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Respectful relationships

The relationships we have in our lives impact us in so many ways and it’s essential that we try to have healthy, respectful relationships with others.

To have healthy, respectful relationships you need to know what respectful behaviour looks like.

Here are some examples of how to show respect to others:

  • be a good listener
  • understand someone’s point of view
  • express your needs and wants in a direct, calm and respectful way
  • respond in a timely manner if someone requests something
  • acknowledge what others do well
  • let people know you appreciate them
  • if someone shares something intimate and personal with you, keep it private
  • emphasise someone’s strengths, not their weaknesses
  • ensure your humour is sensitive to others’ feelings and avoid embarrassing them
  • speak directly with others, don’t talk behind their back
  • allow someone space if they need it.

Respectful relationships are important because they:

  • contribute to your growth, maturity and sense of self-confidence
  • promote healthy self-expression and awareness of yourself and others
  • enable you to feel accepted, positive and free to be yourself.

Respectful relationships also help you feel safe, encouraged, valued, understood and accepted.

Visit the Kids Helpline website to find out more about building respectful relationships and healthy family relationships.

Where to get help

If you’re worried or uncomfortable about any aspect of your relationships, the Kids Helpline counsellors will listen and support you. They can help you to build healthy and respectful relationships in your life. You can contact them by:

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