Where there is honesty and trust in a good relationship, there is dishonesty and distrust in a bad relationship. Where someone is in a healthy relationship, they feel encourage by the support of family and friends, another person feels fear and anxiety from being on their own without any safety net or support. One has and the other has not.

Lack Of Self-Identity

One of the major issues for teens in problem relationships is that they do not have a strong sense of personal identity. What that means is that a person ends up looking outside for a sense of identity and ends up forming relationships that are unhealthy and damaging. These relationships often end up in gang affiliations or abusive relationships.

Lack of a sense of self hinders teens from defining their status in the group and recognizing who they are in the context of the community. These kids struggle to understand their inner values. They define themselves by their peers rather than their own self empowered decisions.

Overcome Relationship Problems

Solving relationship problems is tricky to do by yourself. Often there is too much personal investment to be able to step back and take an objective look at the relationship. And for teens, this is even more true because young people don’t have the experience.

Whey you are not being fulfilled in a relationship, be it with your parents, friends, or romantic partners, it can be hard to figure out why. Many times there is just a feeling of unease about the relationship. Something is wrong but you can’t put your finger on it. That is a time you may want to talk to a counselor and see if there is something to be concerned with.

Therapeutic Strategies

The strategies that seem to work in therapy involve building a more solid self through self-awareness and then choosing new behavior in the following contexts:

  • Mindfulness practices
  • Relationship-based practices in group therapy
  • Becoming a member of a support group
  • Learning how to support others
  • Proactive and non-violent communication
  • Learning to express likes, dislikes, and wants effectively
  • Learning to identify and communicate personal boundaries
  • Exploring passions and hobbies
  • Learning to take personal responsibility in conflicts with family and peers
  • Being loved and supported in return

Making A Choice

Making a choice to let go of bad relationships can be the first step in having a great relationship with your self. Find out what makes you excited and fulfilled and then find others that share the same goals and values.

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