We’ve all been there before: you’re in a relationship with someone, but you’re not quite sure why. Maybe you have mixed feelings about the person, or maybe they don’t offer the kind of support you need. Whatever the case may be, these ambivalent relationships can be extremely unhealthy – both for your mental and physical health. We're going to explore why ambivalent relationships are so harmful, why it’s important to let them go, and how to identify an ambivalent relationship in your own life.
Quick take on Ambivalent Relationships:
•Ambivalent relationships are those in which neither the positive nor negative elements predominate; feelings towards the person are mixed.
• Studies have shown that these relationships can be detrimental to physical and mental health, due to their unpredictability and lack of stress-buffering effects.
• Three strategies for dealing with ambivalent ties include removal, reframing or recalibrating the relationship’s ratio of positive to negative elements.
• People often hold onto such relationships out of fear of loneliness, despite them not offering supportive benefits.
Why Ambivalent Relationships Are Unhealthy
One of the most harmful effects of an ambivalent relationship is that it can take a toll on your health. According to a study published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, people in ambivalent relationships are more likely to suffer from poor sleep quality, increased stress levels, and even depression. The study found that these negative effects were especially pronounced in people who felt they had little control over their relationship.
Tip: stress can make you lose sleep. Try "box breathing" before bed. 6 second inhale, hold for 6 seconds, 6 second exhale, hold for 6 seconds, repeat.
So why are ambivalent relationships so harmful to our health? One reason is that they are often characterized by a lack of support. In a healthy relationship, both partners (or friends) should feel like they can rely on each other for emotional and practical support. But in an ambivalent relationship, one or both partners may feel like they’re not being supported – which can lead to feelings of isolation, anxiety, and depression.
Another reason why ambivalent relationships are so harmful is that they can be unpredictable. If you never know what to expect from your partner, it can be difficult to make long-term plans or feel like you’re on solid ground. This unpredictability can also lead to increased stress levels, which can have serious consequences for your mental and physical health.
But how do you stop going through the motions of a meaningless relationship?
Why It’s Important to Remove or Reframe Unhealthy Relationships
While ambivalent relationships can have negative effects on our health, it’s important to remember that we always have the power to change our situation. If you find yourself in an unhealthy or unsatisfying relationship, there is no shame in taking steps to remove yourself from that situation – even if that means ending the relationship entirely.
In some cases, though, it may not be possible or desirable to completely end a relationship. If that’s the case, there are still ways to reframe the relationship so that it is more positive and supportive. For example, if you have an ambivalent relationship with a family member, you might try setting boundaries so that you only see them on special occasions or when it is convenient for both of you. Or if you have an ambivalent relationship with a co-worker, you might try investing more time in getting to know them so that you can build a stronger connection. Whatever approach you take, the goal should be to create a more positive and supportive relationship dynamic.
How to Identify an Ambivalent Relationship and Take Steps to Address It
If you’re not sure whether your relationship is healthy or not, there are some telltale signs that may indicate an ambivalent dynamic.
For example, do you frequently have mixed feelings about your partner? Do they offer little emotional or practical support? Are they unpredictable? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then it may be time to reevaluate your relationship.
Remember: it is not your job to make other people happy. Happiness really has to come from within.
Once you’ve identified an ambivalent relationship in your life, there are several steps you can take to address the situation. First and foremost, it’s important to practice self-care so that you can rediscover your positive traits and goals.
This may involve spending time with friends and family members who make you feel good about yourself or taking up a new hobby that brings you joy. Additionally, it’s important to set boundaries with the person involved in the ambivalent relationship. This will help ensure that your interactions are healthy and supportive rather than harmful and draining.
Finally, if possible, try investing time and energy into new relationships that offer more positive benefits. This could mean making new friends or spending more time with people who make you feel good about yourself.
Question to ask yourself: What was the last thing you did with this person that was fun? If that doesn't jump into your mind...maybe the fun ain't there?
The Benefits of Removing or Reframing Unhealthy Relationships
While it may not always be easy, removing or reframing unhealthy relationships can have numerous benefits for our mental and physical health. When we rid ourselves of toxic people or situations, we open up opportunities for professional and personal growth.
We also create space for healthier interactions and connections – which can lead to improved mental and physical well-being overall. So if you find yourself in an unhealthy or unsatisfying relationship, don’t be afraid to take steps towards changing the situation – your wellbeing is worth it!
We all have enough shit to deal with already. Don't be addicted to toxic people. MOVE ON.
Healthy Relationship Characteristics
Healthy relationships are characterized by understanding, respect, and open communication. In a healthy relationship, partners should feel heard, understood, and acknowledged in their feelings; they should also feel comfortable expressing themselves without fear of belittling or judgement.
Honesty is an essential element in any good relationship; trust is built on truthfulness and sincerity. Partners should strive to be both kind and honest while being considerate of the other's feelings.
They should also strive to have mutual agreement on decisions large and small. Additionally, relationships that remain strong value each partner's privacy and independence. Open communication creates a safe space for partners to speak freely about topics ranging from preferences to disagreements without fear of retribution or criticism. These characteristics together will foster a secure environment for healthy relationships to last for years to come.
Life Tip: Say "Sorry". It isn't that hard, but it is that meaningful. Don't wait for someone else to fix everything when a simple word can cut to the chase.
Key Features of Positive Mental Health in Men
Mental health is an important part of overall well-being. In men, positive mental health encompasses several key elements. Feeling secure and content in one's relationships, the ability to effectively manage emotions, having purpose and direction in life, enabling meaningful productive activity and enjoying a sense of inner peace are among the most fundamental aspects.
Remember: it isn't selfish to better yourself. That helps everyone around you.
Quality time with family and friends can reduce stress resulting from work or daily life activities. Engaging in hobbies or recreational activities also helps to promote these features as they provide an opportunity for growth and personal development. Having access to mental health services if needed is also important for maintaining healthy mental wellbeing in men of all ages and backgrounds.
Below is a list of activities you can take part in to feel well and build a strong mental health relationship with yourself, but also with others to create real meaningful relationships.
If you do these activities, and you find ways to get others (friends and lovers) to do them with you...those positive endorphins will make strong relationships.
1. Exercise regularly to maintain a healthy weight - brisk walking, jogging, running, cycling or even playing a recreational sport are all good options as they help to keep men in shape and build strength.
2. Eat a balanced and nutritious diet to ensure adequate nourishment for the body. This should include foods from all food groups such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, (a lot of) lean proteins and healthy fats. If you eat unhealthy, you'll feel that way!
3. Get enough sleep every night to recharge the body and mind for optimal functioning throughout the day. Men should aim for 7-8 hours of sleep daily to stay well rested and energized.
4. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and reduce fatigue caused by dehydration. (or tea, but not just coffee, and not massive sugar drinks)
5. Reduce stress levels through activities such as yoga, meditation or listening to calming music as this helps to promote relaxation and inner peace. (take a break, breath through your nose deeply, lay on your back in the office on the ground like a crazy person)
6. Spend time outdoors regularly in green spaces or natural environments as this helps to boost moods, enhance focus and improve overall health and wellbeing. (get sun on your face!)
7. Participate in regular routine health screenings such as blood sugar tests, cholesterol checks or prostate exams so that any potential health issues can be quickly identified and treated accordingly.
8. Engage in social activities with family members or friends as this helps men feel connected with others which is important for mental wellbeing along with physical health benefits.
9. Take part in leisurely activities like reading a book, watching a movie or engaging in hobbies like painting or photography as these can help bring joy into life which is essential for overall healthiness and happiness.