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Five tips for a healthier and happier relationship

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

Mojatu is teaming up with FMB Radio, Fearless Youth Association and Utulivu Women’s Group to launch a project promoting healthy relationships among young people.

The eight-week social media campaign will cover a different key aspect of healthy relationships each week, encouraging people to treat themselves and their partners with respect.

Erin O’Donoghue of FYA said: “It’s vital that young people can recognise an unhealthy relationship. 

“We’re hoping this campaign will give young people the skills and confidence to remove themselves from those relationships.”

Terry Njoki of FMB Radio added: “People who have healthy relationships are more likely to feel happier and satisfied with their lives, and less likely to have physical and mental health problems.”

“The strength of community lies in the strength of the connections that we have with each other. Building these connections takes time, but it is worth it.”

Here’s an introduction to five of the campaign’s topics that you can incorporate into your own relationships.

  1. Respect each other’s values

One of the topics at the core of the campaign is that of our individual values: the (often intangible) things that we consider to be important to us. 

Our values shape how we see the world and how we behave, and research shows that people are happier when they pay more attention to the things that they value than when they are being influenced by external factors such as materialism or status.

Therefore, it’s crucial that we don’t feel pressured to go against our values in a relationship, nor pressure others to do the same.

  1. Be a positive bystander

Another key concept addressed by the Healthy Relationships project is what it means to be a ‘positive bystander’. 

At some point in our lives, we will all bear witness to something that goes against our values. 

A positive bystander, however, takes it upon themselves to be more than just a witness and actively tries to improve the situation.

How we react will vary depending on what is possible and what is safe.

Sometimes, we aren’t always able to immediately challenge the person at fault, but we can help afterwards by supporting anyone who has been affected, telling someone we trust or reporting illegal activity to the police.

  1. Know your rights

From the moment we are born up until the day we die, all people are entitled to a series of fundamental human rights, regardless of our age, gender, ethnicity or sexuality.

Under the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, you have the right to an identity, privacy, an opinion, relaxation and protection from abuse or exploitation.

We may often take these rights for granted, but some things – such as strong emotions and stress – can lead us to undermine the rights of ourselves or others in a relationship. 

It’s important to take a moment to notice if anyone’s rights are being violated, to consider how we can change the situation, and to talk about finding a solution with our partner or someone else we trust.

  1. Don’t conform to gender stereotypes

Although they might often seem harmless, expectations around how males and females should behave can be harmful.

They can prevent people from expressing themselves and cause problems in relationships, and many people will go along with them without questioning them.

It can be difficult to challenge gender stereotypes because we are often exposed to things that reinforce them, whether it’s something we’ve seen portrayed in the media or the behaviour of our peers and family.

As part of the campaign, we will be urging people to approach depictions of gender with a critical mindset, and – if you feel safe and comfortable enough to do so – speak more openly about what we really think about these stereotypes.

  1. Communicate effectively

Good communication creates an environment where we can be respectful of each other’s feelings and helps us to avoid misunderstandings. 

Unfortunately, strong emotions and fears of how people might react can serve as a barrier to effective communication and lead us to bottle up how we really feel.

When communicating with our partners, it is important to give them our full attention, take time to reflect and use sympathetic, non-accusatory language.

Learn more by following @mojatuderby, @mojatu_foundation, @fya_notts, @fmbradio and @utulivurdg on Instagram

By Jamie Morris

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