When it comes to relationships, it's important to make sure that both parties feel supported. Meeting basic survival needs such as food, water, air and shelter is essential for staying alive, but more is needed to give life meaning. Expressing concern and care for your partner's feelings, even if they seem irrational or exaggerated, is a key part of providing emotional support. Open communication is a hallmark of a healthy relationship.
It's important that both parties feel heard, accepted and validated. If you or someone you know is in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, there are confidential, non-confidential and peer-led resources available to provide help and support. Confidential resources provide assistance and support, and the information shared is protected and cannot be reported unless the person who disclosed it has explicit permission; there is an imminent threat of harm to the person or others; the conduct involves the alleged abuse of a child under 18; or if the law or court order otherwise allows it. Non-confidential resources are available to provide support or assistance to individuals, but they are not confidential and may have broader obligations to report information.
Non-confidential resources will only provide information to necessary departments, such as the Office of Institutional Equity (OIE). Peer-led resources are available to provide support and assistance. These services are provided by Johns Hopkins students and are not confidential. If you want to increase the level of support in your relationship, there are several steps you can take. First, make sure that both parties feel heard and accepted.
Listen to each other without judgment and validate each other's feelings. Second, practice empathy by putting yourself in your partner's shoes and understanding their perspective. Third, practice active listening by repeating back what your partner has said to ensure that you understand them correctly. Finally, be honest with each other about your feelings and needs. If you need additional help or support, counseling can be a great option.
Counseling can help couples work through difficult issues in a safe environment with the guidance of a professional. If you're looking for counseling services, Johns Hopkins offers confidential counseling services for students.