There are lots of benefits to having great relationships, but what should you do when they veer off track?

There are many types of relationship, but broadly speaking they usually fall into one of four categories: family, friendship, romantic, or professional. What’s normal in one type of relationship may seem weird in another. In any relationship, it's important to think carefully about what you want out of it, what the other person wants out of it, and whether you’re comfortable.

Bad relationships can be the source of a lot of stress and anxiety, but it’s important to remember that by consciously developing and working on good relationships, you will feel so much healthier and happier.

One of the most important things to understand about a relationship is that you’re only a part of it. People change, and so do circumstances. These are often beyond your control, so you shouldn't blame yourself if a relationship gets tough or crumbles. Even though you might not be able to help the other person see things differently or make them change, you can control how you interpret what’s going on and how you act about it. In other words, stay focused on the things that you can change and don't worry about the things that you can’t.

Good communication and managing other people’s expectations are important in healthy relationships. But when someone stops listening to you or the dynamic in the relationship starts to sour and make you think "ugh", it’s time to take swift action. If the relationship makes you unhappy, consider cutting it off. However, if the relationship becomes abusive or someone is taking advantage of you, you must quickly protect yourself by telling someone you trust. If it’s anything sexually abusive or illegal, speak to the police on 101, or call Childline on 0800 1111 for advice.

Find someone who loves you as much as you love them

Top tip

Don't let someone change what you are to become what they need. That's just a recipe for disaster...

5 signs you’re in a bad relationship

  1. You don’t enjoy someone's company any more.
  2. You feel like he or she is taking advantage of you.
  3. You don’t trust them and/or they don’t trust you.
  4. You find yourself lying to the person.
  5. He or she asks you to do things you don’t want to do.

Dealing with separation & divorce

Keep the peace

You can’t change your parents’ behaviour in a divorce, but you can ask them to censor it in front of you. Ask them for no more fighting or name-calling in your presence.

TALK ABOUT THE FUTURE

Many teens whose parents divorce, worry about their own plans for the future. Talk about your concerns, as they are perfectly valid and your parents should hear them.

LIVE YOUR LIFE

During a divorce, parents may be so caught up in their own changes that it can feel like your own life is on hold. Stay focused on your own plans and dreams, and participate in as many of your normal activities as possible.

LET OTHERS SUPPORT YOU

It's normal to be sad, frustrated, and mad. Discuss your feelings with someone you trust, like a friend or sibling. And ask your school if there is a counsellor who can speak with you.

Written by Victoria Evans and Jane Bianchi of Teen Health Guide, and edited by Dr William Swallow MBChB, DRCOG, MRCGP

© Teen Health Guide Limited

www.teenhealthguide.co.uk