So why is respect important for me and my friends?

In good and healthy friendships, both friends need to be equal, and feel safe, valued and accepted for who they are.

Here are a few things you can ask yourself to see if your friendships are really healthy.

Do we all feel respected? Respect in friendships means that each friend feels safe to be who they really are, and understands that everybody needs personal space.

Do you Trust each other?  Sometimes friends can get a little jealous when you spend time with family or other friends, but a respectful friend will never try control who you see or what you do.

Can we argue respectfully? It’s normal and fine for friends to argue, but it needs to be done respectfully. Respectful arguing? How does that work?

The trick is all about how you argue with each other.  Even if you are having an argument its really important that you don’t call each other names, insult or interrupt each other.  It’s also really important that you can openly talk about stuff without stressing that your friend will make you feel silly, or worrying that they might hurt you.

Do you feel supported, in good times and bad? In respectful friendships, each person is supportive when things aren’t going so well and happy for you when things are going great.

Can you speak honestly and openly? It’s important that you feel you can be honest and be yourself  – you and your friends would never make each other feel silly or embarrassed.

Friends can admit when they have made a mistake, and can say sorry without feeling humiliated.  Remember, apologies aren’t always about saying you were wrong – they are about saying that your friendship is way more important than any argument you might have had.

Don’t forget to respect yourself too! Respecting yourself is just as important as respecting your friends. Remember that you matter too. What you think and feel is just as important as what somebody else thinks and feels.

If you have a friendship that isn’t respectful, you can work on making it better, but ending a friendship that isn’t respectful is a way of respecting yourself.

For more about respectful friendships, check out this awesome video Healthy vs Unhealthy relationships