Moving on from care, and then living independently can be scary, make you feel lonely, and you may not know where to turn to for help or support when it’s needed. We all need good relationships in our lives, they help keep us healthy in so many ways, and however you may feel that you don’t have any in your life or perhaps don’t know what to look for. You initially need to believe you deserve good relationships and are capable of having them. The first step is to develop an understanding of what a good relationship is, and be able to identify these in your life, and know that they can take different forms depending on who they are with and under what circumstances. These will be the ones where you feel safe, supported and not judged, and where someone listens to you and takes on board what you say and how you feel. They will show they understand you and make you feel important. That does not mean you cannot disagree or have a different opinion, as this is also a sign of a good relationship where we can respect each other’s views, however it’s how both people deal with that that indicates it’s a strong connection and the positive choices that then come from that. You also need to recognise that you can get different support from different people and that each relationship can vary. A relationship should make you feel important, even in a small way, and that you matter. If it doesn’t you may want to reconsider that connection and think about if they are helping you achieve what you want and bringing positively and support into your life. They are also a way for you to show that you care, and this can be just as important as knowing someone cares about you.
You need to be aware of how you feel within your relationship and understand the work you are putting in to keep it going and make it strong. Good connections will give you somewhere to turn to should you need it and give you a more positive influence in your life. These can form in different places and times in your life and the important people could be your carer, social worker, teacher but also someone within the community or a friend or family member. Good relationships encourage positive behaviours and should support you to strive for the best for yourself. Where good relationships are lacking, evidence shows that this can lead to poor decision making, less positive life choices being made and lower outcomes and achievements in life. So, on the opposite side, good relationships lead to better quality of life, longer life and a sense of purpose and belonging. By having people in our life who want the best for you, you are more likely to move towards achieving your goals.
Try to keep communication open and honest at all times. This shows you both trust and respect the person and that you want the same back from them. It is also important to behave in a way in the relationship and treat the other person as you wish to be treated. You need to show that the relationship is two way and needs to meet the needs and expectations of both people.
To better understand the importance and impact of positive relationships there are several places you can look online. One example is this resource from the mental health foundation.
Asking for support is difficult and it is difficult for everyone. When you have been in care, it can be a little bit harder to find people you trust, due to a variety of reasons. It is important that you know that there are people you can rely on. With the right support you will be able to identify who you can turn to when needed.